Organic food and the environment in Whole Foods Market

Organic food

Organic food and the environment in Whole Foods Market

Since they started, it was all about natural food and later organic food as well. John Mackey and Renee Lawson borrowed from family and friends to open a small store in Austin Texas, and sell vegetarian natural food in 1978.

Later in 1980, they opened the Whole Foods Market by merging their business SaferWay with Clarksville’s Natural Grocery. So, they included meat products as well. And they kept expanding until in 2017 Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market which became a subsidiary for $13.7 billion. However, although their focus is to provide healthy natural and organic food, they also care so much about the environment.

In this short blog post, I will summarize Whole Foods Market’s efforts to help the planet based on facts they show on their website. Let’s begin with its efforts to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Whole Foods Market Reduce, Reuse and Recycle while selling Organic Food

People in Whole Foods Market are doing things differently in their stores which are in hundreds. And not only the stores, but they also reduce, reuse, and recycle in offices, warehouses, and other facilities. They compost all their waste. Of course. Because most of their waste is from natural compostable resources.

They use recycled paper in printing and packaging. And they have no single-use plastic in any of their stores at checkout since 2008, as per their website.

They offer affordable reusable grocery bags, and they reuse dishes in their dining areas. I know that’s not good in the pandemic era, but that’s a practice that they follow since before the pandemic. Moreover, they have bins to collect items that need recycling like batteries, toothbrushes, and cell phones. They recycle many types of material like metal, plastic, paper, and glass.

They have low-flow toilets, and they collect rainwater for purposes that are not related to human consumption. And finally, they reduce their carbon footprint by requesting from their team members to use public transportation and carpooling.

Now, let’s talks a little about the Organic stuff.

What about Organic Farming?

Organic Farming
Organic Farming

When Whole Foods Market says organic, it starts with organic farming. And it is not similar to conventional farming. It has high standards and many requirements to keep operations going. And that’s without using any unnatural materials or procedures.  Organic farming must eliminate the use of toxic materials and maintain soil fertility without using unnatural components. And farmers are doing this in many ways.

For example, organic farming includes crop rotation to ensure the same farming land is used for different crops, not only one crop all the time. And this practice increases soil nutrition and fertility. And it shortens or eliminates the lifetime of harmful insects.

Organic farmers also use cover crops for soil protection and prevention of weed growth. This also helps the useful soil organisms to live, and work on reducing or eliminating harmful ones.

Animals in Organic farms are treated very well and live in a healthy environment. Farmers feed them organically and provide them access to fresh air and clean water. And of course, they don’t use growth hormones or antibiotics. However, they allow only some essential vaccines. In fact, the excellent treatment for animals helps to keep them healthy. And this leads to less need for treatment with antibiotics or other medicines.

Certified Organic Grocery Store

Although they do not have to, Whole Foods Market is the only certified national grocery store. The USDA does not require it to get organic certification to sell organic food. But people in Whole Foods Market go the extra mile because they believe in providing high-quality organic food. And they want every aspect of their operations to follow this commitment. In this matter, they do more effort than normal to meet the certification requirements.

They care about how the food is sourced, grown, handled, and stored. And how they keep it organic in Whole Foods Market stores. Their team of buyers looks for high-quality organic suppliers who meet their standards. And they regularly check if these suppliers keep following the standards or not. And they maintain long term relationships with their high-quality suppliers. One of these suppliers in Rainier Fruit which is working with them for 15 years, as of the time of writing this blog.

They make sure those suppliers are following organic farming practices and standards. One of these practices is that the land should have at least three years since the last time the supplier used fertilizers and pesticides. Also, organic suppliers have organic certifiers check them on a yearly basis to make sure they follow the USDA’s organic standards. One example of these standards is that organic produce should be separated from non-organic produce.

Even in the Whole Foods Market store, people make sure organic food doesn’t mix with other conventional food or produce. They use specific tools for organic food – like cutting surfaces – while preparing food in their kitchens.

Do you like organic food now even more?

So, I understand that most of us believe organic food is a fancy word. Or that is is a commercial thing that brands use to sell more products with a higher price tag. However, when you read the Organic label on food products, you should know that people behind it are doing a lot of effort to make sure that the stuff that goes into your system is healthy. No unnatural components or chemicals are touching the food you eat from organic sources. And this is priceless.

If you believe your health is cheaper than 16 ounces of Organic Strawberry. Then why you have reached this far in reading this blog post? Wait, wait, wait! I know why.

Because you care about your health, and you love the fact that somebody cares about it as well. It doesn’t matter if you pay a little extra to reward people who work hard so that you can eat food that’s good for your health.

Now you know a little more about Whole Foods Market. And how they consistently keep doing great efforts to help you and the environment which leads to a better and sustainable future. So next time you need food, will you consider ordering organic food from Whole Foods Market? Or you still think otherwise? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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