We were reminded yesterday of the recent Whole Foods boycott that's been gaining steam in the past month. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial last month opposing the single-payer option of health care reform and claiming health care is not a "right," further perpetuating myths propagated by the for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
As James P. Hoffa aptly put it in the Huffington Post:
Like many wealthy conservatives, Mr. Mackey espouses anti-government views while benefiting enormously from government largesse.
The U.S. government put its full faith and billions of taxpayer dollars behind the credit markets that enabled Whole Foods to operate and expand their empire.
The food they sell would be prohibitively expensive were it not for enormous government subsidies of dairy products, feed grains, wheat, rice, peanuts and sugar.
Whole Foods suppliers like UNFI couldn't deliver truckloads of organic oranges from California without a government-supported transportation infrastructure.
The Austin Chronicle also has a great smackdown of Mackey's editorial.
In all fairness, Mackey's viewpoint is his own personal opinion and not the corporate stance of the company or its staff. Additionally, Michael Pollen has come out against the boycott, saying, "Mackey is wrong on health care, but Whole Foods is often right about food."
For those interested in helping "raise a ruckus" locally, folks will be boycotting the new Noe Valley Whole Foods location next Wednesday, September 30th.