Progressives Call For A Boycott On Whole Foods


Whole Foods Markets is under the microscope after shoppers found out that the trendy supermarket’s CEO holds conservative views about the government and on health care.

This week, Whole Food Markets’ CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed on the Wall Street Journal titled, “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare.” In the piece, Mackey makes clear his desire for a “smaller” government and his opposition to a universal health care system.

But Mackey’s politics are not something so new. Over the years many progressives have complained of Whole Foods’ anti-union practices such as firing workers who have tried to organize. They’ve also pointed out the store’s monopolistic business approach, which has resulted in hundreds of independent health food co-ops across the country being bought out by Whole Foods over the years. And, there are fierce complains about misleading information to customers about the company’s “responsible” brand, which they feel is nothing but a mirage.

A Facebook group has been formed, urging progressive shoppers to go elsewhere and boycott Whole Foods. According to the group’s description:

Whole Foods is NOT a company that cares for communities and they have built their brand with the dollars of deceived progressives. No more. My $ will no longer go to support Whole Foods’ anti-union, anti-health insurance reform, right-wing activities.

The Facebook group has already more than 7,500 members which are irate at Whole Foods’ CEO and are calling for his resignation.

To learn more about Whole Foods Markets’ practices, click here.

To visit the “Boycott Whole Foods” Facebook page, click here.

For Mackey’s op-ed on the Wall Street Journal go here.


35 Responses to Progressives Call For A Boycott On Whole Foods

  1. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1Mike Hunt
    August 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Progressives, communists…no difference. If they don’t like your positions, they’ll try to force you to accept theirs. Stupid and disgusting.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1james
      August 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm

      Gee, nice name Mike Hunt, what are you in 5th or 6th grade? For 8 long years the right has been bankrupting this Nation of ours with a War based on a lie to line the pockets of the Halliburton’s and the Blackwater’s, not to mention Wall Street and the Health care Insurance industry… there are too many to name. The right has shown itself completely inept to keep a huge inherited surplus we had in check… instead we are now forced to make tough decisions out of necessity. My thought is that the left isn’t being forceful enough and should RAM the medicine down our throats and get it over with. Someone has to play the roll of the adults here and stop throwing all our money into military defense…. I mean, are we expecting to go to war with the entire world at once? Because we spend more on defense then the rest of the world COMBINED. This great country of ours was lost a long time ago and people need to start doing their homework and STOP relying on what the phony news channels feed us… We have become sheep, pawns to the men with all the money that create and fabricate what we believe to be truth. Stop making this about the right and left, this polarization is making things 1000x worse than it has to be. If this country makes it through the next 100 years, it will be a gift from God.

      • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ben Dover
        August 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm

        Yeah, we should do our homework and realize that military spending is the only legitimate spending the federal government can do under the constitution.

        We should also do our homework and realize that it’s the insurance and drug companies who are funding the advertising for ObamaCare.

        Look it up if you don’t want to remain ignorant for the rest of your life.

        • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce Ericson
          August 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm

          Among other things in section 8 of the Constitution: The Congress shall have Power To “Establish Post Offices and Post Roads.” Like i told James… Bush and Obama are two sides to the same Fascist coin.

      • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce Ericson
        August 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

        James… Bush and Obama are brothers in arms. Both warmongers, both civilian killers. Who are you kidding? Obama signed the biggest Wal Street giveaway EVER. Dude. Wake up and smell the one party system!

      • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
        August 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

        You could not be more wrong. The “polarization” is the best thing to happen to this country. Obama was the best thing to happen to this country. A little advice, put down the talking points, you sound like a sheep. This is about right and left, as it should be. News flash – War Escalates in Afghanistan. Pull your nose out and get educated. And for god’s sake, man-up.

  2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Carl C
    August 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Conservatives, difference. They won’t accept change even when it is in their best interest. Stupid and disgusting. See, it can be said of any position, just change the key words.

    Now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you the reason I’m blogging here. Anyone who tells you in no uncertain terms that you “have” to adhere to their fanatical beliefs, no matter what they are, and that if you’re not one of “us” you’re one of “them,” is more than likely trying to pull the wool over your eyes to get away with something.

    Example, conservative Christians began boycotting Walmart, because Walmart gave to one diversity charity that they say aided homosexuals. (at the behest of Rush and the other mouthpieces). Now, it’s the liberals, saying they’ll boycott Whole Foods because its CEO is a conservative. IT’S THE SAME THING FOLKS. You decide as an individual who you want to boycot, or what you want for health care. Don’t let someone tell you what to think, and for cryin’ out loud, do your own research, don’t just complain about the status quo but be afraid to change what’s wrong.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1libhomo
      August 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

      I researched the issue carefully and decided to boycott Whole Foods. I will not shop there until Mackey is gone and until Whole Foods supports single payer.

  3. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1capitalkid
    August 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    The irony here is that this is what’s great about capitalism … if people don’t like it, they’re not stuck with it, and they can make that statement through boycotts. The market will inevitably change to serve the demands of the consumer.

    When you have government run *anything*, it doesn’t necessarily move with market demands, but rather with political convenience.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1redrockraven
    August 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    My wife and I have been shopping regularly at Whole Foods in Las Vegas for over 10 years. We sincerely thank the business CEO for providing his view of the health care issues facing the US. Since Mr. Mackey’s views appear to be a direct contradiction to the healthy living ideals that we have until now believed that their stores promote, my wife and I will be taking our business to another store.

    We do not intend to continue to support a hypocritical business that believes more in lining their own pockets and shortchanging their employees health plans than in promoting the health and welfare of their customers and employees.

  5. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1BKGRNG
    August 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Marin County California, I always shop at Whole Food because it is close to my office and home but No more. Thank’s for the article

  6. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1spinnikerca
    August 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I had heard of this boycott, so I told some of my friends, then I went to go shopping at Whole Foods. It is a littel further than my usual store, but well worth the trip, I felt. I agree completely that government use of mandatory compensation structures to doctors to enforce adherence to a government designed committee’s recomendations of ‘best practices/cost effective practices is absolutely unConstitutional and unAmerican. Whether ‘public’ plan or private plan, the government has designed the policies and there is very little room for a ‘private’ plan to be modified to serve the desires of customers. I don’t want ‘central planning’ over my health care.

    However, when I reached Whole Foods there was a line of cars to get into the parking lot that reached down the block and around the other side.

    I will have to go by later, but still plan to do so.

    I wonder if those who started this boycott have been following polls saying most oppose the health care take over? It seems to me this is going to bring quite a lot of additional traffic to Whole Foods.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
    August 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Cool…if all the leftists quit shopping at Whole Foods, it’ll be a better place to shop for us hard-working people who can actually read and comprehend what the founders of this country wrote in the Declaration and Constitution (and its 27 legal amendments). It’s amazing how the freaks shriek when they find out that the company is successful because of its capitalist approach. They must have thought utopia actually existed. Darn…reality strikes again.

    • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
      August 15, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      Now Mike, you are the first Repub I have encountered who could spell Constitution. Methinks you must have a polysci 101 text at your side or you had a Democrat write this for you.

    • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1paletadelima
      August 15, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      Constitution Party donor here.

      Every time a liberalista gets hit with a dose of reality and common sense, it’s like the “melt the witch” scene in the Wizard Of Oz. So I say: More buckets!! More buckets!!

      Where I work, we have two reception area freebies for our clients and visitors: a jar of candy treats, and a tray of pocket Constitutions. “Free! Take one! Learn your Constitution. It’s your civic duty.”

  8. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1AppleH
    August 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I agree with Whole Food CEO. Obama sucks. Great job for speaking your mind on this scary issue. We need more CEOs like you to defend our belief. I am 100% Republican and please Mr. Obama, take your healthcare ideas else where.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1hsr0601
    August 15, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Good News !

    A staff writer at The New Yorker and some experts have examined Medicare data from the successful hospitals of 10 regions, and they have found evidence that more effective, lower-cost care is possible.

    Please be ‘sure’ to visit for credible evidences !

    Some have followed the Mayo model with salaried doctors employed, Other regions, too, have found ways to protect patients against the pursuit of revenues over patient.
    And a cardiac surgeon of them said they had adopted electronic systems, examined the data and found that a shocking portion of tests were almost certainly unnecessary, possibly harmful.

    According to analysis, their quality scores are well above average. Yet they spend more than $1,500 (16 percent) less per Medicare patient than the national average and have a slower real annual growth rate (3 percent versus 3.5 percent nationwide).

    Surprisingly, 16 % of about $550 billion (the total of medicare cost per year) is around $88 billion per year, except for Medicaid (total cost of around $500 billion per year), medicare ‘alone’ can save $880 billion over the next decade.

    In addition, under the reform package, along with the already allocated $583 billion, the wastes involving so called “doughnut hole” , the unnecessary subsidies for insurers, abuse, exorbitant costs by the tragic ER visits etc are weeded out, the concern over revenue (below) might be a thing of the past.

