Communists love organic produce, did you know that?So so many ethical quandaries this week! Should “we” “forgive” Michael Vick for being a dog-tortoruing sociopath, because he paid his debt to society? Should “we” continue to patronize a food store whose CEO — a man whose douchebaggery was well-established years ago — recently revealed an unpalatably conservative bent vis-a-vis the topic of heatlhcare? These are important questions.

Let’s see. Pro-boycott, or at least pro-giving John Mackey a hearty smack:

At any rate, very few businesses go as far as Whole Foods in marketing their products specifically as part of a quasi-politicized left-wing lifestyle and few CEOs go as far as Mackey in public advocacy of political views that are only tangentially related to his business. If Whole Foods shareholders were to start to wonder whether having their corporate brand dragged into the health care debate is really a smart use of their assets, I would call that a good thing.

And yet:

If the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for a single payer health care system, I’d shrug, maybe write a blog post about why I think he’s wrong, and then I’d probably go to Costco this weekend to buy some dog food, some meat, and to try to eat my membership dues in free samples. Now, if the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for genocide against redheads, then yeah, I’d stop shopping there. But calling for a boycott of a conscientious company over its CEO endorsing proven ideas like HSAs and mainstream policies like tort reform is an attempt to push good ideas you disagree with to the fringe. It’s a way of zoning your opponents best arguments out of the realm of civilized debate.

Solution: Do not boycott Whole Foods. Instead, become a stockholder so that you can pressure John Mackey into starting a dog-fighting ring.

On Boycotting Whole Foods [Matt Yglesias]
Whole Foods, Ct’d [The Agitator]

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  1. I will urinate on the West-facing wall of the corporate Whole Foods megaplex in Austin at precisely 7:31 pm next Wednesday. Please join me.

    P.S. “You fucked up… you trusted us!”

  2. At the Customer Service counter at my local Whole Foods, they sell copies of Mackey’s DVD’s that extoll his approach to business. I wonder how far into the DVD you have to get before he explains the value of annoying one’s customer base?

  3. Didn’t the CEO of Safeway say much the same thing as this guy did, a couple of months ago or something? With barely even a kerfluffle?

    I think what rankled people was that it smacked of elitism. “You would be healthier if you bought my company’s vegetables and fruit at $4.99 a pound, and consumed only chickens bathed in unicorn tears and fed corn that was grown in manure from the Pushmi-pullyu herds that grace on an idyllic pasture overlooking a crystal blue pond.”

  4. How about we boycott Whole Foods because a head of lettuce costs $3.99 there? Oh & because Mackey sounds like a damn Scientologist with his ‘eat foods from WF & exercise & you won’t even need health insurance’ bullshit. Yeah, that’s an even better reason…

  5. As much as I would like to boycott Whole Foods, that somewhat implies that I shop there first-off, which I don’t do because of other factors such as astronomically high prices and a pervasive amount of MILFs who would like to fancy themselves progressives who drive there in their SUVs flaunting their fuck-trophies in strollers that take up entire isles.

    So instead I’ll simply refuse to dumpster dive Whole Foods when my health insurance premiums eat up my entire paycheck in 2012, WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THE END OF THE WORLD ACCORDING TO THE MAYANS ZOMG.

  6. I will boycott Whole Foods until they carry a dairy-free, gluten-free, free-range, stevia sweetened, pro-biotic enriched bag of dicks that explode in your mouth like a kambucha drink. And then I’ll send a case to John Mackey so he can choke on them.

  7. Well, they can stay the hell out of Auburn, Alabama that’s for sure!

    If it ain’t growing in my garden, then I’m going to the local farmer’s market or one of our regional organic farms. When I get through there, I’m going to the local mill for polenta (okay, grits) and the local cheese maker’s for some fatally-good goat cheese. So there!

  8. When you’re really hungry, you can get some satisfaction from the free samples. 4 o’clock is a good time, just before the apres-work rush. Bring your friends. Heck, bring the whole halfway house!

