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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the pseudoscience-makes-pretty-good-cakes dept.

Science 794

__roo writes "Many Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It's all pseudoscience — so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others? That's the question the author of this article tackles: 'From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort ... Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. ... The homeopathy section has plenty of Latin words and mathematical terms, but many of its remedies are so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule of the substance they purport to deliver.' He points out his local Whole Foods' clientele shop at a place where a significant portion of the product being sold is based on simple pseudoscience. So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

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God (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371073)

Don't 90% of Americans still believe in God? Why should their believe in any other myth be surprising.

Re:God (3, Insightful)

Moblaster (521614) | about 7 months ago | (#46371153)

Long-story-short-summary: Go to Whole Paycheck, buy the food, skip the ONE WORLD! ONE MIRACLE! DR. BRONNER SOAPS! and you'll narrowly avoid being labeled a vegetarian hippie pagan whose holistic massage business is doing particularly well.

Re:God (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371389)

I like those soaps. The labels look like something written by Time Cube guy.

Re:God (5, Informative)

ottothecow (600101) | about 7 months ago | (#46371415)

For the record--the Dr. Bronner's people write some crazy shit on their soap bottles...but they make a damn good product.

The crazy ramblings are part of the charm (especially the lemon and vaseline birth control method). I think they just keep it on the bottles in memory of the company's founder.

If you don't want the crazy, you can buy bars of Kirk's castille soap at whole foods as well, although I don't think they have a concentrated liquid like Dr. Bronner's. Dr Bronner's is a great travel soap--you can do laundry with it, wash your body or hair (if you are not picky about how it rinses out), and even brush your teeth (if you are brave). I spent a month in Europe with just a little bottle of that super-concentrated stuff...and the big bottle I filled it with is still going strong.

Re:God (4, Interesting)

mwehle (2491950) | about 7 months ago | (#46371417)

Yeah, I've been enjoying the produce for years while managing to ignore the hype and tolerating the faux-personal interaction of the checkers. I'm not sure that "many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently" as far as belief systems and evaluation of empirical evidence are concerned. Many of us go to Whole Foods for the food.

Re:God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371167)

That statistic is wrong.

Why? (2)

Dareth (47614) | about 7 months ago | (#46371195)

Does it smell of the orifice it was pulled out of?

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 7 months ago | (#46371269)

For the sake of argument, let's say it was pulled out of the nose. What does your nose smell like?

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371331)

Like this: *sniff sniff*

Re:God (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about 7 months ago | (#46371297)

That statistic may be wrong, but I'll believe to be correct the one I've heard more than once this week about how many people, this being 2014 already, who think that the Sun rotates around the Earth, and if you believe that statistic then how much of a stretch is it that people will believe the goofy woo-woo pseudo-science crap being pushed on them at places like Whole Foods, too?

For what it's worth I only go there because they carry bread I can actually eat all the time without getting sick, and because they've got an awesome beer section. Most other things get bought at Winco, Costco, or a regular market (in that order, and the last only for best quality of produce). So far as I can see only people who simultaneously are stupid and have more money than sense would buy all their groceries in that place.

Re: God (4, Insightful)

colinnwn (677715) | about 7 months ago | (#46371407)

My wife likes to buy organic fresh vegetables, fruit and free range meat because of the less intensive farming and ranching practices. She claims Whole Foods prices are generally cheaper than other grocery stores and even our farmers market for those items. But the processed and prepared food is much more expensive.

Re:God (1)

stephenmac7 (2700151) | about 7 months ago | (#46371225)

a. Less than 90% of Americans claim to believe in God (and even less actually do)

b. You're assuming everyone on Slashdot thinks God is a myth. Rather than just claiming, "God is a myth," tell us why he's a myth.

Re:God (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371353)

Myth: "a traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."

By that definition, god is absolutely mythological, whether he's real or not.

There are, of course, other definitions for myth, especially in the vernacular.

Both the Plato and the Old Testament discuss atheists. I'm willing to bet that there has never been a time in recorded human history when every person believed in a god or gods. That means in no point in recorded human history has god shown himself to all humanity, beyond any reasonable doubt. So if you believe in gods, especially a particular god, it's because somebody told you about him.

Re:God (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 7 months ago | (#46371333)

Homeopathy is bigger in France than it is in the US. So if you're going to make snarky comments about Americans, be sure to throw in a few about the French as well.

Re:God (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 7 months ago | (#46371375)

I'm a theist who actually cares enough about both science and correct theology to know the answer to this is laughably no [pewforum.org] . And I consider this sort of incredibly bad pseudoscience and other equally stupid superstitions to be the primary cause of that.

