Whole Foods Questions

  1. What are the two leading contributors to cancer?


According to John Mackey the two leading causes of cancer are diet and tobacco usage.


  1. What is wrong with the American standard diet?


The standard American diet contains excessive amounts of processed foods and animal foods, while containing a miniscule amount of whole plant foods. Furthermore, the consumption of soft drinks is extremely high and seems to be increasing consistently. The consumption of cheese, a dairy product high in fat and salt, is very high as well.


  1. What are refined foods?


Refined foods are things like grains and sugar that are heavily altered from their natural state. These foods are generally extremely lacking in nutrients in exchange for taste and shelf life. This includes sugar, white flour, white pasta, and all vegetable oils.


  1. How much whole plant food does he recommend?


Mackey recommends that your diet should consist of closer to 80 to 90 or even 100 percent whole plant food, as opposed to the current measly 12.5 percent that most Americans consume.


  1. Do you think companies should incentivize healthy eating habits? Why or Why not?


Yes. As it is right now, the incentive is on exercising more, and eating less calories, fats, and sugar. While exercise is good for you and eating less of the aforementioned things can help you lose weight it isn’t always healthy per say. Your weight is a good measurement of how healthy you are, but it isn’t always better to weigh less. Furthermore, I feel like exercise is promoted more than it should be. Now, I’m not saying that exercise is bad for you, but it is not the best way to lose weight or stay healthy. Lots of people don’t seem to realize this since exercise is always portrayed as a way to lose weight. For example, those boflex, tredclimber, whatever gimmicky exercise tool commercial you see, people are shown to lose weight through the use of the machine instead of their diet. This can be very misleading. The incentive to eat healthier should be pushed more than exercise. Eating healthier is undoubtable the best way to get healthy and stay healthy, and not many people realize it. Sure it doesn’t build muscles or make you lean and cut, but it is much more important, in my opinion, to a healthy lifestyle than exercise is. Again, I’m not trying to say people shouldn’t exercise, but diet should come first and big companies should push that ideology into the public eye.


  1. What is a total health immersion? What kinds of results have resulted from these immersions?


A total health immersion is a program that lasts for around a week. It takes obese, diabetic, just overall unhealthy people and they undergo complete lifestyle changes to become healthier. According to Mackey, people have lost a hundred pounds in months, cured themselves of their diabetes, and just overall became more healthy after doing total health immersions.


  1. What things does Mackey suggest are necessary for wellness?


Mackey suggests that, for wellness, one must raise consciousness, know their numbers, have a community of support, and make the food easy. People need to be educated. People like to be able to see improvement as it happens. Some people can make shifts by themselves, but most can not, so they need a community of support. Americans don’t like cooking, so the food must have easy food.


  1. Compare and contrast the information provided by Mackey with information from the Canadian government.


Both cover the lack of proper nutrition in the average household. Mackey mentions how Americans like fatty foods, similarly, the Canadian government states that over a quarter of Canadians between 31-50 get 35% of their calories from fat. Both also mention that whole plant foods are consumed in amounts that are far below the recommendation. Mackey mentions how only 12.5% of the American diet consists of such foods, the Canadian government states that 7/10 children aged 4-8 and half of all adults do not meet the minimum recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Mackey does not mention much about dairy, aside from cheese. He also mentions that he is vegan, meaning he does not consume dairy products. If he is proposing that his lifestyle is the healthiest, this means he believes that dairy is not part of the ideal diet. The Canadian government, on the other hand, mentions that 37% of children aged 4-9 don’t drink enough milk and that by age 30, more than ⅔ people do not get the recommended amount. This shows that Mackey and the Canadian government have conflicting opinions on dairy products. Finally, Mackey does not mention anything about income, but the Canadian government mentions that income seems to be directly related to diet in adults.


  1. Mackey specially defines what he thinks is required for wellness. What thing do you think are required for wellness?


Sleep, education, motivation, mental stimulation, and ease of access.


Sleep – Sleep is important for any lifestyle. Lack of sleep would make it difficult to get anything accomplished efficiently, much less allow one to become healthier. It gives your body and mind time to heal and rest


Education – People need to know how to become well to do it. This would prevent someone from going about everything wrong, or possibly worsening their health with incorrect methods.


Motivation – If one has the right motivation, they could accomplish almost anything. Achieving wellness is no different. It is much easier to achieve it if you really want it. It is likely, during any lifestyle change, that one will doubt themselves or think of giving up, motivation can help alleviate that and make one work harder.


Mental Stimulation – I believe wellness extends past the physical and into the mental. For this reason, mental stimulation is imperative to wellness. Stimulating the mind can be just as important as the body.


Ease of Access – (This one isn’t completely necessary). One should have easy access to the things they need to achieve wellness. This includes healthy food, a place to exercise, etc. While it is possible to achieve wellness without having these things easily available to you, it is much more likely that one will be able to achieve it if it’s as easy as possible. This could prevent many people from giving up.


  1. Review the core values on the Whole Foods website. Come up with three core values for yourself:
  1. Work on my mind and body to become the best possible version of myself.
  2. Support my friends, family, and community in any way I can, whether that means helping with menial tasks or volunteer work.
  3. Contribute to society and do what I believe in.



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