Whole Foods' Ramadan Promotion Controversy
There's a storm brewing, but sadly for Dallas, this one won't bring rain. CNN jas followed up on a story from our sister blog in Houston, which reported that the food retailer pandered to right-wing pressure and canceled promotions related to the ongoing Ramadan holiday.
Eating Our Words broke the story yesterday after obtaining an email sent internally among Whole Foods employees. Facebook and Twitter sent the story viral, igniting a debate over the merits of religion as a promotional tool, religion's influence over what we eat, our fears and stereotypes and how they govern the way we interact with cultures we may not fully understand.
Whole Food's representatives claim that Eating Our Words' reporting amounts to nothing but a "tempest in a teapot". But editor Katherine Shilcutt followed up today with screen shots of the emails straight from Whole Food's servers, which clearly recommend yanking promotional materials referring to Ramadan.
It is probably best that we don't specifically call out or 'promote' Ramadan," reads a portion of that email. "We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered 'Celebrating or promoting' Ramadan."
The email was sent out from Whole Foods' corporate office to its marketing teams.