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Can Walmart Ever Be a Friend to the World?

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Photo: Walmart/NYT

Today's New York Times brings news that Walmart, evil corporate overlord, is making a concerted effort to become healthier. They'll be reducing the bad things and increasing the good things. More fruit; less fat. Less salt; more vegetables. You know, that kind of thing. Since Walmart sells more groceries than any other company in the country, this action will be exponentially more impactful than the ravings of a lunatic (though completely correct) healthy fringe. This, of course, is good news. But wait, does this mean we have to learn to stop worrying and love Walmart?

There's still plenty to hate about Walmart. If you're at all concerned about working conditions there or the flow of money and jobs to China or how the establishment of a Walmart in an urban area drives down wages across the neighborhood, yeah, Walmart is still pretty shitty.

But, even allies don't see eye-to-eye on all things. I mean, the fucking President of China, perhaps one of the biggest violators of human rights in the world and one of the most toxic states on the planet, just came over to the White House for apple pie and ice cream. Michelle Obama — who backed this Walmart effort — even dressed up real nice.

Which brings us back to Walmart. Sure there are die-hard dogmatic anti-Walmart stalwarts whose schema isn't sufficiently flexible or perhaps even rests on the premise that Walmart is evil, always was evil and always shall be evil. But it's time they came out from the hills and put down their weapons. Walmart is doing the right thing here and should be lauded. Will Walmart ever be a friend? No, but it's time we became frenemies.

· Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods [NYT]
· All Walmart Coverage on Eater [-E-]