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Remembering Kevin Moore

Whole Foods Offers Customers ‘Customized Nutrition Plan’ Pushing A Vegan Agenda

Last February, I shared with you about a decision made by the executives of the world’s largest health food supermarket chain Whole Foods beginning to aggressively promote a low-fat, vegetarian diet with their “Health Starts Here” campaign. Interestingly, they’re not trying to hide what they are doing either as you can see on this page of their web site outlining their “Four Pillars Of Health Eating” with the call for customers to become “Plant-Strong” by making vegetables the centerpiece of their diet. Their list of 10 Easy Steps To Make A Fresh Start heavily promotes salads, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and “smaller portions” of lean meats while eschewing refined, processed foods. They even have an in-store “Healthy Eating Specialist” whose job is to work at an in-store kiosk/desk to be there to answer questions from customers about health and healthy eating as well as giving lectures on health and nutrition in the local community–all the while pushing the vegan lifestyle. All of this may sound pretty good to the average Whole Foods customer who tends to be more health-conscious than those people who shop at a traditional grocery store. But they are laying a trap for their customers who may not be as nutritionally savvy about what a healthy diet can actually look like. And it’s really a whole lot worse than we ever thought.

Last week when I blogged about the new vegan propaganda movie called Forks Over Knives coming in May, I received well over 100 comments mostly from vegans who wanted to defend their chosen nutritional plan although I didn’t really criticize it or the film in my post. But “Jill in Chicago” wanted to defend Whole Foods and their “Healthy Eating Specialist” position against being characterized as vegan-promoting. Here’s what she wrote:

The focus of Whole Foods’ Health Starts Here program is not to eat a vegan diet, but to eat whole, unprocessed foods. I am currently in the midst of a Health Starts Here 28-Day Health Challenge, and the Healthy Eating Specialist who is assisting the group does not discourage meat and dairy consumption. The idea is to eat less of them.

That’s all well and good and I certainly wish Jill the best as she pursues her own weight and health goals with whatever diet she is choosing to follow. To me it’s all about finding the plan that will work for you, following it exactly, and then continuing to do that for the rest of your life. But what about those people who don’t know which plan is right for them? Is there a way to get a customized nutrition plan that will help them determine what their diet should look like? Whole Foods seems to think so through their partnership with Eat Right America doing direct marketing with the customers of their stores encouraging them to take a survey to see how to eat optimally for your health. What Whole Foods customer wouldn’t be interested in something like that? One of my readers forwarded an e-mail she received from a friend of hers who wanted to pass along this “amazing offer” from Whole Foods giving away “FREE customized nutrition plans to get you started or keep you motivated on your health journey.”

Gee, how nice is that? All you gotta do is go to the “Eat Right America Challenge” web site, enter or obtain an access code, fill out a survey about your eating, exercise and lifestyle habits as well as you health and they’ll spit you out the perfect diet just for you, including a personalized 28-day nutrition and eating plan that they say “really is a great resource…to Whole Foods Market customers.” They encourage people who take this survey to come back in to visit Whole Foods after you receive your diet plan to consult with the “Health Starts Here” station to speak with the “Healthy Eating Specialist” about learning more about “your path to a healthier life.” Don’t you just love how syrupy sweet and innocent they make this all sound? It’s a lot more dastardly than these unsuspecting Whole Foods customers even know!

So what’s the real deal here? I wanted to find out and share this with you so your friends, family and co-workers don’t get suckered into thinking this is a legitimate way to know which diet is right for them (if you want to have a REAL test done to determine the correct nutritional makeup of your diet for you based on how your body metabolizes food and nutrients, then you might consider getting the FitTest done from GetYourHealthTested.com). Maybe what they conclude about the kind of diet you should be eating is right for you…maybe not. But this survey is not based on anything scientific methodology regarding your specific situation. It’s deliberately meant to mislead you into thinking what you are currently doing is causing harm to your health and that there is only one solution to preventing your health from getting worse than it is. As you can imagine, the basis for the questions asked in this survey heavily leans on conventional wisdom about the relationship of consuming animal-based fats and proteins to developing heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases and the supposed virtues of consuming plant-based foods as a way to obtain optimal health. Let’s take a look at what it was like for me to take this survey for myself plugging in information about my diet and lifestyle.