Even if you take my assumption that God exists, religious fundamentalists of various stripes make him out to look like an idiot. There is little wonder under 70% of Americans still believe in Him.

Why single out Whole Foods? (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 7 months ago | (#46371087)

Go to Safeway or any other supermarket and take a look around. Or do you really think that post cereals promote heart health? Hell, it took a law suite to stop "vitamin" water from claiming health benefits from their sugar water.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371137)

Yeah, but at Whole Foods, this kind of bullshit is at the core of their business model. In comparison, Safeway are just pseudoscience opportunists/dabblers.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (5, Informative)

ottothecow (600101) | about 7 months ago | (#46371149)

I always assumed that the aisle of pseudoscience homeopathy crap was just there because it was super high profit margin and likely to be purchased by the customers who will go out of their way to seek out organic products.

Personally, I shop at whole foods because it is on the way home and it has significantly better selection and quality of produce than the Jewel (which is slightly more out of the way).

I really hoped this article (when I read it a week ago, thanks slashdot) would have been about some of the questionable restrictions they place on their food. They have decided that nitrates/nitrites are "evil" and must be avoided...as such they won't sell anything that uses sodium nitrate (instacure #1) as an ingredient. Of course, without nitrates, you won't have bacon or a whole host of other cured meat products (such as many hams/salamis/etc). How does Whole Foods get around this? They figure out how to make bacon using celery juice so that they can say "No Added Nitrates" despite the fact that bacon made this way can actually have higher nitrate concentrations than bacon made with curing salt (and can taste a little funny since who wants bacon made with celery?).

Either they need to admit that nitrates are OK to eat, or they need to stop selling things that defeat the point of their own restriction.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46371323)

Either they need to admit that nitrates are OK to eat, or they need to stop selling things that defeat the point of their own restriction.

They can't admit that because a lot of their customers are idiots who shop there because of the "no nitrates" stickers.

Nitrates from celery are obviously more natural than the industrial chemical nitrates used in bacon, right?

And that's the point of the summary: Why do seemingly-sensible people believe that sort of crap?

Me? I don't want sea salt. Not with all the mercury and PCBs floating around in the ocean. You think they refine it or anything? Nope, they just evaporate the water and package it.

I want the stuff that's been underground for millions of years, unmolested by humans until they dig it out. Give me the most refined, chemically pure salt they can possibly manufacture. Sodium and chlorine in equal amounts, that's it (well, maybe a bit of iodine as well).

You try telling one of the people in the store that sea salt may not be better. They'll chase you out of the shop with a slab of tofu!

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46371399)

Me? I don't want sea salt. Not with all the mercury and PCBs floating around in the ocean. You think they refine it or anything? Nope, they just evaporate the water and package it.

I want the stuff that's been underground for millions of years, unmolested by humans until they dig it out. Give me the most refined, chemically pure salt they can possibly manufacture. Sodium and chlorine in equal amounts, that's it (well, maybe a bit of iodine as well).

You try telling one of the people in the store that sea salt may not be better. They'll chase you out of the shop with a slab of tofu!

This just in: All salt is sea salt.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (5, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46371373)

Whole Foods, and in my part of the world, Sprouts, are fantastic places to find in-stock fresh vegetables at a fair price, as well as spices in bulk well under the price that a bottle of Shilling or McCormick will cost me. Similarly I can get some deli items (cheeses, specifically) and microbrews my normal grocery store might not carry.

For that, I love them.

...and then there's the homeopathy aisle, and the gluten-free-because-it's-trendy-not-because-I-have-an-allergy aisle.

For that, I hate them.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371181)

A few years ago I had this bright idea to sell "gluten free" water. A few months later I was surprised (not!) to see somebody beat me to it.

I think the difference between most of these health idiots and the Creation Museum is that if a doctor or other health professional sat down with most of these people to explain to them the issues, that they'd be receptive to the facts and consensus opinions.

Most of these consumers are not zealots, whereas most creationists are zealots. So the question compares apples to oranges, so to speak.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (1, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46371341)

Most of these consumers are not zealots, whereas most creationists are zealots.

No, but they are wasting their money on this stuff. Sure, it's their money, but the sellers are con artists and shouldn't be allowed to prey on them.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371413)

I hope you're joking. People vehemently opposed to GM foods and vaccines are exactly the Whole-Foods-shopping crowd we're talking about here. If you've ever had a conversation with one of these people about things they feel strongly about, you'd realize that they are, in fact, zealots of the same level as religious creationists.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46371421)

A few years ago I had this bright idea to sell "gluten free" water.

