While Whole Foods Market, founded in 1980, has been a leading retailer of organic produce in the U.S. for decades, the company has faced its share of criticism; in later years being accused of operating more like an industrial organic company rather than a local distributor of high-quality organic food.
In 2007, it bought its chief rival Wild Oats — an acquisition initially challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, which said the merger violated federal antitrust laws and provided Whole Foods unilateral market power that could raise prices and lower quality. The issue was eventually settled by selling off the Wild Oats brand and more than 30 physical store locations.1,2
Amazon Now Owns Whole Foods
Last year, Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market and its 465 stores, a $13.7 billion deal that had food manufacturers quaking in their boots, while organic producers worried the deal might compromise and dilute organic food standards even further.3 The acquisition went through on August 28, 2017.4 Within two days of the merger, Whole Foods’ store traffic rose by 25 percent. Within the first month, Amazon made $1.6 million off its online sales of Whole Foods private label products.
But while the success story of Whole Foods continues, questions about whether it’s really socially commendable to shop at Whole Foods have festered well over a decade.5 The company has faced well-deserved criticism for its effects on employees by refusing unionization, the environment due to its limited supply of local produce, and its selling of questionable products such as items containing MSG and rBGH, making label scrutiny a necessity even here.
Like most large corporations, it has shareholders to contend with, and the company has been accused of cutting corners to make a profit on more than one occasion. This trend is unlikely to change with Amazon at the rudder. As a matter of fact, while Whole Foods has spent the last five years promoting its promise to implement a comprehensive labeling policy6 for genetically modified organisms(GMOs) — a promise that has been a major selling point to entice customer support — that plan has now been laid aside.
Whole Foods Reneges Its Promise to Implement GMO Labeling
As reported by New Food Economy,7 Whole Foods’ GMO labeling policy was scheduled to take effect September 1, 2018. However, in a May 18 email, Whole Foods president and CEO A.C. Gallo announced the company’s labeling requirement is being “paused” in response to concerns from suppliers about having to comply with both Whole Foods’ rules and those proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The public comment8 period ended July 3 and the final rule is expected to be delivered July 29.
“As the USDA finalizes the federal regulation in the coming months and the food industry assesses the impact, we do not want our Policy to pose further challenges for you and your business,” Gallo writes. As reported by New Food Economy:
“As currently proposed, the USDA policy would make several substantive changes to the way GMOs have traditionally been defined by the food industry — starting with the terminology itself. The government’s preferred nomenclature is “bioengineered” (BE), which only refers to a food that has had another organism’s genes spliced into it by a process called transgenesis.
Other types of genetic modification, including some produced by gene-editing tools like CRISPR, would not need to be labeled. As currently written, Whole Foods’ requirements would be more stringent than the proposed USDA rules in at least two significant ways.
First, USDA has suggested letting companies label BE ingredients by QR code, meaning that customers would need to be directed to a website via smartphone to find out what’s in their food … Whole Foods has never planned to allow QR codes to count as GMO disclosures …
Second, USDA rules contain perplexing carveouts for meat products, which are regulated under a different system9,10 … Whole Foods now faces a choice: It can move forward with its original plan, or defer to the government’s less comprehensive new rules.”
Is Whole Foods Committing Fraud?
As noted by New Food Economy, “All this begs a question: Is Whole Foods softening its commitment to GMO-labeling transparency?” The company promised its customers it would lead the way by labeling food sold in its stores in a clear and transparent manner. In fact, it was the first national grocery chain to make such a commitment, and many have patiently waited for the implementation of this promise, as it would set a new, higher standard for others to follow.
Transparent GMO labeling is also what more than 8 in 10 Americans want.11 If Whole Foods ends up adopting USDA rules, many GMO-containing foods will remain unlabeled, which is nothing short of unacceptable, especially for a company that claims to be a leader among organics. As noted in the featured article, “It would mean that a company that’s long claimed the moral high ground would be no more transparent, as far as GMO labeling goes, than any other grocery store.”
Whole Foods assured New Food Economy that it remains “committed to providing our customers with the level of transparency they want and expect from us and will continue to require suppliers to obtain third-party verification for non-GMO claims.” But if that’s the case, why has no new deadline for its GMO labeling been announced?
