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Whole Foods Sells Lobsters Kindly!


Mayhaw Man
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Jesus Christ. We're talking about glorified cockroaches people. Lifeforms which have a limited central nervous system and basal ganglia complex, and a soul as empty as say, your average litigation attorney.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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This has always been part of the "Whole" shtick that Whole Foods pushes. It annoys and is beginning to sicken me.

Whole Foods goes after a certain elitist crowd that falls for that bait. The Lobster doesn't know where it is anyway and if all we had was organic food the "Whole" world would starve. They are maybe two steps above Tony's Wine Warehouse in Dallas.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Whole Foods goes after a certain elitist crowd that falls for that bait. 

I don't consider myself an elitist - I'm just lazy - I live around the block from Whole Foods and the next nearest grocery store is 6 blocks away and it's a very nasty and not very clean Safeway. And I would hope they would put being kind to their customers ahead of crustacean feelings. For example, I thought it was very kind of them last week to steam me a two pounder while I did my other shopping! :raz:

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The WF flagship in Austin is particularly grating with their slick marketing posters with slogans like "Love Where You Shop", "Whole Foods, Whole Earth", etc. They even sell neo-hippie clothing -- made of organic cotton of course! If their marketing shtick grates on you, you will be seeing red once you step into their flagship store.

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My personal theory is that the newest elite consists of those who sneer at Whole Foods. I think I'll open a store that caters to these folks. "Fresh lobsters, and we treat 'em like they treat each other."

Actually there's a lot about their marketing shtik that grates on me too, but whatever they're doing, it's effective. I just wish I'd bought their stock 5 years ago.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Besides the idea itself being just plain goofy, the way in which they went about presenting it to the public involved some especially poor planning.

Sure, if Whole Foods wants to announce that they're 'looking into better treatment for lobsters' that's fine, but using phrases like 'discontinuing sales' or 'ban' shows especially poor business saavy. Lobster sales represent a pretty large source of revenue for these guys. Regardless of how strongly whole foods believes in lobster rights, I find it ludicrous that someone in their marketing department couldn't forsee that a large portion of the public/shareholders/potential shareholders might find the topic trivial. Lobster rights and potentially lost revenue are not a good combination. Did they really need to 'put their money where their mouth is' on this topic?

Sure, the stock will probably continue to rise, but actions such as these don't instill a lot of shareholder confidence

Would it have been that difficult to present the problem AND the solution at the same time?

I also believe that they're mistargeting their demographic. Sure, they have a large number of crunchy customers, but I think foodies comprise the larger number of their customer base. Besides, I don't think they're going to attract any more crunchy customers than they already have by this type of extreme animal rights philosophy. A large part of their success has come from a gradual shift toward the center, like selling more conventional produce, for example. This is a move in the wrong direction.

Stupid idea and bad business. Very bad business.

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I can't say I find the concept particularly ludicrous (although maybe it is carried to a bit of an extreme in this case). Trying to get past the schtickiness :

The Company will pay special attention to significantly reducing the time from boat to shopping cart to avoid the long-term storage many lobsters endure after capture. The task force will also look at more humane handling and shipping methods as well as tank conditions in-store, aiming to mimic conditions of a lobster's natural habitat.

Sounds pretty reasonable, and it has a decent chance of delivering a fresher, better tasting product.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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As someone who does a fair amount of grocery shopping in Manhattan, in stores like Gristede's, Food Emporium and (ugh) Fine Fare, the Whole Foods "invasion" of Manhattan is quite welcome. A store where the employees actually are civil and nice to the customers makes the shopping experience so much more enjoyable, as opposed to stepping up to a cashier who has a cell phone in one ear, an iPod in the other, and is carrying on a conversation with another cashier while shooting you a dirty look for interrupting her to do her job (just try Fine Fare on Clinton St. to see if I'm kidding).

Their selection is super, many products are eco-friendly, and the first time I stepped into that 60,000 square foot mega store in the Time Warner center, I was liike a kid in a candy store.