I'm still trying to get 100% USDA Grade A Beef brand corn husks.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46371193)

Although imperfect, we do have an FDA and FTC to call bullshit on false claims. Should we have the same for bogus religious dogma? I know: Constitutional protection. But other countries do have forms of this. Not just any wacko with a motel room bible and a single-wide trailer can set themselves up as a church.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 7 months ago | (#46371221)

I agree. And this is stupid.

From the summary:

So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?

Maybe it is because the stuff the author finds objectionable is just a segment of the stuff available there? But the Creation Museum is 100% about creationism.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 months ago | (#46371359)

Why single out Whole Foods?

Why indeed? What's wrong with Whole Foods?

I read a few paragraphs of the article, and it's ridiculous. The author obviously has something against those particular three things: creationists, climate change "deniers" (the very phrase indicates bias), and Whole Foods.

If this were anything but a rant against certain particular entities this person didn't like, why not acknowledge that homeopathic "medicines" can be found in pretty much any local grocery store? They're certainly in all the stores near here. So... why single out Whole Foods and compare them with creationists?

If this is the kind of crap Slashdot is going to keep posting, maybe it's time to go elsewhere.

Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371381)

How do you know someone goes to Whole Foods? They wont shut up about it. There is a lot of attitude that comes with shopping there.

Because... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371093)

"So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

Because so many of you are idiots? The left is just as full of religious whackos as the right is.

Re:Because... (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#46371183)

Whole Foods is nothing like the Creation Science Museum.

It's just a store. It offers options. It caters to a particular niche.

It's really just a pretentious grocery store. The original article is a nonsense propaganda piece trying to attack a consumer alternative. It's just Monsanto/ConAgra trying to slander the choices of that part of the market that's not buying what Monsanto/ConAgra is selling.

No one running the local Whole Foods is trying to subvert science education in your local school district. No one at the local Whole Foods is trying to impose their beliefs or customs on you our your secular government.

The article is just mindless tripe for the Monsanto shills.

Re:Because... (4, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 7 months ago | (#46371261)

"No one at the local Whole Foods is trying to impose their beliefs or customs on you our your secular government."

Well, that isn't necessarily true, because many of the same people who shop at Whole Foods are active in the anti-GMO movement. They shop at WH because they fervently believe at GMOs are bad for themselves and everyone else, and many folks are politically active, at least in California, in trying to put anti-GMO statutes on the ballot whenever they can. So while whole foods isn't necessarily doing those things, they certainly cater to people who do.

Re:Because... (1, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#46371357)

You are so full of shit.

Whole Foods is what represents genuine liberty here. Some people don't want to eat this crap you have such a fetish for. It's a free country, so they are free to make whatever choices they want. The fact that you don't approve of those decisions is completely irrelevant.

YOU are the Food-Talibani here.

YOU are the one that wants to make it hard for people to make an informed choice.

YOU are the one that wants to shove your CRAP down everyone throats.

YOU are the fascist.

Whole Foods is just a place where people who what to make a choice are able to do so. Nothing in the "anti-GMO" movement would stop you from doing the same. You're just engaging in the neocon tactic of trying to to pretend your enemies strength is actually a weakness.

There is NO THREAT posed by full disclosure.

Re:Because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371427)

"No one at the local Whole Foods is trying to impose their beliefs or customs on you our your secular government."

Well, that isn't necessarily true, because many of the same people who shop at Whole Foods are active in the anti-GMO movement. They shop at WH because they fervently believe at GMOs are bad for themselves and everyone else, and many folks are politically active, at least in California, in trying to put anti-GMO statutes on the ballot whenever they can. So while whole foods isn't necessarily doing those things, they certainly cater to people who do.

Realize that the march against GMOs and Monsanto is a global one. There are countries do not allow GMOs, and Monsanto is doing their best to infect the planet with it's seed, fucking it up rather permanently.

As much as you want to blame the pretentious Whole Food shoppers for this, they're a small sliver of the overall global issue.

Re:Because... (0)

msauve (701917) | about 7 months ago | (#46371307)

What brand of homeopathic remedies does Monsanto produce?

Re:Because... (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 7 months ago | (#46371281)

The left is just as full of religious whackos as the right is.

