Monday, June 12, 2006

What Is The Next Excuse For Hating Wal*Mart?

From Instapundit (see blogroll at left):

WITH WAL-MART SELLING ORGANIC FOOD and fair-trade coffee, what new reasons will the haters find for hating 'em? I'm sure they'll come up with some.


EllenK said...

Our local ABC affiliate ran a story on organic food, specifically using Whole Foods as an example. According to their literature, they buy from local farmers, buy food in season, don't use feedlots for cattle, etc. Well it turns out that the Big Organic Farms do many of the same things that the regular farms do. And as for buying locally, that doesn't happen very often. In short, the word "organic" has become just another advertising descriptive such as "sugar-free", "non-fat" and "diet". The FDA has definitions for these terms, but large retailers have ways of getting around that. So you can go to Whole Foods and spend 30% more for almost exactly the same food and pat yourself on the back if it makes you feel better, but there really isn't any difference. I expect that there will be close scrutiny of the validity of Walmart's merchandising, but I doubt the touchy feely food chains that target the organic crowd will give the same eyeball to those stores. I really don't know if organics can be grown in numbers great enough to make them marketable and provide availability on a national basis. I just thought it was interesting.

Darren said...

I guess I'll find out about Whole Foods firsthand--I got a gift card from there from a student.

Should I wear my "Imagine No Liberals" shirt when I go there? =)

Darren said...

You know, one of these days when I'm running short on topics on which to blog, someone remind me to tell the story of when I, as a cadet, ended up in the middle of a left-wing political gathering in Germany. What brought that to mind? Fair trade coffee. Only there wasn't such a thing as fair trade coffee back then--the coffee I saw being sold was from Nicaragua. In 1985. =)

EllenK said...

Actually, I know a number of fairly conservative folks that go to Whole Foods because they like the cache of spending more for designer labels. Don't get me wrong, there are some cool things there-interesting fruit and veggies that aren't often seen in regular stores. And their classes and deli and premade food sections are great. I just don't see spending more to buy Ivory soap there just because of the Whole Foods label. And yes, there are some liberals that will go there if you want to rankle them with the conservative T-Shirt of your choice.

It's rather a maze when you get there. The sushi is pretty good and they do have custom cuts of meat for special occasions. If they have it, try a Dublin Dr. Pepper. Its the real deal made with sugar, not corn syrup. For that alone, I will make a short trip. But not as a regular shopping destination.

Anonymous said...

It almost seems like some on the left don't want "reg'lar folks" to have the opportunity to eat healthfully - else, why would they be so horrified at the idea of the expanding wal-mart produce section.

I kind of shudder at this backlash where some people seem to be saying, oh, the Good Old Days were so much better, when you only ate food in season. Um, heard of scurvy? beriberi? vitamin deficiencies? Life expectancies of 40? I would think that people would regard having more produce and more healthful and fresh food available as a good, not a bad.

I, for one, am thankful to not be living in Little House on the Prairie times, where 90% of the diet is cornbread and jackrabbit stew.