I began by visiting the Challenge web site where they welcomed and congratulated me for taking “the first step toward a healthier more nutritious lifestyle” through my own “Personal Nutrition Report”:

The survey started off by asking me some basic demographic information about who I am in a “detailed assessment designed to accurately predict your health future.” Eat Right America is described as “a cause, a passionate desire to enable America’s families to live a life of ‘true’ health.” They do this by promising the results of their survey will give you a “personally-designed, nutrition prescription, that can dramatically extend your life expectancy and lower your risk of life-threatening diseases.” Wow, sounds like they’ve found the Fountain Of Youth miracle cure-all for all of life’s health woes. We shall see. They then asked questions about the current state of my health and what my typical diet looks like:

Two things stood out to me about the diet portion of the survey–they put eggs in with white meat and there was no designation for “grass-fed” or “pastured” foods. So any red meat consumption listed on the survey could be grain-fed or grass-fed. It obviously didn’t matter to them whether you consumed higher-quality meats or not (an it’s only gonna get even worse in a moment, though). I made it through the 15-minute survey so I could receive my own “Nutrition Prescription customized for Jimmy Moore”–they made it just for me (yeah right!):

You get a form letter from Dr. Scott Stoll who is a member of the Whole Foods Medical Board who explains that the “solution we have created for you is easy to understand, simple and fun for you and your family to adopt, and represents a proven methodology that is guaranteed to deliver the results you desire.” WOW! What in the world could this miracle of all miracles be that will end my weight and health struggles forever? They then explain about what the “Nutrition Prescription” is all about discussing the implementation of the “Nutritarian Lifestyle” from vegan physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman juxtaposed with the typical Standard American Diet and why this new way to eat is allegedly better for you. They even show you a graph of what your current diet looks like compared with SAD:

I think it’s interesting they lump meat and dairy together in the same category and apparently list foods like bacon in the “Processed Foods” section. Do you think they put things like tofu and skim milk in with the “Processed Foods” when they are both OBVIOUSLY highly-processed? I wouldn’t bet the house on it. Continuing through my personal assessment, the news only got worse. I was chastised for consuming too much red meat, animal products, and full-fat dairy while eschewing whole grains and more vegetables. They point to my diet as the reason why my health is at great risk for disease:

For several pages, I receive a lecture on why my cholesterol is too high which puts me at risk for a heart attack (I’ve previously explained in this post that cholesterol testing is a lot more sophisticated these days than ever before and that measuring particle size is much more relevant than LDL or total cholesterol). They claim my LDL (explained as “the most accurate determinant of risk” of coronary artery disease) should be below 80 mg/dl to “maximize reversal” of heart disease, but there was nary a mention of HDL “good” cholesterol in the equation. Additionally, they use the body mass index (BMI) to determine the obesity of an individual stating that it “is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat for most people.” The say my BMI at 251 pounds on my 6’3″ body frame puts me at a “significantly increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.” Oh, now isn’t that nice? They’ve got a rude awakening coming when none of this actually happens to me as they’re trying scaremonger these poor Whole Foods customers into thinking they have to eat a vegan diet. Oh yes, that sticky little detail is coming up soon. But first they need to continue to put the fear of God in me about my current health before they swoop in to the rescue with their miracle plan to save me:

They say I’m at a “very high risk” of sudden cardiac death if I don’t “take action immediately” despite the fact that my heart scan score in 2009 showed zero calcium buildup in my arteries. My risk of stroke is also “very high” because they think blood clots will happen because of my diet. And with a fasting blood glucose score of 83, they still put me at “significant risk” for getting diabetes because I’m not eating and exercising the way they think I should be. They weren’t finished yet piling on more warnings about what my current diet is doing to my risks for developing cancer and osteoporosis (this is actually starting to get funny if they weren’t so serious about it):

So I’m at “high risk” for developing cancer because of my eating and fitness choices and they will help me “identify those choices” that will be better for me. HA! Then with my bone health, it’s the same song and dance. What I’m doing right now ain’t good enough–but there’s something better that we think (hope and pray to God) you’ll like…or something like that. What exactly are the culprits in my devastatingly, hanging-by-a-thread health right now? Let’s take a look:

My full-fat dairy loving, caffeinated tea guzzling, saturated fat-laden meat eating, and salted food consumption is what they think is killing me. Gee, if these are all of the problems with my diet right now, then why am I in the best health of my entire life? Why do I feel so good if I’m just one bunless bacon cheeseburger away from saying so long to this world? And how did eating so “unhealthy” bring my weight down by triple digits, get me off of three prescription medications for good, and have me doing things I would have never thought possible just a few years back? I, of course, know better and have all the confidence in the world about my healthy low-carb lifestyle. But what about those people who take this survey and believe it’s the gospel truth? They read this and think, “Oh my God, what can I do to stop this devastation from happening to me?” Enter the Eat Right America eating plan:

They try to convince you this is a good thing by stating at the top of the page that this is all about “Nutrition Excellence & Health” and then proceed to explain what they mean by that. To become a “Nutritarian,” all you have to do is eat lots of fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, cut down on your animal-based food consumption opting for “healthier options in this food group” (hmmm, lemme guess–ones that are lower in saturated fat?) and eat much less of foods that are “empty of nutrients or toxic” like refined sugars, white flour, processed foods and fast food. On the final point, I think we can agree, but Dr. Fuhrman is hung up on meat being such an unhealthy part of any diet plan. He sees meat in the same vein as low-carbers look at high-fructose corn syrup. It must be avoided as much as possible except for maybe the once-in-a-while “treat.” That’s nothing more than utter nonsense and ignorance. What exactly does the Nutritarian Food Pyramid look like? Check it out for yourself:

What a bassackwards food pyramid this is! Equating eggs and meat with processed foods and sweets is being intellectually dishonest. Sure, those non-starchy vegetables are an excellent addition to any diet (including a low-carb one), but why the damnation of foods that are equal in their nutrient density to veggies such as red meat, fish, eggs, oils, and the like? There’s no explanation for this other than the insinuation that consuming these foods that contain saturated fat will lead to serious health consequences down the road. But there is no evidence supporting such a claim. Even still, here comes the kicker–“My Personalized Eating Plan” according to the great purveyors of nutritional truth and wisdom at Whole Foods:

And THERE IT IS! All of this nonsense about how horrible my health is, what the dietary “cause” of my health decline is, what a good diet should look like and all the rest was nothing more than a setup for this moment. The diet they are recommending that I begin eating immediately to overturn the issues associated with my “poor” diet is one that is 96% plants, 3% meat and dairy, and 2% processed foods/snacks. REALLY?!

While technically this isn’t a vegan diet because there are very small amounts of meat allowed on this plan, it might as well be. Meat isn’t a condiment to me–it’s the lifeblood of a healthy low-carb lifestyle change that has given me vibrant health like nothing else I’ve ever done before. I don’t need to consume 96% of my calories from plant sources which includes high-carb whole grains, beans, fruits and all the rest. I’m doing just fine livin’ la vida low-carb. Can I tell you how much this angers me that they would try to pull something so incredibly deceiving to people who will likely buy into it hook, line and sinker? This is disgusting because there is no education about the wonderful nutrients contained in meats or the health consequences for some people who consume carbohydrate-rich foods. That to me is ethically wrong to deliberately withhold information from the consumer that could help them make the most informed decision about their health.

They require a 28-day pledge to doing the following: eating at least one large salad, at least a half-cup of beans/legumes, at least three fresh fruits, at least one ounce of raw nuts/seeds, and at least one large double-sized serving of steamed green vegetables on a daily basis while avoiding the “most harmful food habits” that include eating barbequed, processed meats or commercial red meat, fried foods, full-fat dairy like cheese and butter, soft drinks of all kinds both diet and sugary, and white flour. It sure sounds a whole lot like a vegan diet to me with all of those restrictions on what can be consumed on this diet. They also say to chunk any foods that contain over 200mg sodium per serving and to use a blender to liquify your vegetables to drink. Oh, but they help you come off of your “meat habit” (as Dr. Neal Barnard described it in my podcast interview with him last year) beginning in Day 8 of this 28-Day plan:

Isn’t it interesting how they took great pains to explain that this meal plan isn’t vegan, but then pushed the need to “reduce your intake of animal foods” from your diet? If meat is part of being a “Nutritarian” as they claim, then what’s this concept of “your desire for animal foods (will) diminish over time?” Meat is most certainly NOT a condiment in a healthy diet no matter what Dr. Fuhrman and his lackeys at Whole Foods wants you to believe. Meat is where the REAL nutrition is found and you’re depriving your body of some incredible health benefits by trying to eliminate it from your diet completely. Just ask Lierre Keith or Denise Minger.

By Day 15, they encourage you to “change the focus of your meal from meat to vegetables” and they assure you will get plenty of protein by consuming greens, beans, nuts and seeds. The gradual move to eating “less meat” is in full force by week three of the plan and it reaches the climax by the time you enter the final week of the 28-Day Challenge when “you are eating much less animal foods,” oils, milk/dairy products, sugar, coffee/tea and caffeine, and a whole lot more veggies, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds. Lest you think none of this survey really has anything at all to do with Whole Foods, then you would be sorely mistaken:

Yes, you too can become a “Nutritarian” nerd by hopping in your car and driving to your nearest Whole Fools…Whole Paycheck…er, I mean Whole Foods Market to pick up these books, CDs and DVDs to provide you more vegan-based propaganda to fool you into thinking this is the best option for your health. This partnership Whole Foods has made with the vegan diet is intentional and should ostracize any customer who chooses to eat an animal-based diet. That includes virtually every Paleo and low-carb dieter on the planet. If you ask me, a company that is THIS invested in promoting a dietary agenda like this doesn’t deserve the support of people who disagree with it. They’ve drawn a line in the sand and dug in their heels on trying to make this “Nutritarian” diet the ONLY way for Whole Foods customers to get healthy. We should vote with our dollars about what we think about this and send Whole Foods executives a clear message: YOU’RE NOT PUSHING A VEGAN AGENDA DOWN OUR THROATS!

  • But Jimmy, it’s not vegan, you’re still allowed 3% meat & dairy. What does that work out to? A steak every six months?

    It really is intellectually dishonest to lump sweets, eggs, meat and dairy all together. I wonder how many pregnant mothers will follow this to the detriment of their and their children’s health?

  • I love WF about as much as I love…Monsanto or the FDA! I quit shopping there when I saw worms crawling around on their fresh fish. I found their so-called grass-fed ground beef to have the same yucky smell and ability to turn slimy as regular store bought, but at a much higher cost. I’m so thankful I am able to buy healthy foods without giving WF my money! We get our grass-fed meat from a farmer within our state, our raw milk and pastured eggs from a nearby farm, bulk items from our food co-op, and our veggies from the garden, the farmer’s market, or from a local health food store. Thanks, Jimmy, for pointing out Whole Foods not-so-hidden agenda!

    • Whole Foods in my opinion is a store for rich yuppies. If you want grass-fed beef, you can get it straight from a ranch in most places. There’s a bunch of ranchers here that will sell you a whole cow if you want, or only 1/8 of one if you don’t think you can fit all that in your freezer.

      Whole Foods is also very political, funding anti-gay marriage groups. I’m sorry, I don’t think businesses should be in politics. I would personally never shop there.

      Also, according to whois the registrant of eatrightamerica.com was in a lawsuit, and it was stated in a document that he was involved in a site called diseaseproof.com which is registered to the vegan doctor Jimmy mentions above, Dr. Joel Furhman. So, there’s not like an agenda or anything. {/snark}

  • Peter Silverman

    A tiny proportion of Americans are vegan or paleo, avoid processed food, and tend to be pretty healthy. The other 95% eat huge amounts of processed food that causes tremendous health problems. The real problem isn’t that Whole Foods pushes vegan, it’s the S&M diet (Safeway and MacDonalds) of cokes, cookies and chips, and by and large the folks who shop at Whole Foods don’t eat much of that. At the checkout counter at Whole Foods, people are lined up buying vegetables and other whole foods including naturally grown meat,and they’re almost all skinny. The promotion I think is the real problem is 3 twelve packs of soda for $13, and it’s not Whole Foods who does that. I do agree with you of course that Whole Foods is wrong in thinking theirs is the only healthy diet, I just think promoting that idea doesn’t do harm like the promotions at Safeway nd MacDonalds.

