Young and Hungry

The Whole Foods’ Ground Beef Grind Clock

grind clock

My first thought when I saw this grind clock perched atop the meat display counter at the Whole Foods in Tenleytown was the obvious: This has to be a reaction to the New York Times' October investigation into the ground beef business, which revealed, among other things, that "a single portion of hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses" and that "these cuts of meat are particularly vulnerable to E. coli contamination."

But my first thought was wrong.

I asked the butcher behind the counter when Whole Foods had installed the grind clock, and he said a few months ago, or about a month before the Times' investigation. The Tenleytown store, he added, borrowed the idea from the Georgetown store, which had had the clock for months.

Whatever the timing and whatever the accuracy of the clock, it's a brilliant marketing ploy. The clock fosters the sort of trust that consumers want from their organic/natural foods mega-chain, particularly a chain that gives off the impression of trying to corner the crunchy, granola-eating market and gouge those very same consumers.

Between the grind clock and this sort of labeling (picture below), not to mention the chain's meat sourcing, I have to think that Whole Foods' ground beef sales have soared in the past three months.

ground beef pic

  • sigmund freud

    If only their loony CEO did not give interviews that he does not believe in global warming or think the country should be working on the issue.

  • Bill Marler

    Actually, it is most likely in response to this E. coli Outbreak and Recall:

    This meat made it into Whole Food Stores.

  • Wassup

    Whole Foods is a fraud. Ripped off from Austin's Central Market it has degraded into being nothing more then a series of marketing stunts. In markets where Whole Foods gets viable competition, (Wegmans, please move into DC) Whole Foods suffers miserably. Trader Joe's is far better in DC for instance.

    Whole Foods has not cornered the "crunchy granola" market. The only market they have cornered is that market made up of those who don't know any better and those who think a higher price necessarlty means better quality.

  • Former Staffer

    I will continue to boycott Whole Foods until the CEO is removed.

  • greg

    God forbid a CEO wants to make money for his company and not support a welfare state. Remove him immediately for expanding organic foods faster than any other person in America!

    Liberals are the mirror of conservatives; 2 groups that value conformity over individual rights.

  • Richard

    I found the prfile of John Mackey in last week's New Yorker to be very interesting. He is a bundle of delusions and contradictions.

  • Sigmund Freud

    greg: do you believe global warming is a farce? Nutbag.

  • greg

    No you are right, lets all freak the fuck out about global warming and ignore every single local environmental issue to focus on an intractable worldwide problem. Lets ignore the Bay, and the Potomac River and the Shanendoah and all the filthy shit in the Anacostia and transsex fish and terrible farm policies that help slow "global warming". How's your ethanol burning car running? You stupid fuck face.

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  • http://liesandcheats tim

    Whole foods supports gay parades and drugs.
    For that being said there no reason to shop there.