Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Congratulations Whole Foods Market – Whole Foods supports Organic Farmers

Flavors are more intense, the colors are brighter, sights and sounds engulf our senses. A feeling of calm surrounds as we walk through the hills of Tuscany. The wine, so simple, explodes of chocolate or cinnamon as it coats our mouth. A sliced tomato with mozzarella and olive oil becomes our favorite meal. Italy intrigues us, it is not immediately clear why, but it does.

Italy is about balance, balance in lifestyle, balance in family, balance in food. Thousands of years of experience has taught moderation, patience and balance. It is evident in the street markets where local farmers sell their daily production of fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats. The result is a tomato that smells like a tomato and its simple flavor seems to be the best we have ever tasted or eggs with a yolk so intense it tends toward red.

In a surprising move, at least for me, Whole Foods expressed the concept of true enlightened self-interest. Whole Foods has dedicated $10 million in loans for small farmers to promote local agriculture. On the CEO’s blog he defines the scope of the program:

"… wherever we have stores through long-term loans at low rates of interest.

Select Regional and Store Buyers will be empowered to extend these loans to help support smaller scale agricultural entrepreneurs. This money will be used to help local producers of grass fed beef, goat milk dairies, organic pasture based eggs, animal compassionate dairy cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep, pigs, etc.

Some of the money will also be used to help support local vegetable farmers as well.
It is Whole Foods Market's intention to help finance local agriculture all over the United States. We are going to "walk our talk" with financial support for local, small scale agriculture.”

In addition to the financing local Whole Food stores will host farmer’s markets on Sundays. It would seem strange to reference a local initiative when writing about Italy, however I find this program to be innovative. This is a step towards a better and healthier life for our future generations. Yes, a small step in light of the US economy but, it is progress. So from one consumer, thank you.



Blogger Primal said...

I've always loved whole foods. I skip the meat/dairy of course but I use them for much!

3:39 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Michelle You may know that I am generally not impressed with chain stores. I believe their distribution and sourcing channels trade-off quality for price and the one who ends up paying the price is the consumer but I was impressed with this program.

Michelle writes a blog about healthy eating. Holistics took hold in Italy in the late 70s and have been strong ever since. I think this is the way of the future as we understand more about the relationship between food, health and quality of life.

3:57 PM

Blogger theothermichelle said...

Hi David, I wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog and for the comment.

I was reading your profile and was wondering, do you miss Italy and do you go back and visit sometimes?

Okay, your blog is making me hungry. Gotta go see what's out in the kitchen now. :)

Michelle from My Underground Secret Society

7:22 PM

Anonymous Sue said...

I have surfed through your blog a few times now and have found it to be informative and entertaining! You have definitely made me want to spend some time in Italy!


8:07 PM

Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I have switched to organic eggs a couple of years ago and there is no going back. The colour and flavour is out of this world! Small price to pay for quality.

11:32 PM

Blogger a.c.t said...

I always find that the yolk in Italian eggs are always very red. Is it because of the corn they ate? (Chicken is also very yellow).

1:44 AM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

All the more reason to shop at Whole Foods!

2:25 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

TheotherMichelle I found your post quite interesting. Michelle write a blog that touches on a variety of subjects from politics to clothes.

Your questions are somewhat difficult to answer in a few lines:

1) I love Italy, I miss Italy, just as I love it here in the US and I missed it while I lived in Italy. Each country has good and bad.

2) Yes, I do return often. I help US companies sell products in Italy and Italian companies sell products in the US.

Sue You are very kind. I do hope you have an opportunity to visit Italy soon, until that time I hope to offer some thoughts to stimulate the imagination.

ChickyBabe Price Quality is one of the hardest concepts for most people. I think this is because the inherent costs of low quality things are not immediately evident. I believe your decision for the organic eggs is a good one both short and long term. But I would expect that from a chicky!

ACT Local eggs are usually tending toward red, the super-store eggs are becoming more and more like US eggs. The intensity of the color is due to the variety of things the chicken eat, local chickens are usually free-range while super-store eggs are from the big farms.

Jennifer I usually do not write about a company but I found this to be a really good program.

6:34 AM

Blogger ChickyBabe said...

That made me laugh David! :) To be honest, it completely didn't cross my mind, and I usualy make some reference to my name when it comes to chicken and eggs!

10:59 PM

Blogger Mr. Food Markets said...

RE: "In addition to the financing, local Whole Food stores will host farmers markets on Sundays," please note that this is only at certain Whole Foods that are "stand-alones" - i.e. don't have other stores adjoining them. Here's some more info about Whole Foods and also farmers markets.

7:37 PM

Blogger Mr. Food Markets said...

And now for links that actually work...

Whole Foods

Farmers Markets

7:43 PM


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