Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why I buy overpriced meat at Whole Foods

Last week I was stocking up on meat at Whole Foods and there was a sign on the meat counter that said something like "We have removed the pork from our counter, our supplier did not pass our inspection. While the food still passes all USDA requirements, it does not meet ours." I wanted to take a photo of that sign, but I didn't want to be the kind of guy who's taking pictures of the meat counter at Whole Foods.

This is the perfect example of the market solving a problem that the government pretends to solve. Yeah, yeah, Upton Sinclair and The Jungle, but times have changed (oh, and by the way, that was a private citizen pointing out the problem). The government just sets lowest common denominator now, and it's really low.

For example, I live just below NCAR. It's a really beautiful national lab with wonderful hiking trails and enough interactive exhibits to keep kids busy. I love using NCAR as a way to get a hike and also just enjoy the architecture. They also have a cafeteria that's open to the public. Since it's only 10 minutes from my house, I'd love to use it a destination for family outings, but since it's a government place, they have to source their food from lowest-bidder USDA suppliers. A wonderful national lab in a beautiful location has a cafeteria that serves terrible food.

Big agribusiness has even colluded with the government to make taking photos of farming conditions illegal. So you really can't trust the government to do the right thing.

That's why I pay way too much money to Whole Foods. They have their own certifications for lots of stuff (they even have a it's not-legally-USDA-organic-but-it's-better-and-good-enough-for-us cert). If they ever let their standards slip, then we can respond by going elsewhere - they actually have an incentive to do the right thing.

I don't mean for this to be a big Whole Foods ad, but I really appreciate when I can point to the market solving a problem better than the government - especially when it's about health. There's nothing more important than the quality of the food we eat.

Also - if the USDA did find a problem at a location, it would probably be months until you found out, not immediately with a hand-made sign at the meat counter. There would probably be a 60-day period where the manufacturer gets to respond to the allegations, and then they'd probably have 90 days to rectify the situation, and then maybe the inspectors would come back. I don't really know the procedure, but years of working as a government contractor has given me insight to how all of these things work.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


power snatch 3-3-4x3


5 push-ups between strength sets

Group Workout

for time (but pretty):
9 deadlifts
row 100m
6 deadlifts
row 200m
3 deadlifts
row 400m

aim for around 70% on the deadlifts - that's very heavy for 18 reps!

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