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The Urban Homesteaders' League Message Board Urban Homesteaders Discussion Forum › Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save the small farm and make America healthy?

Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save the small farm and make America healthy?

A former member
Post #: 2
THE GREAT GROCERY SMACKDOWN... Will Walmart, not Whole Foods, save the small farm and make America healthy?

I'm not encouraging folks to shop at Walmart, but thought this was a VERY interesting article relating to local farms and farmers/growers.
A former member
Post #: 4
"Food, Inc." touches on this a little--I think they bent over backwards to not take sides with any potential allies in that movie, leading me to think that they would conclude that Walmart AND Whole Foods have a role to play in making America healthy. Ellen Ruppel Schell's (sp?) critique in "Cheap" is more damning-she sees Walmart and Whole Foods as two sides of the same coin and points out that most of Walmart's organic goods are dairy, not produce. (Furthermore, organic standards are weaker for dairy.) Michael Pollan's (sp?) critique in "The Omnivore's Dilemma" is equally damning and points out that large organic can actually be worse than conventional.

But this article makes Walmart sound more promising. If they are starting to sell local, in season, small farm organic, that's a good sign. Now if they would only treat their workers in U.S. with respect and get their suppliers in China to do the same over there, maybe it would be worth the trip.
A former member
Post #: 5
Sorry to double-reply. I just read some of the comments to the article, and they raise good questions. Just as all jobs are not necessarily good jobs, all sales of local may not necessarily be good sales. Is WalMart using the same bullying tactics on local growers that it uses to chase away small-town competitors and squeeze low prices out of all of its other suppliers? I.e. are they low-balling prices in a way that will ultimately be unsustainable for local growers? And what about their competitors? Have they found a way to live and let live with local retailers?
A former member
Post #: 76
I prefer giving my money to Harvest Co-op...for various political reasons as well as the quality of their produce.
A former member
Post #: 6
While I think their governance and activism could use some reform when compared to coops in other cities/states, Harvest Market is a huge step in the right direction. Also, I wish they still had public bathrooms, but you can't have everything. The Cambridge store is so much better than the JP one (thought I've read that the JP one makes more money). In JP, either City Feed store is another great way to buy from a truly local business selling local/organic/fair trade products.
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