  • Dr. John

    I say boycott WF:

    1. start buying direct from the cattle/pork/chicken ranchers who free-range their animals
    2. buy from CSAs/co-ops in your area
    3. “cow/pig/sheep-pool” with others…buying a 1/4 cow with 3 other families…split up the other animals as well…buy a freezer for the garage
    4. grow some veggies yourself…many cities have “garden plots” to rent
    5. buy meat/fruit/veggies/nuts online
    6. shop for your regular (even if not organic) veggies/fruit at the local supermarket, and buy meat/eggs/dairy as listed previously
    7. be a human, Homo sapiens sapiens….adapt and evolve….we don’t “need” WF!!!

    Humans are facultative carnivores….I don’t like the term omnivore for us. We are more similar to carnivore, than herbivore…placing us in the hunter category than gatherer.
    And WTH is a “Nutritarian”…it smacks of some anti-government subversive group trying to overthrow the establishment….didn’t we already try to do this in the 60’s???

  • Ken

    96% plants?? You’d have to be constantly grazing all day in order to get enough nutrients. There’s a reason why cows have multiple stomachs and humans only have one. As for myself, I only eat 1 to 2 meals per day – usually 8 to 12 ounces of steak, some vegatables and a few ounces of cheese and/or nuts. I probably only need to spend about 30 minutes per day eating. I’d have to spend several hours per day eating if my diet consisted of 96% plants.

    Obviously some marketing firm has told these dolts that the terms ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Vegan’ resonate negatively in the majority of the populace. So now they have come up with ‘Nutritarian’ to obfuscate their real intent and when that term becomes similarly tainted in the public eye they will devise some other misdirecting term like ‘Healthonaut’ or ‘Dietarian’ to fool everyone again. It’s tragic.

  • What a shame, considering they have some fantastic meats — at least at their Lincoln and Rose store in Venice.

  • ///”They then explain about what the “Nutrition Prescription” is all about discussing the implementation of the “Nutritarian Lifestyle” from vegan physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman juxtaposed with the typical Standard American Diet and why this new way to eat is allegedly better for you.”///

    Is it just me, or does the constant coining of new terms by these people remind anyone else of newspeak? If we call it something else, then it must not be what we thought they were talking about.

    As for their “Eat Right Plan”, I know two vegetarians who are morbidly obese. They eat primarily fruit, and one is terribly ill with all kinds of problems all the time. So… I’m going to tell these people that they can go suck it. I’m going to do what makes me feel better, and if by some chance I’m wrong and all this saturated fat is going to make me have a heart attack when I’m 70 or something, at least all the years between now and then will be good years.

    BTW, the personalized eating plan they gave you is ROFLOL. Wasn’t really expecting that, but I suppose I should have been.

    • Oh, and one more thing… these vegans say their diet lowers their cholesterol… what was that about low cholesterol being associated with violence? Someone by the name of Kevin Leville, in New Canaan, CT, the same name and same place (and probably about the right age) as the registrant of the eatrightamerica.com site, was charged with assault on his brother-in-law a month and a half ago. How many Kevin Levilles are there in New Canaan, CT?

      • Kevin Leville

        Five years ago I became aware of the fact that this generation of children will be the first NOT TO LIVE AS LONG AS THEIR PARENTS. Within months, I closed my company, sold our house and began Eat Right America. During that entire period, I have not taken one penny of income as I am dedicated to the health and well-being of our nation’s children.

        At 1;30 am on February 10th, the Danbury CT Police called my home and asked that we drive an hour to take custody of our beautiful 3-year-old niece due to a domestic violence situation in her home. We were instructed not to release the child. When her father showed up under the influence demanding his daughter, I defended that child’s well-being.

        What have you done for others lately?

