When Walmart announced in April that it was introducing the Wild Oats brand of organic food products in 2,000 stores, some food-justice advocates grew excited. In U.S. News & World Report, one writer praised Walmart for embracing “sustainable products and sustainable sourcing.” The Guardian declared that Walmart was providing low-income shoppers with “an organic option they can afford.”
Not everyone is so pleased:
But the intent of the organic movement is to support regional food systems, connect consumers directly to food producers, minimize food-borne illnesses and pesticide-based disease among farmworkers, consumers and children, and enable family farmers to make a living while acting as stewards of waterways and soil, wildlife and agricultural biodiversity. Food-justice advocates fear that if Walmart nabs a bigger slice of the organic pie, it will undermine these principles.