  9. What did he say, he’d stop in at COSTCO to eat dog food??

    Apples and oranges. They’re not the same at ALL.

    The dog food is hella expensive at Whole Foods.

  10. I am boycotting Whole Foods because they keep saying that they’re going to move one just down the street from me and then bitching out at the last minute. Teases. It would save me so much time, and cost me so much money.

    So I am boycotting the non-existent Whole Foods down the street. I advise any other Wonketteers who also have a non-existent Whole Foods down the street to do the same.

  11. [re=388140]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Buy a ton of white-carb junk food, pour it into cardboard boxes, and print up green labels that say ‘organic’ to put on the boxes, and you’ll get the idea without ever going to the store.

  12. If they’re going to protest the “pubic option”, should our signs say “hole foods”?

    Just to be, you know. Parallel.

  13. The president of Lockheed-Martin thinks the F-22 is a great airplane, and an important component of our national defense strategy. Of course he’s making his opinion known to members of congress, as is his right. Oh, and he’s also shoveling money at them in a hundred different ways.

    Isn’t this how democracy is supposed to work?

  14. I couldn’t be bothered to shop at Whole Foods before, because it’s all the way across town and entirely too expensive. I just didn’t realize that, by doing so, I was making a political statement.

    Damn, I’m good.

  15. [re=388160]Country Club Jihadi[/re]: yum kambucha. thats a power drink right there. Whole Foods does not carry it. My local co-op does however.
    For a corporate hog, Trader Joes is a good substitute.

  16. In all seriousness, Costco is probably one of the most progressive employers in the country. From what I have read about them, they are one of the most union friendly retailers and they actually provide neat things like health insurance and wages that don’t force their employees to choose between not eating dog food and being homeless…

  17. Shut up and sell food!

    If the right can bash the Chicks, the left can bash Mackey. I mean, he’s an ass, so there’s that. And the Agitator’s argument that the left shouldn’t boycott a company that supports everything else the left stands for doesn’t fly because the premise is faulty — Whole Foods may have some socially redeeming qualities, but so what. I’m boycotting. Yea! No more paying triple the price!

  18. Do I actually have to buy something there once in order to say I’m boycotting it? So many rules…anyway I only have daughters, no first-born male children to sell in order to afford some yogurt.

  19. I’m already boycotting them bc they sell the same brand of strawberries as Kroger for twice the price. If I’m going to shop at and anti-union store, they better give me a good deal!

  20. [re=388142]norbizness[/re]: I’m there buddy! Go ahead and start without me if I’m a little late. I also will be urinating on several other locations on 6th St. that day. Well, pretty much everyday.

    BTW, what’s a “Costco”?

  21. [re=388161]Better American Than You[/re]: The Whole Foods down the street from me has an official Whole Foods Farmer’s Market once a week. It is the bane of my existence. It is not a farmer’s market if you are just pimping your heinously overpriced produce outdoors. Plus, I prefer to buy my tomatoes from some adorable old man in overalls.

  22. [re=388166]The Station Manager[/re]: You wouldn’t happen to be in San Jose would you? Whole Foods has been playing that game here for a few years now. It’s more like they’ve been boycotting us. No big loss.

  23. I wasn’t even aware of an entity called “Whole Foods”. I simply buy stuff like this from the local Mennonite market, and bypass the corporation altogether…

    …or at least the corporation I wasn’t aware of.

  24. Don’t piss off the liberals, Mackey! Once a boycott starts, it never completely ends. Some people still don’t buy grapes…

    When I worked at Powell’s Books in Portland back in ’03, the store at least had the good sense to stop selling Che Guevara t-shirts shortly before they tried to cut back on our health benefits. But we didn’t call for a boycott, even during the worst part of the strike, because a lot of people hear about boycotts but then never hear later that they’ve been called off.

    Having said all that…Boycott Whole Foods!