        • Kevin, what you have done is extremely commendable, especially for that 3-year old little girl. But that doesn’t give Eat Right America the license to push a vegan agenda on unsuspecting people where that diet may not be right for them. That’s my biggest concern.

  • What do you want to bet that the next step in the Nutritarian program is supplements–available at Whole Foods, of course. A diet that’s 96% rabbit food isn’t going to provide sufficient vitamins and minerals for a human; even well-informed vegans acknowledge that.

    Whole Foods’ financial statements indicate that almost half their sales are from “other perishables” (see p. 36 of their Form 10-K as of September 26, 2010). I’m guessing they’d rather sell supplements than meat and eggs–along with almost $75 worth of books and DVDs.

  • Love how they left room for a little meat. They can back/promote the vegan diet all day long, but the bottom line is always about the almighty dollar. Guess that would be a plus for the meat eaters that shop WF.

    • It was almost like a “just in case we’re wrong about this meat thing” CYA if you ask me.

  • Lawrence Louis

    Jimmy,
    Thanks for this information concerning the vegetarian/vegan agenda of Whole Foods. I have walked into Whole Foods many times, and anyone who is a critical thinker can tell how overt their support for the vegetarian/vegan agenda is. It is not subliminal at all. The books they sell, and the number of vegan products they have, would make it a paradise for men like Dr. Neal Barnard, who is a puppet for the vegan agenda.
    In reality Whole Foods’ profit motive, like most businesses, trumps any concern it really has over people’s health or being scientifically accurate. The promotion of vegetarian/vegan lifestyles is far more profitable than one where protein and fat based foods are emphasized alongside a rich non-starchy vegetable intake. Vegetarians and vegans have to eat constantly in order to maintain blood sugar levels and to keep satiated. Conversely, people who consume a decent amount of meat and cruciferous vegetables are not perpetually hungry. My vegetarian friends constantly have to snack, where I can go up to 6 hours or more without eating, because of my adherence to low carb. The constant struggle that vegetarians and vegans encounter to keep satisfied on their restrictive diets requires them to buy more food than a person on a Paleo diet or other variant of low carb living. And as we all know, high volume of consumption equals high volume of buying which equals big profits for the seller. So it is no wonder Whole Foods caters to the vegetarian and vegan population.
    The tragedy of Whole Foods is that it is the biggest sellers of organic produce in the country, and for those who have a hard time getting access to farmers markets; it is the closest thing they will ever get to fresh and healthy food. It is so unfortunate that this organization, given its size, can do so much good, and yet it has to, at the same time, be a purveyor of so much misinformation.
    On a slightly different topic, Jimmy, are you going to do a response to the Dr. Oz’s TV interview with Gary Taubes? I know you already had Gary come on your podcast to do a response, and we all appreciate you for doing that, but I think given how prominent you are, within the low carb community, we would like to hear your thoughts on the podcast, or in a YouTube video. I know you already blogged about it, but I think you will reach more listeners/viewers when you do a video or podcast where you articulate your own views. Thanks.

    • I don’t see how there’s any upside for Whole Foods to be doing this…they’re ostracizing their customer base or fooling them into doing something with their dietary habits that may not be right for them. They do make more money off of those “plant-based diet” foods than animal-based ones, though. Maybe that’s the difference.

      On Taubes, what more is there to say. He went on Oz, made a big splash despite the setup, Gary handled himself well, and it raised interest in his book and in livin’ la vida low-carb.

  • Dan (aka Renegadediabetic)

    If some people find this approach works for them, then more power to them. For me, it is a crock. I haven’t been to a WF in ages as the closest one is too far away to shop regularly. They are just finding ways to line their pockets, as well as Furman’s by peddling his propaganda.

    • I too don’t care what diet people choose. But for a major company promoting “healthy eating” to consumers like Whole Foods is doing, it’s irresponsible.

