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Whole Foods CEO Sits Down with the New Yorker, Overshares

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For those in need of some sizable lunchtime reading, The New Yorker pens a long profile on controversial/wacky Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, or as he's dubbed in the piece, "Whole Foods management’s greatest asset but also, at times, its greatest challenge." Just a sampling of his best quotes from the piece:

· On becoming a vegetarian:

I had no interest in a vegetarian life style...But what I was interested in was alternative life styles. And I thought, honestly, that I’d meet a lot of interesting women. And I did.
· On his new relationship with the media:
I no longer drink alcohol around journalists

· On college:

I did a lot of those experiments that young people do when they’re in college. I’ll not name those.
· On a deep conversation with his wife of 18 years, Deborah:
She told me how she only wanted to be with me in this love connection, this heart connection. She wanted to be there for all eternity. I started to get nervous, I started to get freaked out. . . . She said, ‘What are you afraid of?’ . . . ‘I like love, I like being with love, but I don’t want to be trapped in the love space.'
· On his newfound fame:
Well, it’s less fun when people are calling you an asshole and writing you hate mail, but generally I’m still having fun ... I am self-actualizing myself. You want to use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? I am fulfilling my inner desires, in terms of reaching my fullest potential as a human being. I became a grocer.”
·On the ever-evolving nature of his company:
What matters is that whatever value we’ve created gets injected into the DNA of other companies and the economic system as a whole. Just like, speaking as a biological metaphor, Hey, your kids are here to replace you. Your DNA will move on, but you yourself will be eliminated. Whole Foods will someday die. Everything does. I’d rather mine not die while I’m still alive.
· Food Fighter [The New Yorker]

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