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Is Walmart the Solution to Creating a Healthy Diet for Americans?

1/24/2011 4:40:18 PM

Tags: Walmart, healthy eating, how to eat healthy

Walmart is already known for its low prices. Now, as part of a collaboration with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, Walmart has promised to make its food healthier and to make fresh, healthy foods more affordable.  

grocery produce aisleMaking Healthy Food Choices Easier

To begin with, Walmart has identified processed products put out by their house brand that can potentially be reformulated to be healthier. Some specific goals: reduce the sodium in deli meats 25 percent, and lessen added sugars in fruits drinks and dairy items 10 percent by the year 2015.  

If the reformulations are adopted by the entire grocery industry, adults in the U.S. will consume approximately 47 million fewer pounds of sodium each year,” said Andrea Thomas, a senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart.  

This is a big step forward for the largest grocery chain in America — a calculation by a University of North Carolina Greensboro economics professor estimated that for every Walmart that opened per 100,000 residents, the obesity rate increased by 2.3 percentage points. 

The general idea: Walmart is just so big and receives so much traffic, the implications of these changes will result in more Americans buying fresh fruits and vegetables. The store will use its weight to shift prices down and encourage their customers to start eating healthy diets.  

How to Eat Better: Is It All Dollars and Cents?

A debate room hosted by New York Times asks, “Can Walmart make us healthier?” Several panelists have weighed in, with some interesting takes on what Walmart’s move means for the general public. Just because foods are cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean people will buy them — and there is a great risk that people will buy, and eat, more food if it is affordable and labeled “low-fat.” Katie Bauer with the Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training Program, explains: 

“That said, consumer habits are hard to change. In a study conducted by my colleagues at the University of Minnesota, large reductions in the price of healthy snacks did not necessarily lead people to substitute a more nutritious snack for a less healthy one. Often, they just purchased more snacks — resulting in more calories consumed and more money spent — something Walmart has likely considered.”  

The move does call into play the taut power lines strung between food processors, distributors and consumers. As Kelly D. Brownell at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity points out, 

Walmart reducing the sugar in its soft drinks sends a powerful message to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo: Do the same or be seen as obstructing the effort to improve health and lower health care costs. It will become more difficult for companies to pump out highly processed products loaded with sugar, fat, salt and artificial ingredients.” 

Will Walmart’s Decision Affect Your Diet?

Tom Laskaway, a food policy blogger, asks the important question: Will Walmart’s new healthy food policies make a meaningful difference in the fight against obesity? Changing the ingredients of processed foods will potentially have a positive influence on diets across the U.S., but it does little to change to existing food culture of the country that relies on cheap, quick foods with many artificial ingredients. Just because your soda will have less sugar on the nutrition label doesn’t mean it will contain fewer artificial flavorings and preservatives. Eating pretzels with less sodium won’t add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet — even if they are cheaper. 

What do you think about how Walmart’s move will affect the health of U.S. diets? Share you opinions in the comments section below.  


Jennifer Kongs is the Managing Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. When she’s not working at the magazine, she’s likely working in her garden, on the local running trails or in her kitchen instead. You can find Jennifer on Twitter or .

Photo Credit: us.fotolia.com 

 



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Post a comment below.

 

mollyralph
2/2/2011 6:27:10 PM
I'm very skeptical about Walmart's motives in selling healthy food. Locavore consumers have been increasing for years and are a now a significant demographic. I'm concerned that Walmart will corner this market with artificially low prices and the convenience of one stop shopping that local food producers won't be able to compete with.

Paola
2/2/2011 6:06:55 PM
Even if Walmart does change food items to reduce sodium and sugar, Americans will remain obese and unhealthy. Its not about changing junky convenient foods, its about changing our eating habits. The problem with the american diet is that we like everything fast and tend to opt for chemical ingredients vs. the good wholesome food God provided. If the majority of americans would actually take time to prepare food from scratch, we would be seeing less health issues and less overweight people.

Bellalaine
2/2/2011 5:00:43 PM
I think Wal-mart is stepping forward and doing the right thing. For as many people who shop there, I think changing their food offering is going to educate more Americans than not. Not all of us can shop at Whole Foods, or even have one near us. It would be nice if we all could avoid the GMO's and shop responsibly, but when it comes down to feeding your children healthy food, I think we are doing good by having one of the biggest grocery stores change their offering instead of trying to reinvent the wheel all the way. Rome wasn't built in a day, we still need to educate.

