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I Wish I Could Quit You

Written by Rebecca Maclean on 09 October 2012.

I’m through my first Nonsanto week, and holy crap is this hard. Let me repeat that – attempting to avoid GMOs in everyday life is really !@#$%^&* HARD. I did great the first day, but crashed and burned pretty quickly. It didn’t help that on day two, I had to get up for work super early to be home in time for the kid handoff so my husband could teach that night. Of course, I didn’t realize until I was halfway to work that I had forgotten to pack either breakfast or lunch for that day. So much for feeling smug and righteous in my food choices.

Now that we’re a week in, we’re settling in to a better routine. Dinners are usually Nonsanto – roasted chicken with CSA veggies, roasted mushroom soup with a side of late harvest CSA corn, etc. – with lunches either leftovers from the previous day or simple sandwiches with non-GMO cheese and tomato, and breakfast of local eggs and breakfast meats or organic steel cut oats. I’m doing my best to get over my distaste of leftovers, and have found that I’m using my CSA veggies faster (which is definitely a good thing).

missingI’ve also found that one of my best allies in this exercise is my grocery shopping adversary. I know I’m not alone in my love/hate relationship with Whole Foods Market. Where I live, it’s the closest major grocery store to my house – but it’s also significantly more expensive than the ‘regular’ grocery store. It’s a Mecca for liberal foodies – but its CEO is a vocal anti-union libertarian who thinks health insurance should have no government intervention, certainly not typical liberal views. It sucks me in with its serene shopping environment – but half the time I feel like a chump for shopping there.

For Nonsanto’s sake, it’s a good source of food for this month. Their store brand (365 Everyday Value) are sourced to avoid GMOs, and according to their website, are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project. The times I’ve been in the store actively looking for the Non-GMO Project label, it’s been easy to find. And their organic selection is one of the largest you can find around here.

I still feel a little dirty when I shop there, though. And I’m not the only one. Critics have described Whole Foods’ support of Proposition 37 as ‘lukewarm,’ and pointed out the hypocrisy of not financially supporting the Prop 37 campaign when they ponied up $180K to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. And the Cornucopia Institute (who just updated their Prop 37 poster of backers and opponents) also calls out Whole Foods for being ‘conspicuously absent’ in their financial support of Prop 37. For many, it feels like the company is talking out of both sides of their mouth – doing just enough to make the bleeding hearts feel like they’re supporting Prop 37, while not doing too much to anger their food supplies which may contain GMOs. I guess it’s too much to ask to have a company work in its customers’ best interests?

Sources for this post:

Whole Foods Market - GMOs

NPR story on John Mackey healthcare position

Non-GMO Project

Is Whole Foods Sincere About its Support for Labeling GMOs?

Whole Foods Lobbying –

Cornucopia Institute

Image: Cornucopia Institute


0 #1 christine cato 2012-10-09 09:19
I feel the same way. I try to avoid it as much as possible. Between the co-op, amazon, frankferd, CSAs and local farmers we do pretty well avoiding Whole Foods - but we still end up at TJ's sometimes - can't seem to break the need for (whole wheat) sandwich bread and granola bars that aren't $5 a box.

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