Today I began a petition to John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods. The petition is requesting them to stop using toxic industrial oils in their prepared foods. For some time, I have been wanting to write to Whole Foods in regards to this subject. When I travel for work, the hot bar at Whole Foods is usually the healthiest option I have for a quick meal. Unfortunately, Whole Foods uses vegetable oils in most of their dishes. I have mentioned eliminating vegetable oils in a previous post and I try to avoid eating these oils at all costs due to their detriment to my health.
Whole Foods’ hesitation to implementing this change is due to financial reasons. Vegetable oils are cheap, whereas, good quality fats are not. I know for a fact, many people would support Whole Foods if they made changes to the cooking oils they use. These changes would have a tremendous impact on every American, if Whole Foods became the leader in a healthy fat movement that will, inevitably, impact other restaurants.
Below is a copy of the petition to Whole Foods:
We are writing to you as loyal customers who want to see healthy improvements at your store. Please stop using unhealthy industrial oils in your prepared foods, including, but not limited to: canola oil, soybean/vegetable oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil. These oils are NEVER healthy to consume. Excellent replacements include: palm oil, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, grass-fed butter, real olive oil, and animal fats such as grass-fed tallow and pastured lard. Most of the healthcare crisis in America can be resolved by eating mostly wholesome foods. However, Whole Foods is contributing to this crisis because many of the prepared and packaged foods in the store contain the industrial oils mentioned above. This directly conflicts with Whole Foods’ values.
Most people who walk into Whole Foods believe that anything they buy in the store is completely healthy. They trust the Whole Foods brand completely. Some people say to be truly healthy, the majority of your food should be made at home. However, most Americans eat out at least a few times per week. Some travel for their jobs and have limited healthy eating choices. Whole Foods is a great way for Americans to eat healthy while traveling. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to find food in the prepared foods section made without canola or vegetable oils. This leaves people who are trying to avoid consuming these oils with a very limited selection.
Industrial oils such as canola, soybean/vegetable, cottonseed and corn are toxic for humans to consume. They contain oxidized cholesterol, are high in omega-6 fatty acids, high in trans fats, create inflammation in our bodies and significantly raise our risk of cardiovascular disease. When the oils are extracted, hexane is used as a solvent. The oils are then refined, bleached and deodorized. Since the oils are heated to very high temperatures, it is necessary to deodorize them because of their rancidity. Bleaching the oils give them a clear “pure” color. Some people even have sensitivities to these oils; it disrupts their digestion terribly when eating foods that contain industrial oils. Whole Foods is a place where people go to eat unprocessed food. These unhealthy oils are far from being unprocessed and do much harm to our bodies.
You may be wondering how animal fats can be healthy. One of the reasons animal fats have been demonized is because of the scientist Ancel Keys. His Lipid Hypothesis is not based on real science. He cherry picked the data in his 1953 epidemiological study in order for his hypothesis to make sense. Only 7 out of the 22 countries with data available were chosen and Keys ignored the conflicting data. Recent research has also shown that saturated fat has nothing to do with heart disease. Fred Kummerow, a 99-year-old lipid researcher, says that cholesterol is actually good for your heart. It becomes problematic when cholesterol is oxidized, like when foods are fried in reused oil and when powdered eggs and high amounts of polyunsaturated fats are consumed.
The cost of healthy cooking oils and fats is definitely higher than the oils Whole Foods currently uses. However, Whole Foods has the opportunity to become the leader in the change from unhealthy industrial oils to healthy traditional fats. We would love to see Whole Foods take the lead in this movement and educate people on the harmful effects of consuming vegetable oils. Please know that there are many Whole Foods shoppers that would happily support this change.
Here is the link to the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/whole-foods-and-john-mackey-stop-using-toxic-industrial-oils-in-your-prepared-foods
Please join me in signing this petition. I believe it can make a huge difference and will educate more Americans on the dangers of consuming toxic vegetable oils.
UPDATE 1/20/14: I made a video to Whole Foods. Please share!