Sandra Dyer
2/2/2011 9:24:07 AM
However much fun it might be to bash Walmart, Publix, Target, etc. for what we eat and how fat and unhealthy we are it still comes down to the fact that we are responsible for what we put in our own mouthes! People can't and won't be forced into making better food choices by the government, Walmart or anyone else. Education is the only thing that will change our diets!

kaprice evers
2/1/2011 4:42:03 PM
I'll stick with Whole Foods Market, my local farmers and my backyard garden thank you. Organic is better and the snack foods at Wal-Mart will still have GMO's in them which is baaaaad news for everyone.

Ellie
2/1/2011 9:30:41 AM
I think the main issue here is the regulation of food producers. Why are manufacturers allowed to make poison food? High fructose corn syrup has been proven to cause insulin resistance thereby leading to Type II Diabetes. Could that be why we have such an explosion of diabetes in this country? MSG is knows to cause obesity. It is an excitotoxin that tricks your brain into thinking the food is good and makes you want more. The manufacturers are not required to tell you that it is in their food. It is being hidden in ingredients such as gelatin, yeast extracts, malted barley, calcium caseinate, corn oil, modified food starch, and the list goes on. Why do they need to do this? Because their food is so crappy they need to trick our brains into thinking it's good. And this is allowed! Why do people make food? The purpose for making food is to feed people. People are not fed by bad food, chemicals and poisons. These are people who are only interested in our money. The government obviously doesn't care. It will get rid of some of the surplus population and also feed the medical and pharmaceutical companies. It's down to "we the people". We have got to wake up and stop supporting entities who are killing us. I live in an area where most of the people don't even know what GMO means. So I'm on an educational campaign to empower the local residents. Some don't want to hear it and are determined to take themselves out of the gene pool. But most are highly receptive

CARMEN ORTIZ
2/1/2011 6:13:26 AM
I posted before but I wanted to see what else people had to say. This is not the focus of the article but I have to correct some misconceptions. I worked part time at Walmart for 3 months as a cashier (I decided I really didn't need the pay). I was paid and treated much better there than when I worked at Target. Talk about slave labor! All the managers still call me by my first name (after 1 1/2 years)and ask me how I am. This is a small town with few stores within 100 miles. Everyone buys here regardless of income. Is it perfect? Of course not, there's not much made in the USA but if you go to Target (our home-grown stores, I'm from Minnesota) most everything there is also from China. They provide a service in areas other companies refuse to service, so until that changes I'm not going to act like a snob about something I know nothing about. As I posted before we are the only ones who can change our eating habits. We are responsible for our own lives, if you do nothing about it then you deserve the consequences, only problem is that the children suffer also. It's your choice.

Lindale R. Elmblade
1/31/2011 10:01:25 PM
You are advertising for Wal-Mart - shame. Will not renew! There is so much false advertising by Wal-Mart as it is. They are not the price leader, but the price follower - yes they may beat another price that is already out there. You can get milk at $2.00 a gallon cheaper at Aldis or Shop and Save. That was one example but quality bread, buns, soup, lettuce, and other produce including brocoli and zucchini and tomatoes can be purchased at these stores at least for 20% off of Wal-Mart's pricing and not as a sales price. Can goods are always better quality and prices at these stores. So much of Wal-Mart's goods are smashed or damaged - why buy them. False advertising - price is ____ was ____. They item is seasonal and has not been on them market yet. Example watermelons and pumkins as they come on the market. Various other products have no was price before they hit the shelf!

Mandy Lange
1/31/2011 7:37:23 PM
I think that Wal-mart's idea is noble but will not achieve much. Demographically speaking, Wal-mart caters more to the lower-income people who on average do not eat healthy to begin with. I do realize that not all low-income people eat junk food just like not every customer is low-income-I am speaking from statistics and personal observation. The quality of their produce would have to improve drastically, personal choices would have to be made to eat healthier and the prices of said healthy food would have to be much cheaper than it is right now for those foods to be the new norm. I personally do not think you can get any fresher or healthier food than from your own garden. My backyard is primarily a vegetable/herb garden in which I can control who handles the food. I teach my 3 kids how the garden feeds us and how it is cheaper to grow your own food. The best you can do is to create a new generation of people that realize food comes from the ground not a store and that what goes in your body carries great benefits or problems.