Ding ding ding! I've been snickering quietly to myself about the recent spate of right-wing editorial authors discussing how liberals are trying to eliminate "intellectual diversity". Amazingly, these authors have discovered fundamentalist liberals, and the fundamentalist liberals discovered "purity tests" and "with us or against us" and somehow the right-wing editorialists just don't see the connection, probably because they were blinded to it when it was their side doing it.

As for the rest of us non-fundamentalists, I don't buy into the homeopathy mumbo-jumbo either.

Troll (5, Insightful)

engineerErrant (759650) | about 7 months ago | (#46371107)

While Whole Foods does sell a lot of homeopathy items, that is *hardly* its entire character as a store. I, along with no doubt many others, go there because it's a specialty grocery store that has a lot of interesting foods that you can't find other places, including (and especially) a big variety of craft beers and vegetarian stuff. Their produce and bulk sections are also hard to beat for variety and freshness, and the prepared-foods section is great when you're on your way home and don't feel like cooking.

I'm no Whole Foods shill, and it does have its share of silliness. But comparing it to the Creation Museum is completely ridiculous and has no place in serious discourse.

Re:Troll (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371203)

The cheese aisle is also very impressive. Do they have cheese at the Creation Museum?

Re:Troll (3, Funny)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 7 months ago | (#46371247)

They should, God created the moon.

Re:Troll (5, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | about 7 months ago | (#46371229)

Homeopathy is not silly; it is a lie. If you sell it, you're lying to people. So it matters that Whole Foods sells it, as it casts doubt on their grasp of science, which indicates their "healthly" foods are just marketing to the credulous.

Re:Troll (2)

Kenja (541830) | about 7 months ago | (#46371271)

Lets assume you're right. How does their grasp of science effect the freshness of their kale? Cause I really don't care about the former when compared to the later.

Re:Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371345)

He is right. Go do some basic reading on the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

I don't believe it renders WF unfit to sell healthy food, but it does show a deeply tainted moral compass. Of course, WF isn't the only company guilty of this. Every chain drug store I've been in around here (CVS, Walgreens, Target) all sell homeopathic garbage.

Re:Troll (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#46371265)

I used to schlep half way across town to shop at a Whole Foods for the produce because my local grocery chain was lacking. As soon as a better chain (or two) set up shop in a more convenient location, I stopped shopping at Whole Foods.

Although I would still consider going there just to see what interesting things they have that my local produce clerk does not. The same goes for a couple other more upscale grocers.

Second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371291)

Whole Foods has awesome spice sections. And the section with the Whole Foods brand in the zip lock bags is a great value - $1.69 for something that goes for almost $4 in my other grocery stores.

The 365 brand tofu is much cheaper too. Basmatti rice by the 10lb bag. Naan is much cheaper their too. Eggs are from a local farm and they're free range. Their freezer section has so many different things made by small companies - like Julie's Strawberry Yogurt bars are incredible.

Their fish and meat can be a bit pricey, though.

But it does annoy me that the vitamin section is organized by symptoms - like "Joint Pain" or "Colds". it makes it a real pain in the ass just to find a B-12 supplement.

Re:Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371315)

I'm a little torn by this article because WF *does* sell alot of good gourmet food that doesn't carry pseudoscience in its marketing (their booze, cheese, and bulk items come to mind, which you also mention)

But seriously, at least 75% of what WF sells comes with these labels about its supposed health or nutritional benefits. Studies do not support the idea that organics are superior or that GMOs are dangerous. Then there are the countless items that proudly declare that they don't contain specific things that are generally recognized as safe but yet is nonetheless treated as a boogeyman by WF and the companies producing the products they sell.

The type of people who shop at WF, besides the connoisseurs of finer foods like you and I, are yuppies and affluent suburbanites who buy into the woo being peddled by Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz, and many others who profit off of scaremongering about the foods we eat. The same sort of people often refuse to vaccinate their children, believe that homeopathic remedies are superior to real ones that are researched by scientists, that chemtrails are a real thing, that fluoride is a government conspiracy (and WF happens to sell fluoride-free toothpaste to cater to these nutters), and etc.

Re:Troll (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 7 months ago | (#46371339)

You're right, but recall that the article had a much longer list of pseudoscientific bullshit that sells at Whole Foods. Homeopathy is just one really obvious instance. Credulity in that stuff is at the core of their business model. The thing is, they also have lots of stuff that I like to buy, but I don't appreciate the deeply cynical nature of their marketing strategy. When you absolutely know that your products do not do what they claim to do, and you sell them anyway because you count on your customers being too dumb to figure it out, that is just really disrespectful.

