The 15-Year-Old Beef Between Whole Foods And A Lobster Fishery

Whole Foods has rubbed some people the wrong way since its debut. One of the major complaints that people have is the astronomically high cost of shopping there. Block Club Chicago reports that Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who cited high prices as the reason one Whole Food store failed: "Most Chicagoans are hard-pressed to pay, for example, $15 a pound for a piece of steak." Then there was the time that Whole Foods had to pay a massive settlement because an investigation found that the supermarket had been grossly altering the weight of products in order to charge people more.

Despite the massive prices, Whole Foods is still struggling to make ends meet in the current marketplace. It's even been projected that the company might not survive the next few months. A combination of high prices, a delivery service that requires an Amazon Prime membership, and new competitors in the marketplace have dealt a blow to Whole Foods and could herald its end.

Another issue facing Whole Foods is protests by those who don't like what the brand is, or in this case, isn't putting in its stores. One oyster bar in Maine that is disgusted with the chain for attempting to be more ecologically conscious and kinder to animals. It's so disgusted, in fact, that it attacked Whole Foods for no longer carrying lobsters, even though that policy was implemented back in 2006.

Being kinder and more humane does not sit well with J's Oyster

J's Oyster is an institution in Maine, the land of delicious seafood. It's been featured on USA Today's 10Best, where it was widely praised for both the menu and the ambiance. Though the restaurant and fishery is typically known for its oysters, crab, and clams, it has gotten a lot of attention for a Facebook post attacking Whole Foods and calling customers to boycott the grocery chain.

"Whole Foods will stop carrying live lobsters because they say it is inhumane. Stop shopping there!! This is Portland Maine!! We were built on the fishing industry ... So skip your tofu zucchini noodles and shop at Hannaford or Shaws," the post read, according to WJBQ, a radio station out of Portland, Maine. However, J's Oyster's message is a little late. NBC News reports that Whole Foods began its lobster ban in 2006, meaning the fishing industry has had more than 15 years to recover. 

Thus far, the industry seems to be doing fine despite the ban. In fact, the fishing industry is expected to grow about 5.3% in 2022, per IBIS World.