Is there a difference in the quality of organic food at Wal-mart and other health and whole foods stores? Going Organic, Alabama
Dear Going Organic:
When Wal-mart started going organic, it was just a way to grab market share, while driving small stores and farmers out of business. However, whatever Wal-mart does has major repercussions.
Whole Foods currently bans roughly 54% of Wal-Mart's food merchandise 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 everything else.
Consider the following statistics:
- 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.
- More than 80% of the candy sold at Wal-Mart would never be found at Whole Foods due to artificial flavors, while 31% of the bacon and sausage products have been blacklisted due to monosodium glutamate, or MSG.
Even though the Food and Drug Administration has deemed every food product sold in a Wal-Mart store safe for consumption, Whole Foods, however, holds itself to a higher standard.
Is Whole Foods, then, playing the role of Big Brother for health-conscious customers or simply catering to the finicky demands of foodies? The bottomline is Whole Foods is about making healthier food options.
Also don't forget the better food quality - the less doctor's visits so personally I chose Whole Foods. I rather pay the extra dollars for good quality foods, especially if it will keep down my doctor's visits.