John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods is a douchebag--this isn't really in question. He's anti-union, he claims to be a libertarian, and the latest is story is that he's a global-warming skeptic. And he's gotten rich by pandering to progressives--people like me who worry that big-agriculture and the processed meat industry are taking shortcuts with food quality and safety that can affect both our short and long-term health.

We don't shop at Whole Foods, but not because of the recent movement to punish the company for Mackey's political stances. We don't shop there because we can get the quality of food we want, organic and otherwise, from Publix, which is cheaper and closer (though there's a Whole Foods not far from where we live). But the reason we can do that is because of John Mackey. Douchebag or not, he proved that there was a market for organic products, even if the word organic is now starting to get stretched to cover things it shouldn't. We have better selection at Publix now because Whole Foods grabbed that part of the market and Publix responded by changing their selection.

And it's not just organic produce and organic processed foods I'm talking about here. Grocery stores everywhere now are offering specialty items like artisanal breads made in-house--ten years ago, that was hard to find outside of high-income or major metropolitan areas. Not so much anymore. And in a way, we have John Mackey to thank for it.

But thanks is about all I think I'll give John Mackey these days. He's rich enough, and I have other options.

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