March 8, 2013, Whole Foods issued a statement saying, “by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores12 must be labeled to indicate if they contain GMOs. Whole Foods Market is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. ‘We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know,’ said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market.”
To me, it seems incredibly disingenuous to mislead and lie to customers for five years with a promise to be the first to really do the right thing, and then not follow through just because the government is working on rules that in no way, shape or form fulfill customers’ expectations of transparent labeling. It is my sincere hope that some of you will be angered enough to file a class-action lawsuit against them for this injustice.
USDA Bioengineered Labeling Is a Joke
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its proposal13 for the labeling of foods containing GMOs May 3 — a bizarre, or to use the word of Sierra Club, “Orwellian,” rule that appears to misdirect and create unnecessary confusion on purpose. Perhaps most problematic is the fact that it’s not clear whether “highly refined foods” will be included in the standard. Not only are a majority of foods sold in grocery stores highly refined, or contain highly refined ingredients, but these foods are also the most likely to contain GMOs.
If highly refined foods will not require GMO labeling, the labeling requirement will be essentially useless, as very few whole foods are genetically engineered. Another significant problem is the absence of the phrases “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered” on the label. Not even the now well-recognized household word “GMO” is to be found anywhere on the USDA’s GMO label. Instead of calling it what it is, and what people now are most likely to understand, the USDA is using the word “bioengineered” or BE for short.
This is a misleading phrase for the simple fact that it sounds far more natural than it is; closer to biodynamic than genetically modified. The proposal also does not address whether foods produced using newer forms of genetic engineering, such as gene editing, CRISPR technology and synthetic biology, will need to be labeled, and/or whether they would require another type of label to distinguish them from in-vitro DNA techniques.
Adding insult to injury, the logo itself is clearly designed to impart a false impression of GMOs as being natural and wholesome. The proposed logo (two versions of which are included here), is the word “be” inside a smiley-face sun. The whole thing smacks of biotech promotion and misdirection. As stated by George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, “We would support a little circle that said ‘GE’ or ‘GMO’ — something neutral that’s not pro-biotech propaganda.”
Last but not least, the proposed rule does not even include the requirement to use a standardized icon. Rather than mandating an easily recognizable icon or logo, companies would have the option of using:
•The smiley sun logo (above)
•Two other “BE” logos (see the proposed rule document14
•Adding a sentence along the lines of “Contains a bioengineered food ingredient” without logo
•Simply including a QR code directing you to the company’s website for more information about the ingredients, which will require you to have a smartphone and reliable connection inside the store, something which one-third of Americans don’t have.
As a result, the use of QR codes has been criticized as being inherently discriminatory against rural, low-income and elderly populations.15 Internet and smartphone availability really should not be a criterion for getting information about what’s in the food you’re holding in your hand and contemplating buying
Why Rename What Everyone Already Knows?
A solid decade has been spent educating Americans about genetically engineered (GE) foods and foods containing GMO ingredients — what they are and that they exist in the first place. With this in mind, the USDA’s decision to ditch the terms GE and GMO and replace them with BE seems extremely suspect.
As noted by Sophia Kruszewski, senior policy specialist with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the timing is even more suspect “since many companies have responded to consumer desire for transparency and started voluntarily labeling their products. [GMO disclosure] doesn’t seem to pose an enormous challenge.”16
The only reason I can come up with for unnecessarily complicating matters is that the USDA is assisting the biotech industry by making the labeling as obscure as possible. And, if Whole Foods decides to just follow along with this opaque and nonsensical strategy, it stands to lose consumers’ respect, not to mention trust.
Will You Remain Loyal to Whole Foods or Let Them Know How You Feel About Their Deception?
There are many problems associated with GMOs, from environmental problems to human health risks. As such, it’s really imperative for consumers to be fully informed about what they’re buying, especially when it comes to their food. Whether Whole Foods will fulfill its promise to lead the way by requiring GMO foods sold in its stores to be clearly labeled remains to be seen.
At present, it seems to have decided that making it easy for suppliers is more important than fulfilling its promise for labeling to its customers. If you’re a frequent shopper at Whole Foods, you may want to share your views with the company’s leadership. You can find company contact information on the Whole Foods Market customer service page.19
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
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This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
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Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
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And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.