WholeFoods and the Supermarket Pastoral Theme
Accordingto Pollan, supermarket pastoral is a most seductive literary formwhich tries to connect people back to the earthly creatures assources of food (137). Whole Foods, which is a chain store marketthroughout the U.S., understands supermarket pastoral more thananyone else. The stores have been designed to reflect thecommunities’ lifestyle they are located to identify with them(Whole Foods, Whole Planet, & Whole People 124). The store’sdesign reflects an environmentally friendly style. The stores haveutilized efficient lighting plans which aim at reducing theconsumption of excessive artificial light. Similarly, the designershave used renewable materials to design walls within the store (WholeFoods, Whole Planet & Whole People 127). All these associationsare meant to link environmentalism and the sale of organic foodstuff.The market uses its design to pass a message of environmentalsustainability to its customers who are closely associated with theuse of environmentally safe farming methods.
WholeFoods has recently introduced a rating system which offers itscustomers information as to how their food is grown (www.npr.org).The rating system termed as Responsibly Grown grades farm produce andflowers, with the intention of offering information regarding thelocation of the produce, as well as whether they are organic or not(www.npr.org). The grading system provides questionnaires to itssuppliers who pay a fee to access the program. Some of thesequestions include how they conserve energy in their farms, themethods of soil and water conservation, how they treat employees, aswell as whether they limit utilization of pests (www.npr.org).Different categories exist within which suppliers can fall: Best,Better, Good, or Unrated. The grades are always stuck next to theproduce bin with the words “Responsibly Grown.” As Pollan putsit, Whole Foods tries to identify its produce to the farm animalswhich individuals read in children’s story books (137). Notably,Whole Foods tries to create a connection between organic farming andchildhood memories of organically produced foodstuff in farms.
Labelson Whole Foods’ products is an essential strategy in the marketchain. The chain store tries to gain consumer trust by informingtheir customers on where their products. One of Whole Foods’ labelsis “organic” because they have certification. It is a requirementin the U.S. that all the goods labeled as “organic” receiveaccreditation from an agency within the USDA (United StatesDepartment of Agriculture) (www.wholefoodsmarket.com). According toWhole Foods, there are three types of organic labels: 100% organic,organic, and made with organic ingredients(www.wholefoodsmarket.com). In 2013, Whole Foods pledged to label allits products by the year 2018 as for whether they contain GMOs(genetically modified organisms) or not (www.justlabelit.org).However, the only problem is that Whole Foods contradicts itself byassociating with both industrialization of organic products, and thepastoral concepts it claims to hold (Pollan 138).
WholeFoods uses environmentally friendly materials for packaging. They tryto use the highest recyclable content without affecting their abilityto function properly. It is important to note that the chain storehas listed obsolete packages which contain any amount of chemicalsand therefore, should not be used in the packaging process. Some ofthese chemicals include Polyvinyl Chloride film, polycarbonates,Acrylic, among others (Whole Foods 1). The packaging inclines towardsenvironmental sustainability to offer validation of the organicproducts. Pollan asserts that the inclusion of industrialization willrob the worth of organic (139). Although Whole Foods has shown effortin linking their products to organic farming, industrialization isstill a shadow upon the chain store market.
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Pollan,Michael. TheOmnivore`s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition.Penguin, 2009.
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