4 Stories That Will make You Think twice About Shopping at Whole Foods

Have you ever seen Whole Foods mentioned online for anything good?  Ever?  It almost makes you feel bad for the company when the best press they get is just being made fun of for dumb products they sell or jokes about the stereotypical kind of hipster tree huggers who might shop at their stores.  At least they’re not stories designed to make you angry.

In the latest and greatest from Whole Foods, a 70 year old lady bought about $60 worth of groceries, so like 3 things.  She forgot she had a piece of cheese in her cart under her bag because she’s 70 years old and that’s what 70 year olds do.  So she made her way out of the store without paying for it.  Now sure, this is a situation you may need to judge on a case by case basis.  “I forgot” is an easy excuse if you’re trying to smuggle stuff out of the store.  But if you have an elderly lady who paid for all the rest of her groceries, maybe shops here all the time, maybe isn’t some kind of cheese cartel kingpin, maybe you just say “hey ma’am, you forgot the cheese.”

Instead of a “hey ma’am,” the security force at Whole Foods took Marge Dooley back into the store where she was photographed, interrogated and subsequently banned from all Whole Foods for her blatant cheese skullduggery.  And, as is the case with nearly every story these days, that would have been how it stayed if it didn’t take off on social media and force the company to grow a pair of balls and/or a conscience.  After the crapstorm, Whole Foods apologized and then fired the firm they had been contracting for security.  Because you’re only wrong if you get caught and then enough peple hear about it.  Otherwise, who gives a damn.

But like I said, this isn’t the only terrible Whole Foods story out there.  You might recall a few months back when investigators discovered Whole Foods has a penchant for terrible price gouging.  And that doesn’t just mean charging $5 for an artisanal grapefruit, it means making a quinoa salad and saying it’s 10 oz when really it’s only 8.  Investigators independently weighed 80 different food items across 8 Whole Foods stores in New York and found not a single one had the correct weight labelled on it and most were overcharging.

Whole Foods wasn’t the only store that gouges customers this way, and the store itself denies it completely, but apparently of all the stores investigated, Whole Foods was the worst with price increases ranging for 80 cents extra for pecan panko to $14.84 extra for coconut shrimp.

Since 2010, New York Whole Foods have been cited for over 800 violations across 107 inspections by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

In terms of business practices, a lot of people took issue with the fact Whole Foods has padded its profits thanks to prison labor.  All their farm raised tilapia and goat cheeses are provided to you by the caring hands of Colorado prison inmates who make the equivalent of $1.50 an hour.  Which isn’t to say inmates deserve more, but maybe people paying premium prices for food deserve food not made by prison labor.  Only recently, again after it became news, did the company decide to change policy and no longer use prison labor. 

And, let us never forget, the most ridiculous thing Whole Foods has ever done and a shining example of how it treats you, the customer, is this stupid thing.

A $6 bottle of water with asparagus crammed in it.  Just ridiculous.