By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Whole Foods and “cow splatter”

In my latest for the Guardian, I argue that if you’re going to pay twice as much to shop at Whole Foods, the least you can expect is hamburger that doesn’t come from an industrial processing plant that’s been in trouble with the government for years.

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  1. LaReinaCobre

    Grr. I read your article – I am very disappointed! I am at least relieved to know this has only been the case since April 2008, but still – if the recall hadn’t happened, would we even know? Probably not.I buy meat from Whole Foods specifically because it SAYS no hormones, free range, etc. WTF?

  2. Howard Owens

    I never heard of the term “localvore” until two weeks ago, but … we shop for meet from a local butcher, milk from a local dairy, bread from a local bakery, veggies from the local farmers market.Why? The food is better.Localvores will tell you it’s better for the environment and the local economy. I just like the food.Whole Foods — what’s the difference between that and Vons/Safeway, etc.?

  3. Dan Kennedy

    Howard: What’s the difference? There are a lot of differences. Certified humane treatment of animals. No hormones. No pesticides. Whole Foods isn’t perfect, but let’s not get carried away.Even in the breakdown involving Nebraska Beef, no one has suggested the cattle were treated inhumanely before their arrival at the slaughterhouse, or that they were pumped up with hormones, antibiotics, etc.

  4. jvwalt

    I agree that Whole Foods is in a different league from the big chain supermarkets, but… — At their prices, we should be able to expect nothing but top quality and a greater degree of care. — When you’re a national chain like Whole Foods, your supply chains start getting convoluted. If I remember the story correctly, WFM didn’t know it was getting meat from Nebraska Beef; it was a WFM supplier who contracted with NB. It’s like the “natural organic” snack food maker that got caught in a recall last year because its supplier was using a supplier that bought one ingredient in China — which turned out to be tainted. That’s your argument for going localvore: even outfits with the best of intentions can run afoul of supply-chain screwups.

  5. eoin

    Buy your meat at Shaws or at Whole Foods? You left out door #3: not buying meat.If you’re concerned about the suffering of pigs and chickens, about saving money, and about dietary health then going veg is undeniably the best choice.

  6. Aunt Nancy

    It’s not surprising that Whole Foods would have the same types of problems that other less fancy markets that also sell ground beef would have. Mass production is mass production.When in doubt, do what my dad (obm) always did: buy a nice chuck or boneless sirloin steak and have it ground up at the market. That way you avoid what typically causes this type of contamination – ground beef made out of 50 different cows.

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