Re:Troll (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 7 months ago | (#46371365)

Yeah, my BS meter started going off only couple paragraphs in. I don't particularly care for Whole's Food either (big mac burger for me, please), but damn, man. Don't play the "skeptic" card if you're going to write junk. And I say that not as a critic, but as somebody who holds high standards. We have enough hacks on the FTBs as it is. :P

Probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371111)

..because despite catering to psuedoscientists, Whole Foods tends to stock quality (if overpriced) food.

I'm not sure they are "more equal"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371113)

Thinking people should probably be as critical of these things as they are of religion. But if there's one reason why we pay less attention to pseudoscience at the grocery store, it's because nobody is killing people over their choice of yogurt. At least not yet. I wouldn't put it past some of the vegans I've met.

ahh homeopathy. (4, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#46371115)

so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule

...but THAT is what makes it so effective!
Looks like Dice and _roo are in teh pockets of big pharma and big grocery !!!1!

Here's another alarming trend: people are starting to use "homeopathy" to mean "holistic, nature-based, alternative medicine". When you tell them what homeopathy really means you will get "well that's not what it means to me! i mean in the more general sense" or "meanings change over time!".

Re:ahh homeopathy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371259)

If alternative medicine worked... It would just be called medicine.

Food. (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | about 7 months ago | (#46371117)

AFAIK, Whole Foods main business is not quack snake oil - it's organic produce. (Or is it? I mean, it's been so long since I entered one of these over-priced supermarket...)

Here is another example: a lot of newspapers have an astrology/horoscope section - or even a religion section - does that make them entirely anti-science? Nope.

Re:Food. (1, Troll)

Carewolf (581105) | about 7 months ago | (#46371185)

AFAIK, Whole Foods main business is not quack snake oil - it's organic produce.

So quack food?

the science on organic food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371409)

let us assume you believe the Stanford study which claimed there was no “significant” or “robust” nutritional differences in organic food, it did find significantly higher ingestion of pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in non-organic food.

That was a scientific study.

Others prefer organic farming because it is healthier for the environment.

Re:Food. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#46371431)

... it's organic produce.

Just out of curiosity, are there types of non organic produce?

Go. Buy food. Leave. (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 7 months ago | (#46371119)

Whole Foods has many products that regular grocery stores do not. I go there, buy the product I want, and leave. Yes, there are some aisles full of oddness, but I just skip those ones. In the end, it's just a store; buy what you want, leave what you don't.

It's kind of like Best Buy; just because Monster cables are such a stupid overpriced quasi-religion doesn't mean I shouldn't go to Best Buy; it just means I shouldn't buy those cables.

Re:Go. Buy food. Leave. (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 7 months ago | (#46371385)

just because Monster cables are such a stupid overpriced quasi-religion doesn't mean I shouldn't go to Best Buy

There are many, MANY reasons not to go to Best Buy...

They sell more than pseudoscience (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371121)

As a person with many dietary restrictions, I shop at Whole Foods for their Wheat/Milk alternatives. Not everyone shopping at Whole Foods is covering their babies in fish oil.

Re:They sell more than pseudoscience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371249)

Statistically speaking, it's extremely unlikely that your dietary restriction on Wheat (gluten) is based on real science. Something like 0.001% of all gluten-free shoppers actually have Celiac disease. The rest are on some kind of placebo trip about how they feel miserable in the morning and some doctor/quack told them to try cutting out gluten. Wake up, we all feel like shit in the morning, but most of us don't make up medical excuses for it, we just get on with life :P

Re:They sell more than pseudoscience (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 7 months ago | (#46371287)

Right, why would you do that. They are already covered in baby oil.

The difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371129)

is that no one is putting homeopathic textbooks in public schools.

Climate Change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371135)

I'm a climate change denier. The data shows climate hasn't been happening for the last 15 years. I haven't seen anything this ugly since i read about World War 2 German propaganda. Liberals only defense is to say, there should be no debate. That is fascist. That is suppression of speech. That flies in the face of the data. They shame the ignorant that if they say climate change doesn't exist, they are akin to flat earthers. We're going to shove this thing down your throat when we're done with it.

Re: Climate Change (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371171)

Either you're a troll, or you're very very stupid. Or possibly both. Who am I to judge?

Harm (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#46371139)

Creationists brainwash school children into believing fairy tales.
Climate change deniers prevent necessary environmental laws to be passed.
Homeopathy only hurts gullible people.

Some evils are just more evil than others.

Re:Harm (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 7 months ago | (#46371197)

Homeopathy only hurts gullible people.

