Whole Foods Boycott?!?!

August 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have heard about the boycott of Whole Foods mostly through 3rd person anecdotes.  This Mackey guy seemed like a total ass so I thought I’d read his op ed for myself. 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html

What I was surprised to discover is that Mackey doesn’t really claim that only rich people deserve healthcare, which is what the boycotters claim.  He basically asks, who decides that healthcare is an intrisic right more so than food or shelter?  He then goes on to state that based on the Declaration of Independence and the Constituation, it is not a right, neither is food or shelter.  This is, in fact, true.  We have a right to “life” based on these documents.  Now obviously one thing to keep in mind is that there were no HMO’s or real health care back then, in the sense that we were still in the dark about modern medicine. 

Mackey spends a lot of the article using Whole Foods as a positive example of what a business should be, in relation to health care.  They have a high deductible insurance plan for employees that work 30 hours or over per week.  The annual deductible is $2500 and they have health savings accounts that employees can contribute up to $1800/year.  As someone who is a in favor of health care reform, and also as someone who has never reached a salary of $30k, this struck me as not really that great of a plan.  I mean, I use my insurance for long term medical conditions, and for things that come up such as sinus infections, random foot tumors, etc.  If I had to pay the out of pocket $2500/year before my insurance started to kick in, I would be absolutely screwed.  I imagine the employees at Whole Foods would be in a similar financial situation, as I don’t think they make bank as a cashier or stocker.  Mackey may be really proud of his health care plan, and if you’re lucky enough to never get sick or need antibiotics or have any pre-existing conditions or cavities then sure, it’s ok.  But if you’re like me and have even minor pre-existing conditions, the occasional sinus infection, a yearly gyne exam (women have to do this!), and an unforseen foot tumor while making Whole Foods wages, then you are going to struggle.

Mackey goes on to say that people should take personal responsibility for their health, that many people are overweight and eat unhealthy and smoke and drink too much which leads to all kinds of deadly diseases.  He says that if we take care of ourselves and eat right and exercise and eat foods that are dense with nutrients we can reverse those deadly diseases and live well into our 90’s or even past 100.  Yeah, Mackey, that’s a really nice idea.  I agree that people should definitely take responsibility for their own health and try to be as healthy as possible.  But, in reality, there are countless ailments that are not caused by anything the person does or doesn’t do.  An 18 year old girl who gets Leukemia, a 22 year old who has muscular dystrophy and then is hit with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a college student with epilepsy who has to take medication to control his seizures.  Essentially, my point is that most people can’t afford to pay for cancer treatments or even medication out of pocket, but does that mean that they don’t deserve treatment because they haven’t earned it?  Absolutely not. 

In conclusion, I think Mackey is delusional and trying to blow his own horn by talking about how wonderful Whole Foods is for its employees.  But, of course he’s delusional, he’s a CEO. 

Will I boycott Whole Foods because of this article?  Probably not.  I don’t shop there much because of the high prices anyway.

 

I also want to address one more thing that has been driving me crazy lately.  I have talked to many people who keep saying that there is no nutritional difference between organic and non-organic.  Some people claim that organic is all a scam.  Organic isn’t about nutrition you uninformed twits – it’s about eating food that is free from chemicals like pesticides or growth hormones.  It’s about drinking milk from cows that aren’t injected with Bovine Growth Hormone which causes them to increase their milk production and is then passed on to the consumer – the long term side effects for humans are unknown, but I personally don’t want to drink milk with cow steroids in it.  Nor do I want to eat peaches or apples that have been sprayed with poison to keep bugs away.  People say you can wash it off, but it’s poison!  I’d really rather not, thank you very much.  Just wanted to clear that up.

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