Why Are We Boycotting Whole Foods?

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
Photo by Flickr user JOE M500

I’m honestly confused about why I’m not supposed to shop there. I understand that CEO John Mackey is kind of a libertarian goofball and that he’s recently expressed opinions about health care reform that are consistent with his goofball libertarianism.

But: is Whole Foods, as a corporation, lobbying against health care reform? I haven’t seen any reporting that this is happening. Are we honestly boycotting Whole Foods in an attempt to change John Mackey’s mind? That seems like a pretty unlikely outcome, and a pretty staggeringly disproportional tactic.

Who cares what the guy says in the Wall Street Journal? And why should I base my grocery shopping on it?

Why Are We Boycotting Whole Foods?

0 thoughts on “Why Are We Boycotting Whole Foods?

  1. meghan says:

    We should really be boycotting Whole Foods not because of the CEO and healthcare but because the overabundance and waste that those stores produce is astounding and kind of absurd.


  2. aaron cohen says:

    I wouldn’t call my aversion to Whole Foods a boycott, but I don’t like shopping there and try not to. A lot of my dislike has to do with the what feels to me like lifestyle marketing that they do. They’re not so much marketing a product or food, as a way of life/type of person. Which, I think, is why people feel betrayed and are calling for a boycott.


    1. No, I read the op-ed. I think that “a corporation with a stated intent of letting the uninsured continue to suffer” is an extremely tendentious description of Whole Foods. We’re to boycott Whole Foods, I take it, because we don’t like the content of Mackey’s op-ed, but what is the goal of the boycott? Generally, groups call for a boycott of a company to get the company to change its behavior. What behavior do we want Whole Foods to change? Are we saying we’ll boycott until they fire Mackey? Until Mackey sees the error of his ways and writes a new op-ed? What, exactly, are we trying to accomplish, and why is a boycott an effective way to do it?


  3. I’m boycotting my local Whole Foods as a show of solidarity with the millions of uninsured in this country. Firing Mackey would be a great, and would get me shopping there again, but I’m not looking for any particular action from the company. I just feel that giving profits to him would be a spit in the face of the many poor people going without medical treatments because they can’t afford them.


  4. @David: If you’d done your homework, you’d realize that Mackey doesn’t receive a paycheck from whole foods anymore, and therefore the boycott does nothing but *maybe* force them to fire him, but *definitely* cause a loss of sales which hurts the people who work there.

    Like someone else said: what is the goal? If you have no goal, what’s the point?

    You’re pissed off that some guy holds this opinion? it’s an opinion, dude! I think that a flat tax is better than a sales tax, are you going to boycott the place I work for pro-bono ?!?

    Clown shoes.


  5. @emdash: I’m guessing there are people out there who also feel the same personal outrage I do. Love the blog, by the way. Just discovered it today.

    @Daniel Roe: Well, it’s not like I’ve stopped eating altogether. I’ve taken my shopping elsewhere, thus supporting other workers.

    My goal is to not feel guilty about my shopping. I don’t like shopping at a place where the CEO actively supports causes I think will be harmful to this country. And of course he’s entitled to his opinion, as I am entitled to mine. Asking me why I no longer shop at Whole Foods is asking why I don’t buy Glenn Beck’s latest, even though such a purchase would surely help the bookstore’s employees.


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