...and the people they make medical decisions for. I've personally known people who give their kids homeopathic water to treat stuff they really should be seen by a doctor for. It's not the kids' fault that they have stupid parents, but the kids are the ones suffering harm./p

Re:Harm (2)

RDW (41497) | about 7 months ago | (#46371311)

Some evils are just more evil than others.

http://whatstheharm.net/homeop... [whatstheharm.net]

straw from soulskill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371147)

hey, it is a capitalist society and the customer is always right. but just because wf sells some products of dubious value, that doesn't mean every product sold there is of dubious value. Dumbass!

What happens when science is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371161)

Does the earth stop spinning?

It's simple really... (4, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 7 months ago | (#46371163)

... no one, even well educated people, have the time to sift through all the bullshit. Many well meaning people confuse terms marketers came up with to purposefully obfuscate the product with "healthy food". If you don't keep up on that stuff (which most people dont), it would be trivial to be mislead by healthy sounding words through relentless advertising and association.

When you name yourself something like "Whole foods" you give yourself a different aura, you project "healthy food" not pseudo-science. Not to mention we've had vitamin/mineral half pseudo-science for a while that kind of gave hucksters an in to sneak their bullshit in under "healthy foods". The science for a lot of stuff is difficult/vague and takes a long time to do studies and companies can't wait to exploit the health conscious aspects of peoples brains by confusing them with marketing speak and over promoting the benefits of marginal "health aiding" products.

maybe because they aren't harming anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371165)

sure, they might be wasting money, and I might have to adopt
a pained expression when they are lecturing me about the
benefits of a macrobiotic diet or some homeopathy.

but they aren't trying to direct government policy to force me
to live like them.

Well, there is consistency (1)

Paxinum (1204260) | about 7 months ago | (#46371179)

Might it be that all this pseudoscience are things not taught in school? I mean, there is no decent sex education, so, most people need to discover all the nice imortant bits all by themselves. Maybe this translates to a broader acceptance of pseudoscience; if schools cannot be trusted to teach a wonderful thing like sex, how can it be trusted to teach anything? Hence, the suspicion about science, and acceptance of pseudoscience?

Class definitions (4, Interesting)

Catbeller (118204) | about 7 months ago | (#46371187)

Creation museum: customers tend to be poor, relatively uneducated, and don't understand basic science.
Whole Foods: customers are almost exclusively well-off, expensively educated, and don't understand basic science.

Everyone's stupid about something.

Re:Class definitions (1)

Animats (122034) | about 7 months ago | (#46371273)

Creation museum: customers tend to be poor, relatively uneducated, and don't understand basic science. Whole Foods: customers are almost exclusively well-off, expensively educated, and don't understand basic science.

I know. I sometimes go to Whole Foods for the rotisserie chicken, which is quite good, but that's about all I get there. The homeopathy boom is just silly. "Organic" is mostly an excuse for overpricing vegetables. The production cost differential is about 20% max. The retail cost differential is 50-100%.

Trader Joe's has equally good vegetables, nuts, grains, etc. without the Whole Foods ego trip, and with better prices.

Re:Class definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371423)

But the cheese selection at Whole Foods IS AWESOME!

  (just like Legos, sorry)

Re:Class definitions (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 7 months ago | (#46371295)

While I mostly agree with you...I rarely see anybody buying stuff from the aisle of homeopathic shit at my whole foods. I think that most of well-off, expensively educated, customers know quite well that that stuff is BS. They probably also don't care that the bread slicer is used on both organic and non-organic bread.

That stuff must be insanely high margin though. What's the profit on homeopathic cure-all (cure-nothing) water? You probably don't have to sell much of it to make it worth the shelf-space (and it is all non-perishable unlike most of their goods).

Science as a Religion (3, Insightful)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | about 7 months ago | (#46371205)

So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

It's easy -- because in many ways "science" has become a religion to many. However, many people lack a firm understanding of scientific principles and methods. So, if something looks "science-y" with Latin words, molecular drawings and other intelligent-sounding but hard-to-understand descriptions.

These days people have "faith" in "science"..and if that so-called science goes along with their worldview (which Whole Foods is self-selecting in that a certain worldview makes someone more likely to become a shopper there), then they may blindly accept it. Very few people have the skills and motivation to actually analyze the claims of these manufacturers and just go with their biases when making a decision.

Re:Science as a Religion (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 7 months ago | (#46371383)

It's easy -- because in many ways "science" has become a religion to many. However, many people lack a firm understanding of scientific principles and methods. So, if something looks "science-y" with Latin words, molecular drawings and other intelligent-sounding but hard-to-understand descriptions.

