I feel like there's a lot of hating on Whole Foods lately, between the CEO's editorial about health care reform and me bitching about their non-local produce and craptastic fish. So here I'll attempt to offer a more balanced perspective and highlight some things about that I do like about our neighborhood market.
Whole Foods Market (WFM) may suffer from the commercialization of local and organic foods (for example, organic peppers from overseas), but I believe these problems are because WFM is a national corporation. They are attempting to nationalize an idea that is inherently small and decentralized. However, some great things are being done here on the local level. For example, WFM sponsors University of Maine Cooperative Extension's food preservation programming and therefore makes possible some great public education. WFM is also having a 5% day for the Cooperative Extension on October 20th. Five percent of all proceeds from the day will go to Extension programming.