Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Market for Organic? Be Sure to Read the Label

My friend Julie Gelfat just shared this video with me about the questionable promotion of some of Whole Foods 365 brand "organic" products, which it turns out came from China. The story was produced a couple of years ago by WJLA, an ABC affiliate. But even now, if you look at the Whole Foods website, you'll find a page that explains their sourcing and defends their practice of buying from China:

"We only discriminate when it comes to quality and taste, not country of origin.

Whole Foods Market continues to buy from China because we believe in supporting farmers that provide high quality products.

  • Our strategy is not to run away from our Chinese suppliers, but to take a stand and get closer to our suppliers. We will continue to improve on the audit and testing procedures that are already in place.
  • Organic farming has a long history in China.
  • Our strategy is to build long term partnerships with our Chinese suppliers.
  • We are confident in the quality and integrity of our products from all countries, including China."
Whether you agree with Whole Foods' position or not (and I'm curious about how you feel about buying food that comes from China and other countries), this is an example of why reading labels -- and understanding them -- is so important.

Take a look:

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