Kim Garrison
1/31/2011 4:11:52 PM
Julie 2: I sell my excess veggies at my local farmers market. We, none of our vendors sell our produce above what the local stores (Wally world or BiLo) sell theirs for. You are misinformed. Please, please, please do your self a healthy favor and buy from your local farmers market. Or even go to your states' main market and buy from them. Many vendors do buy from them and then sell them as "theirs" (not me!). How do you know the difference? Are the tomatoes polished and shiny? Are all the like fruits the same size? Look hard. You will see. My veggies come out of the garden with bit of Au natural dirt on them. Rain splashed and all.

Kim Garrison
1/31/2011 4:04:25 PM
NO!!!!!!! Please read "The Unhealthy Truth" by Robin O'Brien!!!! It will open your eyes!!!!

denimfly
1/31/2011 3:41:46 PM
I do not shop Wally World at all. I do not support adding to their wealth or to any other support they cater to, including China. They also treat their employees like a slave trade. I will not buy anything including produce or meat. The meat they use is beyond inferior. This is strickly a ploy to get more people sucked into the "green washing" that groceries are now doing to get people to buy supposed local produce and food. It has nothing to do with "healthy". I tried at one time to teach healthy cooking and grocery shopping classes to welfare families and all I got was a drug fueled mess. Healthy eathing has to be taught in the home, but when the home is dsyfunctional, I do not know where you start. People are going to do what they want, when they want. You are not going to change it unless you control the food system, which I think is what is starting now. And with Wally joining in, the start of control. AS for me, I grow 75% of my produce starting in the spring, and continue clear through until December, when it gets too cold for my cold frames. I barter my meat and other needs with herbs I grow. I was raised by Amish grandparents who taught me, which I feel I was more fortunate to have. Sadly I cannot teach anyone the skills I know because no one is capable of learning now, or as someone else here referred to as "laziness".

Tawney Peterson
1/31/2011 2:11:30 PM
I smell a rat to. I very seldom buy veggies or fruit from walmart because they just go bad so fast. I shop at local health food stores as much as possible and then other stores and walmart last. Of course I shop my garden in the summer first lol. I think education is definatly key. I wasn’t born knowing about additives so we can’t assume others are either. We need to instill value for ourselves and others in our world by starting at home and working outward living life the heathlyist we can. Teach ourselves then our children and grandchildren. then our community. Pretty soon we will all have backyard gardens and we wont even need walmart except for their Pharmacy lol. Enjoy life to its fullest and if you are experiencing depression sluggishness etc. investigate and learn what may be causing problems. Thats how it started for me. Dont be controlled by big stores whose only job is to provide for their bottom line. Unfortunatly not everyone cares about our health. We need to be proactive and change things for the better for our families and it will become the norm and others will see that and want to do better for themselves.

Melanie B
1/31/2011 12:01:31 PM
I smell a rat. Is Mother Earth News now poised to get advertising $$ from Walmart?

ccm989
1/31/2011 10:43:16 AM
I will NOT shop at Wallyworld under any circumstance. I don't like how they treat their employees (low, low wages and no or limited health care) so I will won't add to the owners' profits (who also ruin local businesses by undercutting them to death). I do eat healthy food because I am lucky enough to know that my family and I should do that. Education is key here. We need to teach our children in school about healthy eating. Eating real food -- not fast food/junk food/convenience food. It all starts with educated consumers. Maybe even the kids' parents could attend classes where people learn about healthy eating (avoiding GMOs, preferring organics, etc.). And how about schools growing their own organic food and teaching the kids how! Knowledge is power!

Rachael Warrington_1
1/31/2011 9:21:14 AM
I agree with a lot of what has been said here. I run a school lunch program in a private school. I still see so many bad choices for our children! Money can make a bit of a difference, but teaching parents how to shop, cook, and eat has to be done. I have so many moms who do not cook, at all. They purchase read to eat meals and serve that. At least they are eating at home, so many more of them go out daily!!! I am going to say the harsh word....laziness!!!! It takes effort, time and planning to prepare a home cooked meal that is healthy-both physically and mentally. I try hard not to shop at Wal Mart...they have put so many mom and pops out of business. I try to shop local and we grow our own food. This year we will be selling at the farmers market as well....come on Amercia...pull your big people unders up and be the grown-up!

Jakki
1/30/2011 11:16:52 PM
Walmart will not change my eating habits because I will not shop there. If they break into the organic industry, they will summarily drive the wages of those who work in this industry down until they have few competitors and then I'm sure they will buy enough politicians to change the standards of "organic" to drop to barely organic, and forget about labeling which might allow people to know what they are buying. I wish people would realize low prices equal low wages or outsourcing which in turn forces more and more people to buy at those low prices.

Carolyn Short
1/30/2011 12:46:06 PM
I agree with FarmGirl! It is up to us to make good choices. I think that Walmart should be given some credit for making the effort, but it is ultimately up to parents to put fewer bad choices in front of their kids at mealtime.

DebKM
1/30/2011 10:23:32 AM
I don't see how Walmart can be trusted to truely deliver quality food products (or any product for that matter) to the public. It is all about making money for themselves. If they really cared about the public, my friend whose husband works at Walmart would be able to get a mammogram and have their insurance pay for it. If they care so little about the people who help them make their money, how can they really care about the rest of the general public? I say help teach them how to grow their own food and help provide them a place to do so instead. The second step is to help them learn to preserve their own food so they can continue to enjoy the bounty they have grown.

sunita
1/30/2011 9:34:38 AM
One of the most interesting and disconcerting observations I have made as a teacher of young children is the radical difference in the lunches of inner city children who are predominantly lower income families and those of chilren from more middle/upper middle class backgrounds, from which I of course hail. Frequently, I see a lunch of potato chips, cookies, cake and kool-aid. Portions tend to be larger as well. Compare that with fruit, vegetables, small portions of meat, soups, pastas of children whose parents have the luxury of having a car to drive to the well-stocked grocery stores or the money to buy òrganic or locally grown produce. How radical is it to assume that education, a decent living wage, universal health care may be the key.

Farmgirl
1/30/2011 9:22:48 AM
It's all about personal responsibility. Most people are already aware of the foods necessary for a healthy diet. It's not Walmart's, McDonald's or Crispy Cremes responsibility to make their food healthier ... its our job to make better choices. As long as folks keep blaming someone else for their health issues, the problem will continue to cause premature disease and death. It's that simple.

Janet Gardner_4
1/30/2011 6:40:12 AM
Where is the responsibility here? Companies including Walmart are in business to sell things that make money for them. That is what capitalism is all about. They can't and won't sell what we won't buy. So, take responsibility and buy only those foods that are good for you and your family whereever you find them. Eventually the food industry will have to listen or go out of business.

SusanB
1/29/2011 6:41:38 PM
Earlier this year MSN posted a list of the 10 wealthiest people in the US. Of those 10 (ten), 4(four) of them were Walton family members; had there not been an air accident in which one of the Waltons was tragicaly killed, there would have been five family members on the list. When one family possesses that much wealth and yet the preponderance of their employees live in poverty, I refuse to increase their wealth by supporting their business. If they really want to improve the health and wellbeing of a population let them raise the standard of living of their employees by paying better wages.

Shawn Henry
1/29/2011 2:17:54 PM
I will buy from mom and pop stores and raise and grow my own food before i will step foot into a Walmart. Ever since they changed there store colors from red white and blue everything made in China, And prepackaged meats and imported produce what a joke. If I have to I will pay a little more.

Melanie
1/29/2011 1:38:02 PM
Thats all well and good but processed food is still what it is, nothing more. People like it and they are going to buy it no matter how much salt or sugar or how many unpronouncable ingredients are involved. They love to be courted with expensive advertising and will buy anything if it is marketed to them in an effective way. Cooking and eating real food for a healthy lifestyle is an idea that will have to rise from the people who care about it and have a desire to educate their families and communities about the benefits. Big business just doesnt have enough to gain by encouraging people to eat truly healthy food. I talk to my 7 year old every day about food and how important it is for both health and ethical reasons to know where it comes from.

