The Organic Food Lie and Its Implications for Whole Foods

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We are a gullible culture. Whether it's the internet telling you that vaccinating your children causes autism or commercials convincing you that Enzyte will turn you into John Holmes, no one has ever gone broke underestimating the intelligence on the American public.

Now the curtain has been pulled back on another steaming pile of bullshit designed to separate you from your money – organic foods. A study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes there is no evidence "organically grown" fruits, veggies or meat are any more nutritious than the regular stuff you get off the shelves at your local supermarket.

Organic Food is more expensive because you believe it is healthier. And when you believe that, you subconsciously will believe it tastes better. Even if you couldnt pick the organic product in a blind taste test:


 

Which brings me to Whole Foods (WFM) – the Wall Street growth darling that's just off it's 52 week and all time highs. WFM is typically 15%-30% higher than your local supermarket. Food prices are already skyrocketing due to the drought. Add in the sheer brilliance of using 40% of the corn crop to produce ethanol and I believe there is a perfect storm brewing on the horizon for Whole Foods.
It won't happen overnight – the last big hit to WFM was during the 2008 recession when the stock dropped 77% .

A good indicator their top is coming will be when same store sales growth starts to tank. Current guidance for Fiscal year 2012 sales growth is 15.6%-15.8%, while same store sales growth for 2012 is 8.6%-8.8% – so far they are hitting their targets.

For me the question is how long until their customer base wakes up and realizes they have been overpaying for a lie
 

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