Hmmm, I don't think the attraction to homeopathy has anything to do with an affinity towards science, since scientists and doctors are in nearly universal agreement that homeopathy is complete nonsense. If anything, the people who practice homeopathy are suspicious of modern (Western) medical science and scientists, which is why debates over this issue, or vaccines, or EM radiation, quickly devolve into accusations of complicity with the evil Big Pharma and reminders of thalidomide, etc. Basic laws of physics and scientific principles like double-blind placebo-controlled trials are sneered at. It's really difficult as a scientist in a notoriously left-wing part of the country, because I see this all the time, but on the other hand, I don't have sanctimonious busybodies offering to pray for my soul either.

Because humans they are hyprocrites.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371207)

Duh...

Because they don't preach (5, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#46371211)

So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

1) Whole Foods is a grocery store, the Creation Museum claims to be a museum.

2) Certain states aren't trying to teach children the "controversy" surrounding dandelion root extract supposedly curing my ailments. There isn't a national debate surrounding gluten-free pancake mix. Politicians don't get elected to office by appealing to the "this organic sea salt is only 4000 years old" crowd.

Convenience Fee (1)

mange (113241) | about 7 months ago | (#46371223)

Sometimes it's the closest grocery to where I am...

Often the produce is remarkably less gross than other chains.

The rest of the products are sufficient that it's easier to may their markup than travel elsewhere.

Finally, Placebo effect, though I don't actually buy from the homeopathy section...

That's one aisle in Whole Foods (4, Interesting)

gQuigs (913879) | about 7 months ago | (#46371235)

It's the entire existance of the Creation Museum. To be fair I would like to see them get rid of that one aisle.

Whole Foods is doing a lot of really good initiatives, see:
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.co... [wholefoodsmarket.com]

And they don't just say blindly yes God said so to questions like "Is Organic better for you?:
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.co... [wholefoodsmarket.com]

And probiotics after taking antibiotics makes logical sense.... I remember a study that showed that our natural bacteria wasn't at the same level 1 year after taking antibiotics (please don't use this as an excuse to not take antibiotics). If we have the right probiotics available to us is a different story. My wife just got antibiotics and the hospital recommened probiotics...

*Disclaimer: I own a small bit of Whole Foods stock. I'm sure this post will greatly increase it's value....

It goes hand in hand with Creatonism (2)

mschaffer (97223) | about 7 months ago | (#46371239)

Look at who is vehemently perpetuating this pseudoscience. People like Orrin Hatch have neutered the FDA in regard to dietary supplements.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicin... [sciencebasedmedicine.org]

Teach the controvesy... (2)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 7 months ago | (#46371241)

If whole foods was pushing to include their advertising/propaganda into the Health Education school curriculum under the banner of teach the controversy I think you see an equal reaction.

Dumb Motherfucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371245)

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the fourth sentence of the article:
"The place is like media magnet."

Do they have /. editors over at The Daily Beast now?

This article is like bag of shit.

I can't even begin to express how fucking stupid this entire article is, so I'll leave it at this: comparing PROBIOTICS to CREATIONISM is full-blown retarded.

For fuck's sake.

You pick your biases and you pays yo money (3)

judoguy (534886) | about 7 months ago | (#46371251)

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE simply believes what they want. No, really. We all have a world view that makes sense to us.

Hate Republicans? Then you believe in socialism, you know, for the children. Hate commie bastards? You probably believe that God gave the deed to Israel to Jews.

Purely rational? Not like those other dumbasses that believe in that goofy shit? Then you probably believe you really see the world completely, no limitations, no illusions, no misunderstandings.

If so, you're the most obnoxious of them all.

Bad science vs denial of science. (0)

ramk13 (570633) | about 7 months ago | (#46371257)

One is bad science the other is denial of science. Bad science is making a falsifiable claim and then not properly verifying it. Denial of science is making a claim that isn't falsifiable. There's a big difference between saying probiotics will increase digestive regularity and reduce inflammatory disease (may not be true, but we could test it) and saying God created the earth and you can't disprove that because the Bible is irrefutable.

Because liberals are above reproach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371263)

Because liberals are above reproach

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371275)

Answer: Brad's Kale Chips are so yummy and will help get you laid.

Selection (4, Funny)

Copid (137416) | about 7 months ago | (#46371285)

If the Creation Museum starts stocking the same selection of beer and cheese that Whole Foods does, I might swing through from time to time if I'm in the neighborhood.

