Whole Foods: The bigger the worse?

Whole Foods Market of Austin,Texas, recently bought Greenlife Grocery’s two stores for about $15 million. When one reads the literature about Whole Foods, it is easy to lose count of the smaller, organic, green local food markets this $8 billion dollar, multinational corporation has bought out. I, for instance, didn't know that the $1 billion, 110-store Wild Oats Markets of Boulder, Co., now bears the Whole Foods banner.

So as to not being accused of a lack of fairness, Whole Foods Markets scores No. 3 on the EPA's Top Green Power list, just above the U.S. Air Force. Whole Foods is the largest seller of organic, natural, health food in the U.S. Despite my tone, this does not make Whole Foods bad. It just makes it big.

The behemoth that is Whole Foods has supplanted Greenlife, a two-store company that was probably a little more capable of more quickly responding to local consumer needs as well as providing local, fresh produce and hosting a place to better facilitate the sale of locally made products.

The thing I resonate with is what it tastes like. I ate at the breakfast bar yesterday and the three things that I put in my little biodegradable, compostable, recyclable take-out box tasted of chemicals, the kind of chemicals that are put into foods that are highly processed, packaged in non-compostable materials and heated up and can-served under a sign that reads “whole.” I don't know this to be true. I just know what it tasted like or, better yet, what it didn't taste like — the eggs, potatoes and sausage that I eat at home.

What is not in doubt for me is that Buy Local has gotten a little harder to find.

— Lance Hardcastle
Asheville

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5 thoughts on “Whole Foods: The bigger the worse?

  1. bill smith

    [i]What is not in doubt for me is that Buy Local has gotten a little harder to find.[/i]

    WNC is swarming with local farms, CSA’s and seasonal markets. “Local” has never been easier to find. Of course, one must leave the grocery store isle to find it. But that’s isn’t new.

  2. indy499

    At least Lance was honest in his piece when he stated, “I don’t know this to be true”. Me either, but I suspect it isn’t.

  3. Frankly the food bar at Greenlife has always looked icky to me. The couple of times I’ve purchased food from it, I’ve verified that not only does it look icky, it tastes icky.

    EarthFare’s salad/ prepared food bar in South Asheville, looks and tastes best….to me.

  4. Jon Elliston

    There is a response from Greenlife following this letter in the print edition of Xpress this week that’s worth having a look at.

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