  25. Wish I knew this was coming, I just bought food there Saturday, 13 items and it was 65 dollars, American, so I called my own Boycott. Whole Foods has always bought out their competition. Just last year they sucked up Wild Oats, our beloved government doesn’t see fit to stop them, maybe we should just boycott the US Government, stop paying taxes and all. We could run around saying Thomas Jefferson quotes. Sell “freedom lemonade” on street corners along with “don’t taze me” tee shirts……

  26. [re=388156]Deepthroat[/re]: Au contraire. You have clearly never been to a Walmart Supercenter…on Saturday…in the South…in the summer. It would give Dante the heebie-jeebies.

  27. If you left Whole Foods and shopped at Publix or Acme or any of the others, you would save enough money every month to buy Health Care for yourself.

  28. I’ve never shopped at Whole Foods because I have a local organic market run by a capitalist pig I can go to. Not that it’s much better — everyone I know who’s worked there has kinda hated the boss and the store policies — but at least the guy doesn’t write articles espousing the save-your-spare-change-in-a-jar-under-your-bed healthcare plan.

  29. Why go to Whole Foods when the Dean & DeLuca is sooo much exclusiv-ier. And you never hear a peep from Mssrs. Dean or DeLuca. For all we know they could be fictional.

  30. [re=388180]You Will Be Towed[/re]: “You think you cumservatives have some monopoly on TEH STUPID? Ha! We’ll show JUST HOW TEH STUPID it’s possible to be!”

  31. Dear Wonkette,

    My local puveyor of organically fed, free-range pit bulls was mildly critical of a local zoning ordinance amendment banning big box retail stores. Is the appropriate course of action to quietly find another source for dog meat, write an op-ed expressing my solidarity with Michael Vick, or should I just blow up the nearest government-run kennel? Thanks.

  32. I am SHOCKED, I tell you, over the sexist nature of this posting. Boycott, indeed, young lady! What we need is a grass roots personcott of Whole Foods — as any resident of Personitawoc, Wisconsin, can tell you, “The Times They Are A’ Changin'” (also a Bob Dylan song from his Heavily Apostrophized Phase — much like Picasso’s blue period, only they were apostrophes instead of periods).

  33. As if I needed more incentive. Who cares about the CEO, boycott Whole Foods for their yuppie douche bag customers and their ridiculous prices.

  34. [re=388198]user-of-owls[/re]: You know I bet it is the same as the Walmarts along route 40 in Md and Delaware- no Southern accents but I bet the size, IG and number of missing teeth is the about the same.

  35. [re=388158]Dumptruck[/re]: Reminds me of the interesting circular discussion in which I engaged some time ago. My companion was a Twelve Stepper who much believed in the power of mobs to resist something. I said, there is simply no humanly possible way I can quit smoking. He ranted, he raged, he read me chapter and verse of the dry drunk’s bible. I found that, once begun, you can never leave such tar baby tyros.

  36. I solemnly declare to boycott Whole Foods until Mackey decides to shoot organic, pesticide-free, free trade, locally grown yams out of his ass.

  37. We don’t have Wholefoods in my area yet. We have Wegmans. They won’t sell me cigarettes for moral reasons. Yeah, so FUCK Wegmans too.

  38. I always shop at Whole Foods when I can find one. Wasn’t it them who advertised natural carbonation in their water? I like first rate goop.

  39. [re=388213]Anonymous Office Zombie[/re]: …And their insufferable pasty-faced rock-hipster twenny-something clerks.

    Mr Mackey does have a point, though — his employees don’t need health insurance, just the occasional intervention and free get-into-rehab card.

  40. Today’s lesson:

    Tort reform = I fucked you up really bad, but you shouldn’t realistically expect to do too much about it, because I’m rich and it’s just not the American way to take wealthy people’s money…because they’re rich. Besides, it might be bad for business, so stop your snivling before you turn this into a communist country!

    The End

  41. Hey, this is *Georgia*. If I boycott Whole Foods (and since I don’t shop there, it’d be ineffective in the extreme) for being against healthcare reform, I might as well boycott my neighbors, co-workers, and every old damned place in the area. I could still go into the garden and eat organic worms, however.

