I really do believe that America has this weight problem, obesity issues and we have all these diseases that we get, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases that are primarily lifestyle diseases. 

We’re doing it to ourselves primarily through the food we eat and the lifestyles we lead.  And I really believe that Whole Foods has this higher purpose to try to help people to have a healthier lifestyle, to educate people about how to eat healthier and how to live a lifestyle that will help them flourish and reach their fullest potential of health.  I really do not think we should get these diseases.  I really think people should live to be 100 years old pretty much disease-free.  I think that’s our genetic potential.  

And as I’ve gotten deeper into it, and we’ve done these things like our total health immersions for our team members. We’ve taken 1,000 people that are most at risk, most obese, have diabetes, have heart disease, have other health issues and we put them through this intensive week long retreat at the cost of about $3,000 a person, and it’s been astonishing to me how we’ve had dozens and dozens and dozens of people lose over 100 pounds, for example, in less than eight or nine months.  We’ve seen Type II Diabetes, not just stabilized, but be eliminated, reversed, usually within 30 to 90 days, which is supposed to be a disease you can’t cure.  Well, I can tell you, you can cure it.  Because we’ve seen dozens of people cure it.  

I’ve been amazed at how quickly people can heal themselves actually.  So, gosh, you know, we’ve put our team members through that and why not take that out and get more Americans, get our customers, get the larger public involved in it as well. 

So I kind of have this sense of mission now, when we talk about success, I’d really like Whole Foods to contribute to the healing of America and the success of that may be measured in decades rather than in months, but I think we’re on the way to doing it.  So that’s kind of my next big goal, personally for myself and also it’s one of the goals for Whole Foods as well.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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