MistletoeLady
1/29/2011 12:32:09 PM
Wal-Mart creating a healthy diet for Americans?!!! In my opinion the answer is a great big NO!!!!! I cannot go to my cupboard to find a can of "Great Value" food, because the ONLY time we EVER shop at Wal-Mart is when we have put off getting things till all other stores are closed and the need outweighs the wait for stores to open the next day. Many countries see nothing wrong with using human excretions for fertilizer for their fruits and vegetables. The USA has banned that practice for health reasons, and should ban purchasing foods from countries who use that practice today. Sure Walmart will tell us we can "save money and live better" by shopping their store and many people will do just that because their advertising really does work! But, the bottom line is, they don't care about the quality of the product, only the quantity going out their doors inside their little bags. We have traveled the US pretty extensively, my husband is disabled and their bathrooms are usually the easiest for him to get in and out of, so we used to stop in their stores a lot. We have literally had managers from all across the US tell us that Walmart does not purchase first quality anything. "How else can they afford to sell at a lower price?" Think about it.

Suzanne Horvath
1/29/2011 11:23:07 AM
It's not a solution, but notice to other companies of the need for change to mfr'd food and produce. I do shop at Walmart because even though I live in a rural area, the farmers here ship everything out and there isn't much organic farming going on. We have an extraordinarily high rate of cancer - way too many pesticides etc. The few places that have organic produce charge very high prices. Since I'm on a limited budget, and a medically directed diet, I don't have all the choice I would like and can't afford the expensive organic products. I did have a garden when I first moved here, but medical issues have cancelled that idea. I buy where I can afford to and right now Walmart is actually the best place in our area. The produce and other food items are fresher than the 2 other stores in our county. We were held captive for years by another chain supermarket which has now started lowering prices and treating us better since Walmart came in. But their low quality produce, meat etc have not improved yet. I'm not a Walmart fan in general, but other chains are just as bad - it's just that Walmart has more clout. I would like to see the elimination of prepackaging of produce. I hate that I can't pick what I want. Carrots for example: if I just want a few for stews, soups etc, I have to buy a whole package. And that's a package that may not have the best bunch. Same w/other items. I want to be able to pick out what I want - like we used to. Less plastic!

Coneathea Smith-Derr
1/29/2011 9:44:11 AM
Is Walmart the solution? My answer would be an emphatic and resounding NO! Processed food is the one of the many reasons to the rise in the obesity rate. The solution is indepth education. Not the cursory glance that the kids are given today. We need to educate our youth on what healthy really means and what the causes of eating the crap that is spoon fed to us by the processed food industries. Just watch a kids channel, and tell me that the crap they are trying to get our children addicted to is healthy? Walmart is not solution for our nutritition, jobs or business. We the people are our solution. Starting growning your own fruits and vegetables, learn the time honored tradition of canning and preserving food, develope relationships with your local orchards, ranchers and farmers. I realize in larger populations that it may not be as easy as it is here in Kentucky, but it can be done. Educate yourself and those around you.

bclay
1/29/2011 9:35:42 AM
Walmart may claim it is putting healthy products in the grocery department, not the issue. I dare you: after picking up what you want at this store and are standing in the long line waiting to check out, remove all the Made in China merchandise from your cart, and purchase the remainder. If Walmart wanted to help Americans, they would buy more Made in America products.

Stacey
1/29/2011 8:55:04 AM
This is a very bad idea. The spreading of Monsanto's influence on our food sources continues w/ their introduction of GMO alfalfa. The only way "organics" can be offered on such a large scale for the likes of Walmart is to produce food that has been altered to meet the needs of these businesses. Please refer to: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm and SIGN THE PETITION!!

Jenna Simons
1/29/2011 8:41:57 AM
Processed food helps no one. If the government wanted to help the American people, there would be subsidies for broccoli and kale, instead of genetically-modified corn syrup. Michelle would do better teaching people to garden and cook whole foods from scratch. How much money is she getting now that she's on the Wal-Mart board, anyway? How much is the President getting from Monsanto now that he's put them in charge of the FDA, USDA and given them another seat on the Supreme Court?

peay
1/29/2011 7:08:30 AM
Walmart is only interested in the bottom line. They have destroyed the rural economy and now they act as if they want to HELP! Hopefully, the rural areas can take back our economy. Please make the extra effort to buy locally.

