Who is John Mackey? Whole Foods CEO slammed as ‘fascist piece of s**t’ for fat-shaming world amid Covid-19

Mackey said access to quality food is not a problem, but a Morgan Stanley note last year in The New York Times found that Whole Foods prices were 15% higher than those at a typical grocery store


                            Who is John Mackey? Whole Foods CEO slammed as ‘fascist piece of s**t’ for fat-shaming world amid Covid-19
John Mackey (Getty Images)

The CEO of multinational supermarket chain The Whole Foods, John Mackey, is in hot waters. Mackey gave an interview to The New York Times that was published on Thursday, September 24, where he blamed people of “making poor choices, mostly due to ignorance” leading to obesity. He said people aren’t taking personal responsibility to eat well. “We’ve opened up stores in poor areas.” He added, “It’s less about access and more about people making poor choices, mostly due to ignorance.”

Mackey stated that access to quality food is not a problem. “I don’t think there’s an access problem." However, a Morgan Stanley note last year in The New York Times found that Whole Foods prices were 15% higher than those at a typical grocery store. Further, nearly 2.3 million Americans live in food deserts that are more than one mile away from a supermarket and additionally, do not own a car, as per federal data.

Mackey then went on to underscore the correlation between the obesity crisis that’s emerged over the past few decades, and the Covid-19 pandemic. “The whole world is getting fat, it’s just that Americans are at the leading edge of that. We’re getting fat, and we’re getting sicker,” he said. “I mean, there’s a very high correlation between obesity and Covid deaths. And one of the reasons the United States has had more of a problem with Covid is simply that the comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, they’re just higher in the US.” He continued, “People are just not conscious of the fact that they have food addictions and need to do anything about it.” He mentioned that people “have got to become wiser about their food choices”. Mackey also discussed why he’s not in favor of a federal minimum wage. “A high, $15 minimum wage makes a lot of sense in certain cities. It doesn’t make sense in other places where the average pay is a lot lower and the average cost of living is much lower,” he mentioned.

No sooner as his comments from The New York Times interview dropped, the Internet was quick to judge Mackey. They felt that there is not only a problem of access but the ‘Whole Foods’ sells products that are unaffordable to the poor. A user wrote on costly prices of products. “Or... people like you at wholes food make food prices so inaccessible for the working class that we have to end up buying cheaper food that you call “poor choices”. What’s up with these damn CEOs this week running their mouths?” 



 

 

Another concurred, “If I, a poor person, have 6 dollars and have the option to either buy a couple of fresh fruits from Whole Foods or 6 frozen dinners from Walmart....guess which one I'm gonna pick? It's not "poor choices". WE HAVE NO MONEY to buy your OVERPRICED bullsh*t.” Some called him fascist. “And this is why I stopped shopping at Whole Foods: the fascist piece of sh*t they have as CEO. CEOs are my number 1 reason to rebuke a business." Another brought up the affordability issue and bashed the CEO. “I live in the 5th poorest city in the US. 'Whole Foods' has Mercedes, BMWs, Range Rovers in the parking lot. I go to a local Asian or Latino market, or even WMT, and it's packed with all races and all demographics. Affordability is the problem, not ignorance.”



 

 



 

 



 

 

However, others supported Mackey. “OMG! This is 100% true. US especially is full of people getting FATTER, and god forbid you tell them to lose a few lbs, they’ll label you a fat shamer. Well, then call me a FAT SHAMER!” Another agreed with the CEO. “Other stores have produce and healthy options. Nobody said that you MUST shop at Whole Foods. Just like nobody forces you to shop at Saks over Walmart. Stop acting like economic victims. Some people can. Some people can't.” A user calls out on fat-shaming. “ATAF believes that ‘Fat Shaming’ is bigotry! There is no place in ATX or anywhere else for this type of hatred! We call for a boycott of Whole Foods until their bigot CEO John Mackey resigns!”



 

 



 



 

Who is John Mackey?

John Mackey is the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and has led the natural and organic grocer to a $13 billion fortune as per Conscious Capitalism. His grocery chain has over 370 stores and 80,000 team members spread across three countries with headquarters in Texas. Moreover, the company has been on 'Fortune Magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For since 1998. It was called World's Greatest Food Retailer in 2006 by Booths, the north of England’s leading regional retailer.

John Mackey and Deborah Mackey attend The Humane Society of The United States' to The Rescue! Los Angeles gala held at Paramount Studios on April 21, 2018, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

 

Coming to Mackey’s career, the CEO devoted himself to help shoppers satisfy their lifestyle needs with quality natural and organic foods. Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. Conscious Capitalism reported that Mackey was the visionary for the Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations. Further, he was involved in the Local Producer Loan Program to help local food producers expand their businesses. Mackey’s involvement could also be seen in initiatives like Health Starts Here initiative that promote health and wellness.

For his efforts, Mackey has been recognized with many honors. He was Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Winner for the United States and got the title of Best CEO in America as per Institutional Investor. As a strong believer in free-market principles, Mackey co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement and co-authored The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book, ‘Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business’. The book defends and re-imagines capitalism, and encourages a way of doing business that is grounded in ethical consciousness.

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