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Last week, people went to Whole Foods because the food was largely organic, fresh and, often, local. Whole Foods fulfilled the desires of people who had strong ideas about the politics of food. This week, however, the same people who shopped Whole Foods for aesthetic and political reasons are avoiding the place — again for political reasons. The president and founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal opposing President Obama’s health care reforms. (He began his piece with a quote from Margaret Thatcher.) Mackey warns of “government bureaucrats” and “socialized medicine.” 

The leafy lefties who shopped at Whole Foods because the food there was “better” are now boycotting the place. The Washington Post this morning describes a beginning boycott as consumers are now looking at Whole Foods the way some shoppers once considered Wal-Mart. (Wal-Mart, we should note, announced this summer that it supported universal health care.) Whole Foods shoppers say they feel “betrayed.” 

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, meanwhile, announces that “Now is the time for all good capitalists to shop at Whole Foods.” (We’ll wait to see if good capitalists will pay Whole Foods prices.) Parker picks up Mackey’s argument that obesity could be reduced if Americans ate decent foods (the kind of foods sold at you know where). Parker writes: “Mackey’s ideas aren’t necessarily the only route, but they offer a path that is pro-market, pro-individual and pro-choice — all concepts that are organic to America and, like spinach, good for you.” 

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