Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Whole Foods and True Organics
Tom Philpott worries about Whole Food, its proposed merger, and the inroads of big "organic" farming. (I own shares in Whole Food). I think it's the inevitable result of the free market--we're going to see the food market differentiate into lots of different categories: cheap, "industrial" food from the old-line Krafts and Safeways; ethnic foods (possibly organic) through ethnic food markets, Latino chains, and aisles in the Safeways; big "organic" (meaning herbicide/pesticide free, but not grown in an idyllic small farm environment) food in the Safeway aisle and Whole Foods; small "organic" sold through niche shops, farmers markets, and community supported ag; and organic food in restaurants. It's the result of enough people having enough money and locating closely together enough to support these specialty tastes.