We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience

1st March 2014

Read it.

If you want to write about spiritually-motivated pseudoscience in America, you head to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It’s like a Law of Journalism. The museum has inspired hundreds of book chapters and articles (some of them, admittedly, mine) since it opened up in 2007. The place is like media magnet. And our nation’s liberal, coastal journalists are so many piles of iron fillings.

But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.

I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t.

My own local Whole Foods is just a block away from the campus of Duke University. Like almost everything else near downtown Durham, N.C., it’s visited by a predominantly liberal clientele that skews academic, with more science PhDs per capita than a Mensa convention.

Still, there’s a lot in your average Whole Foods that’s resolutely pseudoscientific. The homeopathy section has plenty of Latin words and mathematical terms, but many of its remedies are so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule of the substance they purport to deliver. The book section—yep, Whole Foods sells books—boasts many M.D.’s among its authors, along with titles like The Coconut Oil Miracle and Herbal Medicine, Healing, and Cancer, which was written by a theologian and based on what the author calls the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System.

Otherwise known as Whole Paycheck. Hey, nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American people, especially those with high SAT scores and advanced degrees.

2 Responses to “Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience”

  1. ErisGuy Says:

    The suppressed craziness that results from the awareness of uncontrollable fate—illness and death—leads to the empty rituals of eating regimes and rituals of absurdities in the belief that we are special and all those terrible things won’t happen to us.

  2. Whitehawk Says:

    “But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.”

    Can’t let this one pass. Creation science is called a pseudoscience when evolution, which is technically indefensible at this point, is given a pass? Global warming too? When I was in school we were taught an ice age was in the near future for us due to smog. Now in the face of reality scientist are telling us “climate change” is coming! What the… who the.. how the… huh!? Calling Creation Science pseudo science is uninformed and biased.

    Evolutionists are telling us we came about by spontaneous generation (disproven over a century ago), that billions upon billions of nucleic acids in the genomes of millions of species have aligned themselves in precisely the right order, in massive blocks of information at a time to make complete, survivable organisms, in complete defiance of and immunity to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Spreading this process out of billions of years does not help. The Second Law of Thermodynamics has more time to do its work of devastation.

    Just speaking about the “first organism”… it came together in a miraculous feat of self assembly with DNA that was encoded with the language for making proteins to defend itself, reproduce, and metabolize some source of energy. Come on. Now THAT takes a lot of faith.

    Darwin himself said his theory would be disproved if it was found that the basic unit of life was incredibly complex. We found the single cell to be just that and kept right on making the evidence fit the flawed theory.

    Speaking to “observable science” of today… First, no where, in any genome, of any species, has it been demonstrated that coherent, useful information has been added to an organism. Not only would the information have to “fit” in the genome, it would have to come with the same “operating system” as the rest of the organism. Second, the only changes to the genome that we DO observe are consistent with the Second Law and they are transpositions of existing genes or out right deletions of genes.

    If you have not thought through the theory of evolution lately, you will call creation science “pseudo” science. It seems to me evolution is the “pseudo” science. If anyone is looking for an informed, educated discussion try “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown.