With behemoth health foods retailer Whole Foods marching ahead with plans for an out of scale (and, with the existence of so many local food co-ops, localy-based retailers, and yes, direct-from-the-farm markets, we could say wholly redundant and un-necessary) South Burlington location, faux-progressive and CEO John Mackey may well be getting a bit concerned.  That’s because Vermonters in Pittsburgh to protest the G20 meetings have chosen to target a Whole Foods retailer there as part of their protest against the corporate elite’s pro-profit and anti-sustainability agenda.

A group of Vermont farmers and students blocked the entrance of a Pittsburgh Whole Foods around 10:00 Friday morning.  They then build a raised-garden bed, complete with growing plants and vegetables, under their banners which read “Whole
Communities Not Whole Foods for ½ the people” and “ A Whole Lot of $$$$ GREEN $$$$$” as well as “Grow Gardens Not Corporations”.

From the activist’s press release:

One person joining them from Pittsburgh said “I’ve have watched Whole Foods
come in and cater to wealthier folks from outside this neighborhood with its
corporate green image while selling products that not only don’t contribute
to a local or sustainable food system but are totally unaffordable to most
folks that live here.”

Jean Marie Pearce left her farm in the Northeast Kingdom to participate in planting the garden.  “We need to realize that Whole Foods is about growing profits not sustainability and the G20 is about growing capitalism not a healthy world.  I want a world where food is grown for everyone, not the GDP for 20 countries!  Examples like the dairy farm crisis right now prove the need for more inclusion around these policies.  We can’t protect or control our economy when it is run by 20 people and their corporate friends.”

Once these Vermont activists return from Pittsburgh, we can only imagine what they have in-store for the developers who hope to build a Whole Foods in South Burlington.  It’s a safe bet that Whole Foods and those developers are working on trying to imagine that very thing right this moment.

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