Whole Foods Health Campaign

US-owned natural and organic food retailer Whole Foods Market has announced in a press release the launch of a healthy eating initiative to provide incentives for shoppers and employees to make healthy eating choices.

The “Health Starts Here” campaign is taking place at all of Whole Foods Market’s 289 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and represents the first major programme to be launched since the retailer added a new core value to its mission in October 2009: “Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education.”

“We opened our first store 30 years ago to provide natural foods as a delicious and healthy alternative to the increasing amounts of highly processed foods with artificial ingredients,” said Margaret Wittenberg, global vice-president of quality standards and leader of Health Starts Here at Whole Foods Market.

“Over the years, we realised that providing the healthiest foods available is simply not enough. We are now deepening our commitment to healthy eating by providing education and support tools to inspire interest in foods that help improve and maintain health and vitality.”

The new programme is based on the following simple principles for everyday healthy eating:

• Plant-based – Focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Get healthy fats in moderation from fresh plant sources such as nuts and avocados.
• Nutrient-dense – Eat foods with high nutrient content in comparison to total calories. Build menus around plant-based foods to emphasize nutrient-rich meals containing a variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. These foods are naturally lower in fat.
• Whole foods – Choose foods that are real, fresh and natural. When possible, opt for food that is organic, local and seasonal. Avoid highly processed and refined foods, and those with artificial ingredients.

The initiative will feature free information, recipes, in-store lectures, events and support groups; available to consumers and team members.

A selection of supporting educational books and cookbooks will also be for sale alongside the “Engine 2 Diet” book and “Eat Right America” programme materials.