It is amazing to me that the whole world seems to be waking up and realizing the problem with our food industry. It seems that conversations we couldn’t have just 10 years ago for fear our friends would think we were total “granola hippies” are happening more frequently. The awareness and connection between the rise in chronic illnesses and obesity is finally sinking in. In a recent and very interesting study, Ben Blatt of Slate Magazine revealed some interesting statistics about offerings at Wal-Mart vs. Whole Foods.
According to Blatt’s research, Whole Foods bans roughly 54% of Wal-Mart’s fare due to the presence, in its words, of “unacceptable ingredients for foods.” These 78 banned ingredients include everything from recognizable sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup to the tongue-tying dimethylpolysiloxane.
The choices being made by Whole Food and other natural grocers are now becoming much more mainstream and as a result, places like Wal-Mart may begin losing ground.
For example, it’s no surprise that shoppers would be hard-pressed to find a liter of Coke or bag of Doritos at Whole Foods, but Blatt discovers that even household brands ranging from Minute Maid lemonade to Cracker Barrel cheese are deemed unworthy for Whole Foods’ choosy clientele. Whole Foods claims these foods fall short of “safety, necessity, manufacturing methods and compatibility with our overall core values.”
97% of the soft drinks sold at Wal-Mart contain ingredients that Whole Foods considers “unacceptable.” If you ever wondered why a Whole Foods drink aisle makes you feel like you’re in a foreign country, well, there’s your explanation.
Wal-Mart’s “Great Value 100% Whole Wheat Bread” contains seven ingredients that Whole Foods scoffs at, including everything from high-fructose corn syrup to calcium propionate. Not one or two “unacceptable” items, but seven. All in a staple product that you have to imagine just flies off the shelves. We’re not talking about an obscure frozen dinner here; we’re talking about sandwich bread.
If consumers continue to become more educated through channels such as Natural News and other great sources of healthy living information, we can continue to demand real food from our stores and not ever have to settle for less. Let’s celebrate the wins and keep fighting the good fight for our health and the health of our friends and families.