whole foods

Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.

"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."

Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.


Austin-based Whole Foods Market says it will revisit its policy on speaking foreign languages after two Albuquerque employees claimed they were suspended for speaking Spanish to each other while on the job.

Whole Foods said, in a bilingual statement on the company's website, that the two were not suspended for speaking Spanish. Instead, the company claims they were actually disciplined for "rude behavior."  The company says the two erroneously believed that they had been told not to speak Spanish by a manager, and became upset.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is recalling two lots of Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon because it may be contaminated with Listeria—a bacteria that can lead to fatal infections in young children, elderly people and people with weakened immune systems.

The second lot, with code 7425A2297A printed on the back of the package, on the upper left side, was sold in Texas stores.

UPDATE at 12:35 p.m., ET, Jan. 17: Many of you wrote in to tell us you were taken aback by Whole Foods top executive John Mackey characterizing the health law as fascism in an NPR interview, and apparently, he's feeling a little sheepish.

About three minutes into his otherwise amiable chat with CBS This Morning hosts on on Thursday, Mackey walked back his comments in response to a direct question from Norah O'Donnell:

Mike Martinez, facebook.com/ElGalloMike

A new Whole Foods opened in South Austin this morning, the second location of the Austin-based chain to open within the region in as many months.

The original Whole Foods market opened in Austin in 1980 with a staff of only 19 employees.  Today its Austin locations number four, out of 310 locations internationally.

The store will reflect the “laid back, at home feel of the South Austin community” store team leader Steph Steele said in a statement. The store aims to provide “an intimate community grocery store experience,” Steele added – a seeming contrast to Whole Foods' bustling flagship location downtown (now complete with  self-driven shopping carts).

Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

APD's Official Statement on Cisco the Dog 

The Austin Police Department has issued a statement regarding the controversial shooting of Cisco the dog on Saturday.

The incident, which drew national press and inspired a Justice for Cisco Facebook page that currently holds over 60,000 likes, led both Cisco's owner Michael Paxton and APD Chief Art Acevedo to speak with KLBJ-FM yesterday. In the interview, Paxton says: "Obviously there's a breakdown of training here.  You don't approach an unarmed man in his driveway with weapons drawn." (In March, KUT News reported on ramped up weapons training at APD, set to start in April).

Acevedo said: "I'm sorry on behalf on all the members of the department.  We know the pain's real."

Photo courtesy wholefoodsmarket.com/news

Whole Foods Bans Unsustainable Seafood

Announced today and beginning on Earth Day (April 22), Whole Foods Market will no longer carry red-rated wild-caught fish, making it the first national grocer to enact such a move. 

Just what is a "red" rating? Using guidelines issued by Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, the designation describes marine life afflicted by overfishing, or invasive fishing methods that harm surrounding species. 

Many of the usual suspects appear on the red-rated list for the Southeast region, which includes Texas: Albacore tuna, bluefin tuna, and imported shrimp. But Whole Foods will also say goodbye to mahi mahi, shark, red snapper, and tilapia – at least until those fish rebound in numbers.

Photo by Nathan Beriner for KUT News

Austin-based Whole Foods Market has announced the opening dates of two new stores in Central Texas today. The company’s Bee Cave location at the Hill Country Galleria will open on May 16th. The southwest Austin location at the intersection of MoPac and William Cannon will open on June 19th.

Both stores “will be about 35,000 square feet in size and will each employ 150 to 200 Team Members,” the company states in a press release.

The company reported a 33 percent increase in profits for the first quarter of this year, and more than 10 billion dollars in sales in 2011.

Photo by Beth Cortez-Neavel for KUT News

Well, our robotic shopping cart overlords aren't here just yet. But a partnership between Austin-based Whole Foods and a local tech firm may lead us a step closer.

Computing giant Microsoft recently demonstrated a “smart cart,” wired to a computer tablet and a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor that can follow shoppers around the store, check items off a shopping list, and, as the video below shows, even make corrections if you select the wrong item.

Microsoft doesn’t mention who made the cart, but news outlets like Wired point to Austin-based Chaotic Moon Studios. Chaotic Moon has previously tweaked Kinect technology; at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, it unveiled the “Board of Awesomeness,” a Kinect-connected skateboard that can travel at up to 32 mph.

Wired says Whole Foods is currently testing the carts at stores in Austin, and will launch a broader trial run in April.

The Secrets Of Whole Foods

Sep 19, 2011

Fast Company visits a Whole Foods in Manhattan to explain how the store creates the illusion of freshness:

Photo by Beth Cortez-Neavel for KUT News

Austin-based Whole Foods Market blew away analyst expectations yesterday with a 35 percent increase in third quarter profit. After the news broke, investors grabbed up Whole Foods stock. That sent shares in the company surging to their highest level since 2006.

But it was only two years ago, in the middle of the recession, that people were asking if Whole Foods could survive. Sales for its expensive, gourmet foods were plummeting and the stock dropped 75 percent in year.

So what happened between now and then, besides the country’s slow economic recovery? Two things, according to equities researcher Karen Short with BMO Capital Markets: value and organic health food.