Change is inevitable. It is the natural course of events. The dilemma is, what is the source of the power that controls change. And who does it serve?
It seems clear to me as I watch the de-volution at Greenlife in Asheville that “more is less”. The”moire” being the larger corporate entity bringing less quality (organics) and transparency. This sense of mine has a core belief that quality is life enhancing, quantity tends toward less life enhancement and a multiplication of “whatever” is produced or sold. The devil (or angel) is in the details.
I have watched closely as Whole Foods made the following changes at Greenlife:
Sweet baked goods were 90% organic, now 10% organic.
Deli section almost devoid of organic ingredients, celery, carrots, etc.
“Living Foods” items, which were the only deli items 100% organic, slowly changing week by week. Last visit showed 6 of 8 selections were non-organic.
Hot soups for take-out. Several selections were organic. There are now no organic soups available.
Deli Take-Out Section, with items like dips, sandwiches, sushi now nearly 100% non-organic.
The hot bar has changed dramatically. Much more selection (quantity), but Sysco Foods Inc. provides items for the bar. See article on Slate website for details on Sysco.
Labeling at the hot bar is such that I must ask each time I prepare a plate about every selection – none are labeled organic. Greenlife, before becoming “Whole” provided transparency by labeling organic items. At Earthfare an entire section (the salad part) is labeled organic and some selections like rice and quinoa are labeled organic. I can then assume the remainder are non organic.
Meat department… Before becoming “Whole” Greenlife signed all its fresh poultry with a provider id. Signs read “Rocky Jr”, or “Petaluma Farms”. No such labeling exists at the “Whole” so I must ask each visit. Recently my inquiry told me the provider had been changed from Petaluma to Bell & Evans. A check of B&E’s website checks it out as equal to Petaluma — free range…no antibiotics or growth hormones…all vegeterian feed. One important difference– B&E’ ships product air-cooled whereas Petaluma keeps in water. Air-cooled poultry does provide better taste and consistency. Plus, most water is filled with chemicals.
Whole Foods “365” brand of organic packaged products like almond butter, jelly, ketchup does give an organic product at a greatly reduced price. Here is where quantity and quality both show up, due to the corporate buying power. I purchased “365” brand organic ketchup at $1.99, nearest organic competitor was over $4.00. The more expensive product did use agave as sweetener which I would prefer, but I chose the organic “365” brand with organic cane sugar.
A gem of an organic section at Whole Foods is the fresh hearth-baked bread section. 5 to 6 selections, fresh-baked each day, all organic ingredients.
Speaking of bread I am noting such delineations as “flour”, “wheat flour” and, believe it or notk, “white whole wheat flour”! I c