Juanita Sullivan
1/28/2011 7:05:53 PM
Walmart used to be my favorite store but no longer. Never ever though I would say that. I shop there as little as possible. I live in the small fishing town of Yarmouth Nova Scotia and we have a small walmart here. No grocery store like in the states. There are a few rows of processed and frozen foods nothing fresh. Recently Walmart has chosen to dissolve their craft dept and did away with bolted fabric as well. There is a fabric store about 10 miles from here and I will be going there. I am shopping more local farmers markets as well. But once I get onto my land and get my garden going along with the chickens, cows etc, all the stores are going to start seeing very little of my money.

Lancy
1/28/2011 6:40:25 PM
Seems to me it's not so much what people eat, but what they drink. Check those labels.. if it has any form of "corn sirup" put it down and don't eat it, or drink it, or feed it to your pets, because they'll get hooked and be obese as well. Wake up folks..and read those labels!

CARMEN ORTIZ
1/28/2011 4:52:45 PM
Is Walmart the solution? Is that question for real? No, we, as in Americans, are the only possible solution. Walmart can stop selling everything that is not good for you, and people would just shop somewhere else for the unhealthy food. Knowledge is what people need but it's what they don't get from the government, except for publicity stunts like this one. Until the government agencies stop protecting large agricultural conglomerates, that's not going to happen. We know corn syrup is bad for everyone, so what's the solution? Prohibiting the use of corn syrup? Of course not, it's listing it in a label with other ingredient that the vast majority of people fail to even comprehend. People who are into organics know about organics, people who are not only know second hand from what they read in Yahoo. Allowing parts of insects, rat fecal matter in processed food is wrong, but the government allows it. Try to sell some of that in a farmer's market and see how fast a few dozen government agencies would be there to close the market. (Good for Walmart is they do it, but it's everyone who eats' responsibility.)

jrpoole59
1/28/2011 3:32:58 PM
It's a positive move on WalMart's part, but probably won't have much affect on obesity rates in America. Until such time as the current trends in government subsidies to farmers and producers is reversed, as a nation we'll remain overweight. Current subsidies should model the food pyramid, not be the opposite wherein sugar variants (corn syrup) get a bigger subsidy than fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. And yes, it is a complex puzzle with many pieces to resolve and make work together for the benefit of healthier Americans.

E M
1/28/2011 2:37:40 PM
I used to live in Maine when there weren't any Walmarts and I learned to can, freeze, and preserve everything that I could. I didn't live on a farm but was able to have a milk cow, raise one for beef, chickens, and a pig. And I subscribed to Mother Earth News. My garden was nearly an acre. I'm in my seventies now, and last year was my first garden in many years. I got a pressure canner and went to work. I realized that the next generation has not learned about canning and preserving except for the freezer. I do shop at Walmart, and have found that the quality of the food is not always the best. I was looking at a package of fresh green beans and they looked beautiful from the front of the package but when I turned it over I noticed the beans didn't look very fresh. The plastic bag they were packaged in had a green colored front and clear color in the back. The green really did a good job of making a not so fresh product look good.

Carol Williams
1/28/2011 1:53:07 PM
While I agree that it is a small step, a preferable one would be to increase the quality as well as variety of the produce Walmart offers. While the size of Walmarts has increased, choices of brands of canned and frozen foods have decreased, leaving the consumer with fewer choices of good quality items. "Great Value" isn't so great! I find myself doing less business there as they attempt to increase their market share, preferring to buy locally/regionally produced food, as well as planting our own seasonal favorites!

anneb
1/28/2011 12:29:21 PM
Thinking that WalMart vegetables are cheaper but still good is a fallicy. The commercially grown produce is not nutritous, and you actually eat less when you are getting good nutrition. You may spend a bit more at a farmer's market, but you will be healthier and eat less over time. And for the record, doing things by reducing sugar by 10% is nothing. WalMart is not your friend. They will put on a facade to 'look good', but I do shop them because I am in a small mountain town and they have run every body else out of business. So unless I travel 60-100 miles there is no where else. I find all the products are getting cheaper and cheaper, and I do not mean by cost, I mean they fall apart quicker. I hate to think what/where the food is coming from. The last time I tried to buy produce from them, carrots, there were spoiled in the bag. You will never see a natural carrot spoil. It may dry up, but get slimy and stinky? Why knows what was put on it.