I'll put up with a little holier-than-thou marketing shtick for the good shopping experience.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Folks, lets got real. Cabbages have mothers too.

Now, if you consume milk products you know that milk cows are regularly inpregnated to keep them productive and their offspring - if male - are sent to veal or killed for dog food.

Now eggs, the chicks are sexed and males go into a barrel where they sufficate and then are ground up for feed.

So - if you use dairy or eggs know where they come from and at what price. This is a moral decision faced by every human being and remember, lobsters and cabbages have mothers too.

What is important here is not to harvest, fish and waste. One of the sins of America is the level of waste of food at every level.

perveyors like Whole Foods and everyone else in the food chain should be accountable for food waste. When the dumpster divers begin to starve - and the landfulls begin to shrink then they are getting it right.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Whole Foods, hypocrisy central.

From the highly sugared soft drinks to the "natural" peanut butters with high levels of pesticides, this store is not what it cracks itself up to be.

Now Trader Joe's, for example, is a terrific place that doesn't claim to be anything but low-priced and tasty and sometimes unique.

N.B. The Whole Foods in Ridgewood, NJ was so concerned about saving money that they refused to do anything about a severe mold problem in their basement where many of the foods are stored, until employees protested and complained to health authorities that their own health was being put at risk by going into the mold-infested basement. I believed they finally did someting after two months of a problem-- but there has been little reported about this...

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I'm finding Whole Foods,(and most of the rest) to now just be corporate entities. Its about "the lifestyle" and the look that goes with it. A pretty package and all that. The one here sells the same inventory of product as the volume chain, marked up for the cache'. Thro in the goths, and dread heads, and its a new age concept.

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My personal theory is that the newest elite consists of those who sneer at Whole Foods.  I think I'll open a store that caters to these folks.  "Fresh lobsters, and we treat 'em like they treat each other."

If you build it, I will come.

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As someone who does a fair amount of grocery shopping in Manhattan, in stores like Gristede's, Food Emporium and (ugh) Fine Fare, the Whole Foods "invasion" of Manhattan is quite welcome.  A store where the employees actually are civil and nice to the customers makes the shopping experience so much more enjoyable, as opposed to stepping up to a cashier who has a cell phone in one ear, an iPod in the other, and is carrying on a conversation with another cashier while shooting you a dirty look for interrupting her to do her job (just try Fine Fare on Clinton St. to see if I'm kidding).

I'm with you on this one. I am up in lower Westchester, and our normal grocery shopping experience is pretty much the same as in Manhattan. Dirty, cramped stores, everything out of stock, rude cashiers... even our local Trader Joes is like that (plus they have the nastiest produce around). But I love to shop at the Whole Foods in White Plains because they have lots of produce, and the cashiers are actually knowedgeable and friendly, and my kids can eat there when I shop. People in the rest of the country are used to amenities like this in their supermarkets, but for me, it is simply amazing. The cashiers SMILE - it is kind of like being in the Midwest or something. :biggrin:

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You can't hug your lobster with nuclear arms :smile:.

Kevin

No, but you can keep their lobster tank cool and aerated with nuclear power. :raz:

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 5 months later...

I am pleased to report that the lobsters at Whole Foods (in White Plains) are comfortably ensconced in little lobster condos. To make them more comfortable, yanno. Hopefully, they'll forget they're no longer on the ocean bottom scavenging for God knows what, and instead residing in a PVC tube in a murky tank, claws banded together, waiting to be Thermidor'ed. (I think it's working. I heard one of them say, "wtf are these things on my claws? I'm going to have Harold help me get them off and when I do ... pow!")

Also, the lobsters were all arranged face forward in their condos (probably more like Microtels). When possible, two consecutive condos were not occupied. I guess so they can sleep better?

Anyway, I found it very comforting and thought you'd all want to know. :smile:

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Probably help WF with their investment as the little lobsters are less likely to predate on each other. If their lives are va little less stressful there may be better survival and perhaps better quality of the final product. I think it is an intersting idea, actually.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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