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Letter from a Whole Foods Worker Updated
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You may have heard about the nutroots boycott of Whole Foods, whose CEO John Mackey is an outspoken critic of Obamacare and advocates market-based alternatives.

Their food is pricey, but if you have a chance/opportunity to help counter the boycott, go out and buy a few Whole Foods items. I think it’s worth it.

Reader Tara, a Whole Foods employee, e-mailed me last night:

Hey Michelle, just got your book, and can’t put it down! But anyways, I’ve attached the lovely flyer that picketers from UFCW were hanging out at my Whole Food Market today. Thought you’d get a kick out of it!! I work for Whole Foods, and I am a long time loyal employee. I love our company, and our CEO! John Mackey stands for what he cares about and believes in! This company offers awesome benefits and puts us team members first! I had to email everyone this flyer and get the word about because this is ridiculous. Any help getting the work out that this is ridiculous would be great! I’m sure you probably know all about his craziness, so any help would be great! Thank you!

The flyer is quite a piece of work. Check out how they make Mackey look like a convicted criminal:

Headed to my local Whole Foods later today. Their 365 whole wheat naan is the best.


Update: From reader John…

Long time reader of your columns and web sites (and soon first time reader of your newest book).

A few quick points on John Mackey and Whole Foods. Nothing you don’t know or couldn’t have guessed…but I wanted to say them:

1. I have never shopped at Whole Foods. There wasn’t one where I grew up (North East Ohio) and there isn’t one where I’ve lived for 13 years, Montana (Bozeman).

2. If there was a Whole Foods, I’d shop there

3. I met John Mackey while I was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I had never heard of Whole Foods and didn’t know he was the CEO of a huge corporation until the 3rd day. Even then, I was clueless. John was just another hiker to me, and he said he “ran a grocery store”.

4. John struck me as generous, highly intelligent, well-read, independent minded and as a “doer”. I have never had better conversations in my nearly 40 years than I had with John on trail for those 3 days in April of 2005.

5. His two hiking companions (with whom he thru-hiked the AT in 2002) were not tycoons. One was a retired, older man nicknamed Irish. He was a bit sombre and reflective. The other was half as tall as the rest of us but huge in his kindness. His nickname was Cowboy. He broke horses in the panhandle of Florida and lived a sparse, hard-working lifestyle. He was bald, had the beginnings of arthiritis in his knees, never complained, and always smiled. Always. I will never forget his smile. It was the most honest and good-willed smile I have ever seen. The prhase “his smile lights up a room” is a perfect fit.

6. John had read Ayn Rand, he had a firm grasp of her main topics, disagreed with some of it and as we hiked mile after mile, we talked non-stop about her topics.

Well, anyways, I am rambling. I am pleased you posted about this debate. I knew John for 3 days on the Appalachian Trail–you get to know people very fast on such hikes, without all the buzz and distractions of everyday life (it’s why many of us become serial thru-hikers). I think he is a good man.

Here is a post from the Whole Foods forum, where people debate John’s Op-Ed. I haven’t had a chance to fact check it. I post there as Montana AT05. All the blind hatred of the Left is on display in many posts–but only from a select few.

The post below is from a guy named captusa1, entitled:

Do You Know Who You Are Boycotting?

posted at 8/21/2009 7:05 AM CDT

* Mackey lectures at Universities about the horrors of factory farming

* He says “Right now, Americans have to pretend factory farms don’t exist. They turn their eyes away, because there’s no alternative, there’s no choice. Once there is a choice, we will allow ourselves to be outraged.”

* He makes $1 a year and donates his stock portfolio to charity.

* He set up a $100,00 fund to help his employees with personal problems.

* He’s a vegetarian and his company will not buy from producers that treat their animals unethically.

* He flies commercial, rents the smallest cars, and stays in the cheapest hotel rooms – not because he’s cheap, but because he has no need for largesse

* He and his wife participate in yoga

* He gives over $1 million a year to animal welfare groups, education, relief work, and spiritual movements.

* Employees have full say in who they work with – a new employee must receive a 2/3 vote in order to make it past probation.

* Employees also vote on all company-wide initiatives

* There’s a salary book in every store – “no secrets” management believes everyone should know how much everyone else is making

* Executive salaries are capped at 14 times the lowest workers salary – If they want more money, everyone else has to get more money first

* Non-executive employees hold 94% of company stock options

* Pay is linked to team performance – profit sharing

* At least 5% of annual profits go to local charities

* Full-timers get 100% of their health care costs paid for – under plans the employees have selected

* “They just have a lot more respect for you as a person here” says an employee


And because he had a different idea about how the United States can fix it health care situation, none of this matters? He’s a caring person and many of you want to treat him like a monster. Why? Not because he opposes reform, but because he’s bringing more ideas to the table.

You people are despicable. If the country had more CEO’s like Mackey, this country would be a greater place

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Health care