Dear Whole Foods- I Never Got The Memo


Let’s play a word association game.

Me: Whole Foods?


Did you say “organic?” I did.

Except that’s not really true anymore. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but more and more “conventional” food seems to be replacing the organic foods in Whole Foods.

Here is a really basic example: I was having my special treat of an organic coffee at the Whole Foods organic coffee bar, when I discovered that neither of these items are organic anymore. What? I did not get the memo!

I stopped drinking coffee about a year ago in order to bring my homocystine levels down, and it worked like a charm. But I do love coffee and every once in a while I allow myself to sit at the Whole Foods coffee bar with my laptop and a delicious cup of hot coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon feeling safe in the assumption that both were organic. For some reason I looked at the coffee urns and noticed that it didn’t say organic and when I ask my barista what was up, he informed me that six months ago Whole Foods made the decision to no longer have an organic coffee bar. I feel betrayed and frustrated. This is just one more example of the reversal in what Whole Foods used to be about.

In fact you can’t get an item in their bakery or their deli that doesn’t contain canola oil.

I know that Whole Foods has a promise to be transparent in regards to GMO labeling by 2018. I guess I just wonder why the commitment is to labeling as opposed to having only Non-GMO verified items on the shelves, and in their prepared foods section? Considering the amount of literature on their own website, OMG Let’s Stop Eating GMO’s, Whole Foods Commits to GMO Transparency, 6 Shopping Tips for Avoiding GMO’s, GMO Fast Facts, it seems ironic to me that Whole Foods has tons of unlabeled GMO’s, especially in their prepared food sections. 

In fact, according to Whole Foods own literature, only 45% of items in their store are non-gmo and/or organic. Not even half! Their quality standards, as outlined in their 2015 stakeholders report, makes no mention of an emphasis on Non-GMO products. To be fair, they do mention their GMO Transparency in Labeling by 2018 initiative.

While I understand that Whole Foods is a publicly traded company, and that they have investor returns that they need to make in order to keep their investors satisfied, I cannot help but wonder if their commitment to organic and non-gmo foods has been diluted by trying to obtain profits for the majority shareholders.

And yes, in case you were wondering, the majority shareholders of Whole Foods are the same as the majority shareholders of Monsanto.