  42. Wasn’t this the guy caught writing all sorts of sexual boasts on the walls of the ladies restroom of his own store? Or was that a Playboy cartoon. I forget.

  43. I have trouble keeping my douchebag CEOs straight – is Mackey the one who masturbates incessantly at work? Or is that just a given for all CEOs?

  44. [re=388232]masterdebater[/re]: On the other hand, back before anyone was born, a kid was of the opinion that LBJ made him want to toss his cookies, and said so. He was visited by the Secret Service. What’s the charge? Threat to a president. What threat? Well, if enough people threw up on Lyndon, he’d drown.

    News was simpler back then.

  45. [re=388166]The Station Manager[/re]: I totally agree! I will continue to boycott Whole Foods by not driving the 62 miles I would need to in order to get to one, which I never do, but now it’s with much more purpose!

  46. [re=388198]user-of-owls[/re]:

    Worse yet. I had the pleasure of going to the 24 hr Wal-Mart Supercenter in Houma, Louisiana, after midnight on a weekday. Oh, the humanity. All the years I lived in south Louisiana, that was the only time I ever saw people who looked like extras from those bad movies about the South (Southern Comfort, Deliverance, etc).

  47. The sweet thing about the boycott is the brown shirts’ counter-boycott, pledging to drive themselves deep into debt shopping there to make up for the lost revenue.

    The sweet thing here is that these people are going to be effectively boycotting Wal-Mart in order to shop at Whole Foods. Win-win!

  48. [re=388228]qaf[/re]:
    Oh god, exactly. The emo rockers/hipster crowd – so delicate, so particular, so-cooler-than-thou, so annoying.

  49. Todd Mecklem: If you worked at the Powell’s Bookstore in Portland Oregon in ’03 I’m curious if you’re still in the area—because a Whole Foods megahive opened up (since then) RIGHT NEXT DOOR to Powell’s (the old brewey site)!! Here in good ol’ liberal Portland Whole Foods has always gotten the cold shoulder due to any number of inherent violations of PDX pc/hipness, but since Mackey’s WSJ debacle last week, the place has practically been roped off & quarantined—couldn’t have happened to a browner asshole…

  50. [re=388297]Terry[/re]: I was buying Trojans and a case of 10-W-40 at a Wal-Mart in Bachmann country. It was the same demographic.

  51. F Mackey. That douche caused my local,within walking distance Wild Oats store to close so f’him. It’s the farmers market and Trader Joe’s from now on….that is until I get word that Trader Joe is a douche.

  52. It has always struck me in this poster that the two interracially gay fellows on the left are doing the twist and the watusi as an ensemble piece. Won’t someone think of the children, also?

  53. [re=388335]Zorg[/re]: It’s the Panama City License Plates they hate. Notice the dreadlocked blonds reaching for something on the bottom shelf.

  54. “While all of us can empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people should have […]equal access to doctors, medicines, and hospitals?”

    Only a wingnut would disagree with such common sense.

  55. I’m boycotting them because they are selling a single sunflower for 6.99 at their Tenleytown location. That’s seriously insulting to the intellegence of the Ward 3 Wonks.

  56. Here in Berkeley, CA yesterday we actually had people with multiple face-piercings and spiky purple hair picketing Whole Foods, where all the people with multiple face-piercings and spiky purple hair work. They were all so confused they were bumping into things.

  57. The thing with Wholefoods is that it will lose shitloads of money if healthcare passes. If people can afford real medication for their diabetes and bacterial infections, they won’t spend $20 on herbal and holistic remedies.

    This guy is just protecting his profits. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that he’s lying about the reasons – instead of just saying that he needs that money, honey, he’s making up a bunch of bullshit. There’s no reason to believe the bullshit, however. New Rule: If someone makes more than 50% of their pay off the current dysfunctional healthcare system, ignore them when it comes to this debate.