Not quite the same (2)

GlobalEcho (26240) | about 7 months ago | (#46371313)

Dumb question: it's about the actions of the believers. That's why the anti-vax kooks (whotends to skew left) gets a similar reaction to the creationists and climate wackos.

Granted that homeopathy stuff is ridiculous pseudoscience, but the difference is that nobody is trying to push it as a driver of public policy. When I shop at Whole Foods, it's for the tasty, tasty bread and local salsa and nobody minds that I walk right past the snake oil. I don't have a problem with creationism, I have a problem with it being forced on others. That's why we perceive it differently.

Vote Down Articles (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 7 months ago | (#46371337)

"It's all pseudoscience"

Over generalization. I would vote this entire article down and the original poster who submitted it.

Meet the new snake oil salesman (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46371349)

What is really repugnant is people with medical degrees hawking snake oil and "alternative" therapies. I cringe every time I see Dr. Oz legitimizing some quack idea posited by a guest and he never challenges them on their BS. Then there's the MD quack Dr. Richard Becker who's show is effectively infomercial for his noni juice and vitamin supplements. These type of doctors are even more evil than traditional snake oil salesman because, rather than outright lying, they string together a series of unrelated/uncorrelated facts to influence their viewers into believing something that isn't true. You can't assail them on any one statement because taken piecewise everything is true.

Could have made a good point....... (2)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 7 months ago | (#46371361)

But he spread his fire much too wide, and seems to make a lot of assumptions himself. I wonder if, in the part about bread processing, he could have confused organic bread with gluten free bread. Mere crumbs of regular bread can indeed make people with Celiac disease sick. I have a few friends and relatives that shop at health food stores specifically for gluten-free products; and the last time I checked, autoimmune disorders are very real and not just cooked up by a bunch of hippies.

Whole Foods is just one of many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371371)

The entire food industry is rife with nonsense. They are NOT selling you health. They are selling you what you've been convinced to buy! Duh!

Don't mess with Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46371377)

Both faith based organizations are based there.

Why do people believe in this stuff? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 7 months ago | (#46371387)

Because people are dumb like that.

Everyone wants to believe in a magical solution. Even if the "magic" is junk science, bad math and buzzword overload.

And, because they imagine themselves socially conscious, and have been indoctrinated into WANTING to be thought of that way, and WANTING to be part of the "healthy foods" movement, that they'll embrace pretty much ANY snake oil that comes along.

This isn't new. This has been going on for centuries. And a certain number of people are ALWAYS going to fall for this kind of crap. It's just, with the larger population now (than ever before) that snake oil like this can stand out so brazenly. And what do they do? they adopt the appearance of yet another cultural staple, the supermarket, to further sell their snake oil.

It only ends when people stop acting stupidly and allowing other people to tell them what they want. (i.e. never).

Left stupidity and right stupidity (1)

psydzl (738376) | about 7 months ago | (#46371393)

It's a matter of politics. People long for simple answers to hard questions, and pseudoscience is the modern equivalent of alchemy and magic. Most Americans are not good at science, but would never admit it, because they need to believe they're "smart." Whether someone chooses to believe in creationism or Whole Foods silliness is largely a matter of political preferences. It's frustrating because the concept of the scientific method is easy to understand, and should be learned in school.

There's a reason I'm not up in arms (2)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | about 7 months ago | (#46371395)

I have never heard of Whole Foods. If people want to eat some organic stuff, why would I care?

CVS/Walgreens do it too! (1)

bhoar (1226184) | about 7 months ago | (#46371403)

Why single out Whole Foods? The cold/flu aisles of the local CVS & Walgreens are packed with explicitly homeopathic and semi-secretly homeopathic (e.g. Zicam) "cures". Drug stores carrying these things bothers me more than whole foods. Plus, I have many *other* reasons to hate on Whole Foods that make this seem minor in comparison...

Author of TFA mixes apples and oranges (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 7 months ago | (#46371405)

No pun intended. Homeopathy and the anti-GMO campaign don't belong in the same bucket. Homeopathy works on the placebo effect. Yes indeedy, that's pseudocience if you believe in it. It "works for that guy" much like prayer. OTOH, running a massive experiment on all of humanity by GMOing foods is more anti-science to me. There is no way to have a control group. Just like drugs that get onto the market and they discover that 1 out of a million people get heart attacks from the drug. There was no way to test that drug properly before releasing it. Likewise, there is no way to test the long-term effects of GMOs on large populations before releasing them. The fact that some of us would rather be in the control group doesn't make us anti-science. It makes us skeptical and that's good. TFA --> recycling bin.

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