The Whole Foods Debate Continues: Spy Invades San Diego Store


Jill Richardson, who writes the blog La Vida Locavore, recently published an excerpt from her book Recipe for America in the website. In it, she details how she went undercover at a Whole Foods store in San Diego, California. Richardson works in the bakery, and the manner in which “organic” dirty dishes are separated from “non-organic” dirty dishes is a scary hoot to read: It makes eating organic seem like ultra-orthodox Judaism.

Richardson finds that only a handful of Whole Foods employees are gung-ho locavores, and that the company resists using local produce because much of it is too fragile and perishable to meet the company’s corporate profit needs. When it does buy local, the company often distributes the local produce nationally, ameliorating the locavoric benefits.

Nevertheless, she finds much to like about the giant chain, including their composting program, use of renewable energy sources, etc. She also alludes to company benefits (the “Whole Paycheck”), without explaining exactly what they entail. The comments, of course, allude to the right-wing reputation of CEO John Mackey.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 25, 2009

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