After the debate, we all piled into the dining area once again for a delicious dinner. I had some salad, some tofu loaf, grilled portobello mushrooms, and some hearty dal soup. Here’s a photo of my plate:
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and Dr. Matt Lederman (from Forks Over Knives) were up next to explain some of the cool things Whole Foods is up to. It’s one thing to hear what some of the doctors I’ve been learning from have to say, but when the hugely successful businessman running a massively popular supermarket says that he’s a “student” of Fuhrman, McDougall, T. Colin Campbell, and Caldwell Esselstyn, I nearly fell out of my chair. Here’s some pieces of what Mackey had to say:
- He doesn’t think the government, medicine, schools, or food companies can be relied on to do anything about our nation’s health crisis, so Whole Foods is going to take it into their own hands. I completely agree with him, and thank god Whole Foods is doing something.
- He spoke about the “Health Starts Here” program, designed to call attention to the healthier foods in the store, and the ANDI scores on food, which they borrowed from Dr. Fuhrman. He said that when they put the ANDI scores up, sales of leafy greens like kale and chard DOUBLED.
- The incentive discount cards for team members is genius. Based on your blood tests, you can qualify for either bronze, silver, gold, or platinum cards, with platinum reserved for only the healthiest team members (eating a plant-based diet of course). The bronze card entitles employees to a 10% discount on all store items, while the platinum card gets them 35% off everything in the store.
- For some of the employees with major health issues, Whole Foods has put more than 1,000 of them through “total health immersion” programs – such as Dr. McDougall’s or Rip Esselstyn’s program. They’ve observed amazingly quick healing of the participating employees.
- The Whole Kids Foundation has been getting healthy food in schools. So far they’ve gotten 1,000 salad bars in, with a goal of 6,000 by 2013. I had NO IDEA they were doing this, but its awesome.
- Mackey and Lederman spoke about their new Wellness Clubs (Lederman is heavily involved with them), which are a gym-type membership club they’re testing out in 5 stores. With a membership, you get unlimited access to classes, discounts at “supper clubs,” access to partner networks of gyms, yoga studios, etc., and a 10% discount on the healthiest foods in the store. Check it out here.
- Up next – virtual wellness clubs for smartphones and tablets that will help you shop, provide recipes, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff.