Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Kinda Says We Don’t Need Healthcare, We Just Need To Eat Better

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, is at it again. In 2009, he pissed people off when he penned a WSJ op-ed suggesting that Americans take more control over their own health and rely less on healthcare. And once again, he’s singing a similar tune:


“I mean, honestly, we talk about health care. The best solution is not to need health care,” Mackey told Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner in an episode released on Nov. 4.

“The best solution is to change the way people eat, the way they live, the lifestyle, and diet,” Mackey says. “There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be healthy and have a longer health span. A bunch of drugs is not going to solve the problem.”

This “solution” understandably caught the ire of a few rational Twitter users:

The internet absolutely adores taking things literally. That isn’t even to defend John Mackey—I haven’t listened to the podcast because I don’t care enough. But I’m guessing that the CEO of Whole Foods probably didn’t specify that eating more root vegetables is a viable alternative to all healthcare-related needs? Was he really telling cancer patients to eschew chemotherapy in favor of cauliflower rice? Doubtful.

It’s no secret that Americans prefer to eat fried Oreos over celery. John Mackey definitely has a point. If the entire country all of a sudden went on lean protein, high fiber, heavy vegetable diet, it would definitely help lower healthcare costs.


Have you ever had a fried Oreo? Ever sprinkle powdered sugar on a fresh glob of fried dough at a country fair? Ever stop for a Cinnabon at the airport?

Sorry John. This is America. We are a country of taste.