Mary J
1/28/2011 11:34:40 AM
I do a lot of my shopping at Walmart because that is what I can afford. They already have some organic products which I purchase. I avoid processed foods as much as I can. We grow some of our produce and are increasing that amount. I'm apalled by some of the shopping carts I see loaded with pop and chips and conveinance foods. We all must become responsible for our eating habits and health. Walmart's efforts are a step in the right direction but will only be encouraged if consumers purchase healthier foods. This company is run on profit and we need to encourage healthier eating and buying. I believe we can push for a better food supply if those who care make themselves heard. Mary J

Julie Casey
1/28/2011 10:14:34 AM
Wal-Mart is a life saver for those of us who are not as wealthy as others. I would love to buy from local farmers' markets, but their prices are higher than Wal-Mart's. Those who bash Wal-Mart only do so because they have enough extra money to shop at more expensive stores and markets. This is not true for everyone. Give credit where credit is due. Wal-Mart allows me to feed my children healthy food, afford prescription drugs, and all the other things a household needs. Without Wal-Mart, our standard of living would be severely diminished.

Julie Casey
1/28/2011 10:13:49 AM
Wal-Mart is a life saver for those of us who are not as wealthy as others. I would love to buy from local farmers' markets, but their prices are higher than Wal-Mart's. Those who bash Wal-Mart only do so because they have enough extra money to shop at more expensive stores and markets. This is not true for everyone. Give credit where credit is due. Wal-Mart allows me to feed my children healthy food, afford prescription drugs, and all the other things a household needs. Without Wal-Mart, our standard of living would be severely diminished.

Lyn
1/28/2011 9:30:21 AM
We buy as little as possible from any grocery store. We buy from farmer's markets, food coop, local farmers. We don't buy processed foods (the box is safer to eat than the contents!)Maybe it will make a difference for some - hope it does. Cooking from scratch is a great way to know exactly what is going into your food. But sadly, lots of people either don't know how or are too lazy to cook.

Dale Haverty_2
1/28/2011 8:31:01 AM
I know Wallmart bashing is popular, but sticking to the subject at hand: This new program won't change my lifestyle or eating habits. My family is already aware of nutritional requirements and how to read labels. Having said that, let's look at this as a step forward as it does call to the attention of the public the need to eat healthy and what they are doing causes no harm.

lm
1/28/2011 8:06:26 AM
It's a start but Walmart needs to start posting signs in their store that state "Buy American, Buy USA". A huge amount of items in their stores are from China. How are we ever going to turn this thing (economy, etc) if we don't start reminding people in every store, in every shop all across America that our future depends on us buying USA?

Jennifer Kongs
1/25/2011 1:53:55 PM
A couple more opinions to take into accout - the power dealings between Walmart and the government aren't to be taken lightly - http://www.foodpolitics.com/2011/01/what-are-we-to-think-about-walmarts-healthy-food-initiatives/ and http://www.grist.org/article/2011-01-25-how-walmart-execs-fleeced-the-white-house-on-healthy-food

Mike Lieberman
1/25/2011 11:11:53 AM
It's absolutely not the solution. As long as they keep treating their employees, neighborhoods they move into and environment the way that they do, they will continue to be a problem and not a solution.

Stacey_7
1/25/2011 8:40:42 AM
I agree with Jo, it's a good start. Problem is, with a change like this, you're not necessarily teaching people a well-balanced diet, just making what they already eat a little healthier. But in the grand scheme of things, I can see this having a positive effect over time if Walmart continues to build on this idea. Can't say I have any desire to shop there, but it is nice to see one of the largest American corporations making a change like this.

Jo _4
1/25/2011 7:31:37 AM
It is not the whole answer, but it is a step in the right direction. Walmart has a lot of influcence on the manufacturers. If they start demanding more healthly recipes, others will follow.










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