  58. [re=388331]slowuncle[/re]: Um, I think that Whole Foods is at least a couple blocks away from Powell’s. It’s definitely not where the old Weinhard’s brewery across the street was, I think that turned into a restaurant.

    Btw, Powell’s is the best fucking bookstore in the US northwest. I’m glad they got their union problems (uh, problems with unions) worked out.

  59. [re=388135]Judas Peckerwood[/re]: Hits the leadoff pitch. I won’t set foot at Whole Paycheck because it’s rife with smug yuppie assholes who are willing to pay five bucks for a head of what we used to call “lettuce,” and then shit on the earth with their mini van’s ginormous carbon footprint. Fuck ’em, each and every last one of ’em. And your kids’ soccer camp, also.

  60. [re=388331]slowuncle[/re]: I’m still in Portland. Haven’t walked by that Whole Foods for a while, but it never seemed all that busy, even in better times. I’m glad to hear it’s been dead there since last week. People have short memories, though…

    [re=388423]qaf[/re]: Yes, as far as I know all is copacetic between union and management at Powell’s. For now. And it *is* an amazing bookstore.

  61. [re=388456]Todd Mecklem[/re]: Thanks for the reassurance, I was afraid you’d tell me otherwise, and that would have ruined my whole day (or more).

  62. I’m not going to boycott WF for what the CEO said, because it is partly true; however, I will shop there when this great depression is over, and my house finally gains some equity so that I can take out a loan and go shopping for a month’s worth of tomatoes at $107.34 per pound.


  63. [re=388297]Terry[/re]: Um.. that’s the norm here in Alabama. It’s also the reason I shop at Target instead. Also, Walmart just puts me in a generally pissy mood by default.

  64. The WF ass-kissing of hipster wannabes is deft: ‘conventional’ vegetables vs. ‘organic’ vegetables. Translation: Uncool vs. Progressive or Outrageously Priced vs. Preposterously Priced. Aren’t you glad there are so many big chain stores?

    I now sigh with a heavy meh.

  65. [re=388534]CARCUNTZ!(tm)-R-Us[/re]: …and after the swamp things I saw in southern Plaquemines Parrish (Venice) gnawing on nutria parts, I’m surprised it’s not the norm there in Houma.

  66. [re=388628]CARCUNTZ!(tm)-R-Us[/re]: but I suppose they are a bit more refined that I give them credit for. It was organic nutria…

  67. There’s a Hormel meat-packing plant where the vermillion river meets the intercoastal and the locals drop off thousands of nutrias there every day in peroles or station wagons, etc. Not sure what they pay for them per pound, not much I assume.

    Just in case you’re a fan of potted meat, or Vienna sausages. It makes sense because everybody eats rats in Vienna.

    Like when it’s mideval times and they are under seige

  68. Michelle Obama’s demi-organic (notwithstanding the human shit sludge-residual, from the mid-90’s) veggie allotment hell-mound makes Mackey Go Go Galter!

  69. There are a million reasons not to shop at whole foods, and this hardly seems like one of the most compelling. WF is a corporate parody of the alternative food movement, which in and of itself is sort of lame, but hey, it was going to happen sooner or later. But the upshot should be this: a store with a massive national distribution network that buys in bulk should have lower prices. That’s just simple economies of scale.

    Somehow, though, even relatively common thinks like fake-meat nuggets cost about 30% more at whole foods than at Woodman’s, a warehouse-style employee-owned chain in Wisconsin, and cost more even than local co-ops, which don’t benefit from scale at all. This in spite of being aggressively anti-union, which again, you would think might drive down overhead. Whole Foods’ cachet comes almost entirely from aggressive marketing practices and a reputation for quality that is entirely and completely unwarranted.

  70. Let’s boycott Journaltard Matt Yglesias:

    Democrats are backed by the exciting categories of unskilled workers, professionals, routine white collar workers, and people with part time jobs.

    Last time I checked, Republicans had all of the sour faced, bitchy looking, clueless, pasty white women wearing too much makeup and underwear.

    No wonder the right wing is so constipated . No one’s getting laid without paying.

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