  • Gretchen

    Thanks for this post, Jimmy. I stopped shopping at WF two years ago when they started promoting their “healthy eating” book section. I complained to the management about the obvious hypocrisy – how can you promote a vegan lifestyle while you’re making a profit off very expensive meats, fish and dairy products? Their response was, of course, that they weren’t promoting any particular lifestyle. Just plain healthy living! However, a peek at their “recommended reading list” begs to differ: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere/recommendedbooks.php

    Thanks for taking the time to fill out their survey and to actually read your “individualized report.” It would be interesting if a lot of low-carb eaters did the same and compared notes. Although as you noted, the questions are rigged to make all animal products looks bad.

    • That’s right about their recommended reading: no Gary Taubes, no Dr. Eric Westman, no Robb Wolf–it’s all vegan all the time. No hidden agenda there. HA!

  • Violetrose

    Oh my Lord. Makes me not want to even shop there, but that’s the only place I can find my beloved, practically no-carb kelp noodles (I like them better than shiratake).

    By the way Jimmy, I’m on The Metabolism Miracle, and I finally listened to your podcasts with Diane Kress from last year. They are wonderful. She’s coming out with a new book in November, The Diabetes Miracle. Hope you can interview her again.

  • PHK

    is the % they gave you by weight or volume?

    my stomach is very small. i just can’t imagine stuffing that much volume. i’d get too bloated.

    cheers,

    • I would assume the 96% plant-based diet would be the percentage of calories from that food group.

  • Jennifer

    I’ve never been in a Whole Foods store–too rural and too poor an area for one around here. But I would imagine the reason they are pushing the vegan WOE is because it’s a big money maker for them. They’ve done market research for sure that shows them what they needed to do to get more people into the store and to have those people buy more of items they are pushing (expensive fresh vegetables and fruits). So I certainly can’t blame them for doing what they are doing. It’s all chasing the dollar. They couldn’t care less about people’s health.

    • This is (unfortunately) probably more true than not.

  • kate

    I think the problem here is that eating so many vegetables makes a diet high in carbs.

    On a television show with Dr. Oz, Gary Taubes protested that he eats lots of vegetables, all the time.

    Later, I read a quote from him that he can’t eat blueberries without having a carb reaction (paraphrasing here, but it was close to that).

    He can’t get off the fence. It’s the dilemma.

    Low-carbing is always going to produce a group that has to banter constantly about whatever supplements in pill form are going to keep them healthy. The response to just eat quantities of fruits and vegetables is only going to make them mad. They’ll try to tell you that eating some ‘perfect’ vegetable or fruit in a small quanitity will be supplemented by x, the best pill, and they’ll live long and prosper.

    • There’s no dilemma, Kate. And no low-carber is gonna get mad over eating vegetables. Most of us do. Regardless of your diet, you should probably be supplementing your diet somewhat since most plants aren’t as full of nutrition as we’ve been led to believe. Pastured meats and organs are LOADED with them though. :)

    • I don’t take any supplements, except magnesium from time to time if I’ve not been eating enough nuts. If we want to talk about supplements, maybe Whole Foods should include a disclaimer in their stupid survey results about how quickly you can become deficient in B12 by eating 96% vegetables and fruit. B12 is kinda important. As in, important for living. I’ve seen more than one former vegan who has said they wound up in the hospital and/or sicker than a dog because they couldn’t get enough vitamin B12, not even from supplements.

      Oh, and one more thing. Eating greens is a bit different than eating blueberries. Not all vegetables have the same amount of carbs. Look at potatoes.

  • Digby

    As to WF intent, in the immortal words of the Three Stooges: Salami, salami, bologni!

  • Digby

    I should have added, my response to WF is that of the Stooges.

  • PHK

    96% calories from plant?

    now that is even larger amount of food than i thought (by weight). that is just insane volume of food.

  • My diet is just about the opposite of that (closer to 90% meat and eggs with some fish, butter and heavy cream in coffee) along with smaller amounts of leafy vegetables and berries or lower-fructose fruit (and starchy veggies pre and post workout) and I’m in much better shape now than when I ate grains and a higher amount of carbs in general, and less meat and fat.

    Bassackwards indeed! That food pyramid is not just upside down, it’s a complete mess.

  • Bob Carlson

    Jimmy, you need to do an interview with Durianrider. He is bashing you on Youtube and on his blog. He said he is ready anytime.