Generally speaking, whole or natural foods encompass anything unprocessed or unrefined, without additives like fat, salt or sugar. They may be grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and non-homogenized milk. Whole food is not necessarily organic, although they share many of the same agricultural techniques.
Some ardent vegans and vegetarians promote eating only natural, healthy foods and avoiding all genetically modified foods. Whole Foods is also the name of a grocery store chain specializing in “ethically responsible” food.
There are many benefits to eating whole and natural foods. As Whole Foods Market chairman John Mackey says, “There’s no inherent reason why business cannot be ethical, socially responsible, and profitable.” Shoppers can pat themselves on the back for helping the small organic farmer in America, versus foreign workers across the country.
Those who shop specifically at the Whole Foods stores can also feel good knowing that the lowest wage for employees is $13.15/hour, with benefits that include healthcare. Furthermore, no executive makes more than 14 times the employee average.
They’ve also purchased a year’s worth of wind power energy for their stores. Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats without hormones, preservatives, pesticides and other unnatural additives seem like the most basic components of a weight loss plan with whole foods .
On the other hand, there are some criticisms of Whole Foods Market and comparable organic stores. For instance, one banner proclaims “Our Commitment to the Local Farmer,” when in reality the “local farmer” lives in California. It’s a common misconception that “organic” and “local” are synonymous.
Given the cost and damaging effects of the energy consumption used in transport, should someone buy an “organic” banana from Costa Rica rather than a non-organic locally grown banana? It’s a real conundrum for those who want to “do the right thing, environmentally.”
Another common misconception is that “organic” means “small family farmer.” However, most of the organic farms featured at Whole Foods are from five or six conglomerates in California, which are hardly small operations.
Even though prices are high, the foods market is doing some things to promote thrift. To decrease spending, consumers can shop the sales, only buy as much food as they’re going to eat, buy snack food wholesale items and take advantage of promotional rebates.
They’ve also offered “Value Tours” of their stores to show consumers how to save a few bucks and include more money-saving tips on the company blog. “We’ve been nimble, and we’re really able to help our shoppers when they may have to shop with a budget for the first time,” said Whole Foods spokeswoman Kate Lowery.