I’m done, John Mackey

john mackeyI lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 30 years and came of age in Berkeley, where I went to college and where my daughter was born. I took for granted that eating healthful, organic food was my due, if not my birthright, in part because it was readily available. Near me was a food co-op, and I shopped there regularly.

When it was taken over by Whole Foods Market in 1990, I became a devotee. In fact, since then I have lived in several other states and have carried my devotion with me. I now live in Washington, DC, and for 13 years have shopped in every Whole Foods Market in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Several days ago, though, after listening to an interview with Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey, I decided I would never step foot in the man’s markets again. I’m done with him.

Mackey has been hawking his book Conscious Capitalism, and it was this he was meant to discuss in an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep. When asked what he thought about Obama’s health care law, however, he said it was a “fascist” program. In subsequent interviews elsewhere, he admitted this might have been a poor choice of words, but his contrition proved disingenuous as he went on to say that the law would raise his company’s costs and to suggest that, as a result, it would ultimately have a negative impact on healthcare coverage for his employees.

In 2012, Whole Foods Market reported earnings of more than $1 billion. Cashiers there start at $10/hour. I can’t abide corporate greed.

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