Okay, read this. Or at least skim it. Or you could probably get away with just reading the headline. I'll probably inadvertently summarize the rest.

The first thing that strikes me as odd about this strange alliance is the fact that, as mentioned in the article, First Ladies aren't exactly known for their direct praises of corporations. As I've written before, I rather like Michelle Obama's work with Let's Move. It's level-headed, logical, and well-run. This Wal-Mart thing... sort of rubs me the wrong way. Partly just because I have trust issues with Mega-Corporations like Wal-Mart. Actually, pretty much all that. I don't trust Wal-Mart to do this right.

On this subject, Bill Simon, President and CEO of Wal-Mart and a man who makes more money in on hour than most  his 2.1 million employees do in a year, very rightly said that "Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to make a difference." The retailer has, after all, 60,000 different suppliers worldwide and generates more than $20,000 in PROFIT every MINUTE! It sells more food than any other business in the world. If Mr. Simon willed it so, the hyperstore could easily improve the health of at least one country.

For more fun numbers and facts about Wal-Mart, go here or here.

What I worry about this deal is not Michelle Obama's involvement, and it's not even Wal-Marts capitalistic intentions. It's Wal-Mart's food suppliers. When said suppliers are asked to supply healthier foods, they aren't going to do what they really need to do, which is sell fresh fruits and vegetables and unprocessed foods. If anything, they'll end up adding yet another middleman between farm and table. Adding some Metamucil to a can of soup isn't nearly as healthful as eating whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, but if the only steps involved in producing a food are to grow it and to sell it, then far fewer people stand to capitalize on it, which makes the benefit of the people very corporation-unfriendly, as if that's anything new.
 


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