The Value and Importance of Heirloom Seed
What’s the haps on Whole Foods?
There is a video circulating on the internet which appears to prove that Whole Foods is somehow misrepresenting their stance on GMO foods. As a part-time Whole Foods “team member,” I can tell you that the company does NOT train staff to lie – if anything, WF may have failed to adequately train and educate staff, though the company is always working to improve their practices and have made it a priority to ensure that staff understand and are capable of articulating company policy and product offerings with accuracy.
I have watched the organic quality at Whole Foods deteriorate over the years and it is a pet peeve. Just last week I was getting ready to go on a road trip and perused the cold case for a container of hummus and was shocked not to find a single tub of the stuff ready-made with organic ingredients. There was olive hummus, and eggplant hummus, and roasted red pepper hummus, but no organic hummus of any kind on that shelf. Because it is one of the easiest things to fix up, I walked over to the center of the store and bought 2 cans of organic chickpeas, to the produce aisle for an organic red bell pepper and headed home to make my own, which was, by the way, fantastic! (I’ll include my recipe in the next blog.) I can’t tell you why there were no organic options on the shelf, however…
What I can tell you is why Whole Foods sells conventional and GMO foods…
Because you will buy it.
And because GMO foods are PERVASIVE in the conventional food supply for the past 10 years. It is why I personally choose not to eat corn or soy unless it is organic, and do not eat conventional prepared or packaged foods, such as from Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. There is a name for these foods in the organic food industry – FRANKENFOODS. In the documentary “The Future of Food” the process of genetic modification is shown to include some very strange components, such as E. coli. I wouldn’t feed that stuff to anyone I serve food to, least of all myself. None of it has been tested for safety. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to educate themselves or even read a label.
How to avoid GMO’s
If you want to avoid GMO foods, you will need to eat only organic food or foods grown by trustworthy people who you know, or foods that are labeled as being GMO-free. You have to buy organic or heirloom seeds to plant in your garden. You would rarely eat in a restaurant, unless you know they serve organic food (most restaurants purchase the cheapest possible ingredients and cover up the lack of quality with salt, sugar and other intensive flavor enhancers.)
Proposition 37 – the California Voter Initiative to Require that all GMO-Containing Foods and Products be Labelled as Such
There is huge corporate agribusiness pressure being exerting on the US government, our Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) etc. to control our food supply. Whole Foods is in favor of Proposition 37, the initiative California voters will vote on in November which will require all foods containing GMO products be labelled as such, because the federal agency tasked with protecting the public has been unable to step up to the bat against the gigantic corporate pressure. For more information on organic and GMO foods, check out the Organic Consumers Association and the following links: http://www.organicconsumers.org/ , http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4499930634181592531 , http://www.thefutureoffood.com/ , http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/gmcrops-safety-idUSL5E8KJAGN20120919
Benefits and Disadvantages – A Paradox
Whole Foods provides more chemical- and artificial ingredient-free products for sale in one location than just about any other store, but they are a MARKETPLACE into making the most profit they can, and they are not necessarily the ideal organic marketplace. Their prepared foods are mostly not organic (they just now are providing organic soups – YEAH!!!), they lace their foods with SUGAR, another poison, because it is addictive and so we will eat it and buy more, and their private label has to be using cheap ingredients to sell at such low prices. At the same time, they have some of the most progressive benefits and profit sharing for employees that I’ve ever seen, which demonstrates more integrity than many of the good spiritual people running businesses that I know.
You know, the hard truth is that there is no black and white here, though it does simplify things to paint it that way. Human beings, and by extention, businesses and corporations, are living paradoxes full of mixed emotions, opinions and actions that sometimes belie even our strongest held beliefs. In the current economy, which is serving only the 1%, we have good people trying to make a buck in the best possible way they can and others who may not care how their profit drives environmental, cultural and social degradation. I know lots of people working jobs they hate and grateful for them. I am proud to work at Whole Foods, to share my knowledge and skills and to have a place to learn and serve and be a part of a community I feel really does care. Even the most loving parents, doing their very best for their children, are imperfect. I know that Whole Foods currently sells products with GMO ingredients, but I know which ones to avoid in order to uphold my personal standards. Now you do too.
What To Do
I recommend we all take the opportunity in the moment to continue waking up to the paradox of reality, practicing self-education, discernment and self-responsibility, and if you are a California resident, vote in favor of Prop. 37.
The opninions expressed in this website and on this blog are mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer. I have endeavored to communicate my understanding of their transparent, publically available company policy along with my own opinions. If you want to know about Whole Foods, the company has tons of information on the website.