Aug 8, 2010

CEO John Mackey of Whole Foods Market on Conscious Capitalism, etc.

Admittedly I've been gone for a while teaching in the Marshall Islands. Now I'm starting a new job in the bustling town of Lewisburg, WV. I'll work as an AmeriCorps VISTA on sustainable local foods development, with support from the Natural Capital Investment Fund, Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, and Mr. Jim Cooper, recently retired from the USDA -- not to mention everyone else already involved in local foods who I'm eager to meet.

I've begun background research, mostly into USDA publications, but today my wandering mind led from Maine Tablestock Potatoes to the Whole Foods Market to this video conversation with CEO John Mackey discussing Conscious Capitalism, Consequences of Authenticity, and Public Trust in Business.(link)

His points on how the public imagines businesses and CEOs (often negatively) caught my interest. When I see Whole Foods Markets in GA along the road, I don't notice them as better than any other grocery. SHOULD I see them as different? I'm not convinced. Where is the line between business and "non-profit" organizations? Can we draw one, if "conscious" consumption becomes a habit in the marketplace, leading more and more businesses to try and tailor their products to the growing demand?

Also see: Whole Foods Market: Our Core Values

Whole Foods doesn't have stores in West Virginia, but I wonder if any local producers have luck marketing their products there in nearby metropolitan regions.


  1. Great to have you back Stacie, and glad to see a new post on here. I'll try to get back to posting regularly once I get back to Maryland.

    Your project sounds great, and should be full of wonderful anthropological insights that I'll hope you'll share with the rest of us. I think the increasing trend of local food, and just the general awareness of where food comes from is very promising. My brother is a chef in NYC, and he's been really interested lately in sourcing products locally and such (he has a blog here, but hasn't done much with it yet - I keep trying to get him to post more often, but he's a busy guy). I hope to see more of this kind of thing as time goes on.

    For your literature review, you should read Don Stull's Slaughterhouse Blues. He told me he might be working on a research project on local food soon too - I'm not sure where he's at with that though. Also keep an eye out for articles/reports by Jane Gibson. I'm not sure if her local food stuff is in publication yet, but she's been working on a couple of project recently investigating the role of local food and small scale gardening in food security. I'll let you know more when I hear about it.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll definitely look into those. I've got an outline of a site here that I'm going to use to keep track of everything:

    Coincidentally, my brother is also a chef. I love the pic of the pigs head! :)


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