The unthinkable has happened. Whole Foods’ organicity is being called into question. The point at issue: Whole Foods’ produce rating system, Responsibly Grown.

Organic farmers are POed because Whole Foods’ Responsibly Grown is giving ratings like “Best” to non-organic produce probably grown with standard fertilizers and pesticides. Meanwhile, organic produce is only receiving grades like “Good” or just “Unrated.”

This is my face rn.


Gif courtesy of

Kinda weird for organic farmers to diss Whole Foods, too, since WF has been one of organic farming’s biggest investors. That’s how you know this is sum’n surrrious.

Why is this happening? Well, to get a rating by “Responsibly Grown” suppliers must pay a fee and answer a long questionnaire about topics like their farm’s soil and how they conserve energy. Between the fees, paperwork, and product tracking equipment required by WF, farmers are paying thousands of dollars.

Sounds like the only type of “green” that Whole Foods has in mind is $$.

The “Responsibly Grown” label puts conventional produce in the same league as the organic stuff— and the conventional sh*t is obviously easier and cheaper to grow. Imagine the FIELD DAY going on at these non-organic farms.


Gif courtesy of

The wooooorssstttt part: the “Responsibly Grown” tag is a brightly colored sticker that small organic farmers say outshines the organic label. Vernon Peterson, an organic farmer in Kingsburg, California, says that organic certification is harder to get and means more than the new ratings from Whole Foods.

Apparently following the organic rules is wicked pricey, and there are third-party inspectors making sure that rules are followed. There are no such outside auditors in the Whole Foods system.