Whole Foods is Lying to You

by Savannah O'Leary
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Whole Foods Market is regarded as a safe haven for health fanatics — it's stocked full of rare vitamins, organic produce, and gluten-free alternatives. Its shelves boast a rainbow selection of super nutrients. The company has even launched its own label, Health Starts Here, and foods stamped with that slogan are guaranteed to contain plant-based fibers and healthy fats. Though Whole Food's prices are usually higher than the average supermarket, most of company's shoppers operate under the understanding that you get what you pay for.

The trust might dissolve, however, now that Whole Foods has been accused of fibbing about the nutritional content of one of its products. According to Consumer Reports, Whole Foods’ 365 Every Day Value plain fat-free Greek yogurt contains five times more sugar than what’s listed on the nutritional label. Say what?

Since most plain yogurts contain between 5 and 10 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving, food experts at ConsumerReports became suspicious about the alleged 2 grams of sugar in Whole Foods’ yogurt. After preforming tests, they found that the 365 greek yogurt contained an average of 11.4 grams of serving. Not cool.

We are all familiar with the history of trauma involving nutritional labels in this country. The FDA has criticized many brands for boasting titles that don’t match up with nutritional content. ‘Extra Light Olive Oil’ for example, often does not warrant a special ‘light’ distinction given the fat content listed on the label. Though we might forgive misleading marketing, there is no excuse for a blatant lie.

When Consumer Reports confronted Whole Foods with its findings, a company spokesman said: “We are working with our vendor to understand the testing results you have provided. They are not consistent with testing results we have relied upon from reputable third-party labs. We take this issue seriously and are investigating the matter, and will of course take corrective action if any is warranted.”

Perhaps this is all an unfortunate misunderstanding — stay tuned. In the meantime, we'll be eating Chobani.