    (( Net Medicare and Medicaid savings of $465 billion + the $583 billion revenue package = $1048 billion – the previously estimated $1.042 trillion cost of reform = $6 billion surplus – $245 billion (the 10-year cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts) = the estimated deficit of $239 billion ))

    In modernized society, the business lacking IT system is unthinkable just like pre-electricity period, nevertheless, the last thing to expect is happening now in the sector requiring the best accuracy in respect to dealing with human lives. Apparently the errors by no e-medical records have spawned the crushing lawsuits (Medical malpractice lawsuits cost at least $150 billion per year), and these costs have led to the unnecessary tests, treatments, even more profits so far. And in different parts of the U.S., patients get two to three times as much care for the same disease, with the same result.

    Thank You !

  10. -8 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert Rowley
    August 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Tucson, Arizona…I have shopped at Whole Foods once or twice a week now for the past couple of years. Thank you for this article. As of today, until the board of directors removes this CEO, I will no longer shop their stores. Tomorrow I’ll be printing the Boycott page and placing it on every single car at both of the Tucson Whole Foods locations.

    • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1dave
      August 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

      And if you place that paper on my car, I’ll call the cops and have you arrested for littering.

  11. +11 Vote -1 Vote +1Eli
    August 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve read many character attacks on Mackey and his company’s supposed anti-union, monopolistic policies, but I’ve yet to see a single rebuttal of his well-written argument for health care reform.

  12. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Jon
    August 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    The boycott is absurd.

    Did anyone who is boycotting READ the man’s article?

    Things like providing the same tax deductions for individuals that businesses get is just common sense.

    I guess when you make REAL suggestions and have REAL ideas, you must be boycotted for making REAL sense.

    We have 5 bills, none of which are binding, and no specifics EVER from anyone in the Administration or from congress, and his reform ideas are REAL reform that would actually work.

    Anyone knows that if you can give out 1000 slices of pizza for a set cost, giving out 1500 slices of pizza will cost more money. The only way around that is to make the slices smaller (rationing), or go with crappier ingredients. It’s not rocket science. What Obama is saying is that he can give out 1500 pieces of pizza, with the same quality, the same size pieces, for less cost than the 1000, PLUS he is going to give out 10,000 breadsticks (preventive healthcare) and you will have the same bill. It’s simply a flat out lie.

    I’m a veteran, and I’d pay out of pocket before resorting to going to the VA. Anyone who wants that care for everyone is mentally challenged. At least look at the man’s ideas before you boycott, then maybe you can maintain a little intellectual honesty.

    • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1lavrentii
      August 16, 2009 at 12:09 am

      Don’t you think we can save a bundle by eliminating the “insurance” companies? What do they do but take our health care dollars and give a thumbs up or down to you and me.

      I’ll accept that from a capitalist banker, but not from a greedy and uneccessary corporation deciding if I get healthcare services. They are in it to service their executives and shareholders. Don’t you see the conflict of interest here?

      Who needs them?!

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1Budman
    August 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Shop at PUBLIX, were shopping is a pleasure.

  14. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1D. Hills
    August 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I’m truly disturbed that those individuals claiming to be “progressives” are taking such a negative view of an alternative approach that, in my view, adds constructively to the healthcare reform debate.

    By their comments and actions, they don’t appear to want an intellectually honest debate. For them it appears to be a (juvenile), my way or nothing. Their solution indeed is not to debate or discuss the merits of the ideas put forth, but to instead threaten those with alternative views with a boycott, i.e., attempt to harm anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their own concept of healthcare reform, (unlimited healthcare for all no matter the cost or consequences…..Yes Virginia, money does go on trees…and…Deficits don’t matter).

    “A mind is like a parachute, it only functions when it’s open”. Sounds like these folks are headed for a hard landing.

  15. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1AC
    August 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    The combined Federal, State, and local government annual expenditure on health care is a bit over $1 trillion. For just over $900 billion per year, we can fully nationalize health care – providing universal health care (medical, dental, and vision care – not just medical care) to the entire US populace.

    We can cut government health care spending by $100 billion per year, and provide universal health care (via a US version of Britain’s National Health Service).

    • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1dave
      August 16, 2009 at 9:57 am

      No. All you will have is a 100 BILLION shortfall for those who the fed, state, and local government spend money on medically. The rest, who pay separately will have to make up the shortfall…because no one else will. You, buddy, will be paying for the shortfall because it sure won’t be those who are getting a lower quality health care…they’re dying out there.

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1AC
        August 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm

        Wrong Dave, just plain wrong. There will be no shortfall – a US version of the British National Health Service will be able to excise the pork from the current corporate system. Government spending is currently subject to the excessive prices charged by the corporate health care industry – this is why we get so little health care in exchange for so much spending.

        With a US version of Britain’s National Health Service, there will be no need for expensive marketing campaigns, no expensive lawsuits over fraudulent claim denials, no multimillion dollar salaries and obscene bonuses for overpaid scheming amoral, executives, no need for a massive staff of claim deniers, etc.. The US NHS will be providing health care – and we can do this for about $900 billion per year.

  16. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
    August 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm


    Planning a boycott because the CEO spoke his mind (and had some constructive ideas to offer whether you agree with him or not)? What country are you people in?

    I’m more inclined to visit Whole Foods since this article was posted.

    We need well thought out debate on this topic. Not knee-jerk reactionary BS.

    Read – Learn – Listen, then talk.

    You’re being lied to people. The only way to get real health care savings is through tort reform (like every other country in the world) – only the “progressives” have sold their souls to the trial lawyers and taken this off the table.

  17. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Donald
    August 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Ironically, the combination of high deductable insurance and health savings account Mackey advocates is the same system my wife and I decided to switch to when our HMO Blue premiums jumped 20% in one year as a result of the Massachusetts health care “reform”. The proposed Federal “reform” has all the “mandates” that forced up the costs in Mass plus several more besides. The president is correct in saying that health care costs are out of control and something must be done but congress is proposing nothing that would give the health care industry an incentive to find less expensive ways of treating patients. Preventing people from voting with their feet and dropping their health insurance makes things worse! The proposed “reform” offers something for every lobby but nothing for those of us who are expected to pay the bill.

    I am old enough to remember a time when everyone had liability insurance to protect them from the lawyers but no one needed health insurance to protect them from their doctors. Fifty years of health insurance has raised the cost of our health care from 2% of the economy to 16%. Getting people to use HSA’s for routine care would at least put some cost pressure back into the system.

    Henry Ford turned the car from a toy for the rich to a means of transportation that the common people could afford. We once had health care that we could afford as well. The people that could bring it back are business like Wallmart with their cheap generic drugs and CVS with their health clinics. The lobbyists in congress are determined to determined to prevent that and keep their cut of the economy rising. “Mandates” are a great way to ensure that.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1politicjock
    August 16, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I used to spend an average of $200 a week (or, about $10,000 a year) at Whole Foods. This week, after reading Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal I’ve decided to no longer shop at Whole Foods unless Mackey reverses his opposition to Obama’s health care reform or the Whole Foods board replaces him. I am shopping at Trader Joe’s instead.

    • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1capitalkid
      August 16, 2009 at 8:15 am

      Cool man — it’s your right to choose where you want to shop. Choices are great aren’t they! That’s why I tend to support a market based healthcare exchange solution rather than a “single payer system” used by all.

  19. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mercurus-unaffiliated
    August 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Progressives tend to focus their energies on expressing their feelings rather than realities. They ridicule solutions and shun debate if facts and reason are involved. Don’t waste your time trying to understand their motives, don’t waste your time following their lead; most often they advocate positions (regardless of merit) that are anti-Capitalism because they distrust the principles upon which its based: individual liberty, purposeful action, personal pride.
    What they don’t realize (or care to think about) is the fact that their “boycott” can only have an effect in a society that is the exact opposite of the socialism they advocate. Their “dream society” would (eventually) destroy what power they really have: free speech. Talk about suicidal!
    I say to Progressives that if you’re unhappy about the way things are but unwilling to provide reasonable solutions, do us all a favor and keep it to yourself.

  20. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Janet
    August 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    It’s not just Whole Foods we need to boycott. We need to hang on tight to all our discretionary dollars. No more purchasing anything we don’t absolutely need until they give us adequate health care reform. Hit them all in their pocketbooks. If we unite, we can overcome. Stay home. Eat at home. Wear your old clothes. Drive your old car. Watch TV. Wait. MLK and Gandhi both succeeded with this approach.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1Terry C, Death Panelist
    August 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    “Mike Hunt” is as dumb as these dingdongs.

    “PUBIC option”????

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Pd
    August 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    What does this have to do with the actual purpose of Whole Foods? Buying naturally grown food is hardly illiberal. We should be devoting our energies to boycotting agencies like Fox Media, which actively promote conservatism.

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