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My Whole Foods Review Was Deleted by Yelp

There I was, a two-year Yelp Elite, a committed reviewer and picture taker, a loyal check-in-er and a generous tip giver. Then my beautiful Yelp world came tumbling down when I got an email saying that a review I posted had been deleted because it violates Yelp’s content guidelines. Other than the first amendment, a series of angry thoughts popped into my head, several NSFW words included. Then, it was all very clear. The review they took down was of my local Whole Foods.

Yelp Elite

This is what you add to a photo when you want to make a story more controversial for no reason at all

The inappropriate, but oddly polite email started like this:

We wanted to let you know that we’ve removed your review of Whole Foods Market. Your review was brought to our attention by the Yelp community, and we found that it fell outside our Content Guidelines as it did not appear to describe a firsthand customer experience at this location.

The Yelp community? Do you mean the tree fuckers and gluten-free enthusiasts that shop exclusively at Whole Foods and wear anti GMO t-shirts? It is clear that enough people hit the “Report” button on my review, I assume, out of anger on how accurate and enjoyable my review was. There is something you have to know about me and my Yelp reviews: I aim to not only provide useful information about the products and services in question, but I try to add some context to it, so if I’m talking about a coffee shop I will detail how hipster it is, for bars I would go on and on about the music and for restaurants, I’ll describe the waiter/waitress so you can get a feel for what kind of place it is, you know, the full picture.

Whether my review  described a firsthand customer experience or not is up for you to decide, but the whole point of writing about this is to get insight on the kind of people who shop at Whole Foods and read the Food Babe are: an unscientific mass of easily influenceable folks who  are not very good with money or thinking, in general. And with no sense of humor. The Food Nazis.

Here is the deleted review:

As we all know, Whole Foods is a place for people who think they are better off buying gluten-free cookies, just because they are gluten-free. This place is a clever way to take advantage of consumers that want to “eat better” but don’t understand how life works and have little regard for science. Good-hearted people, though.
Only 1% of the population has an actual intolerance for gluten (celiac disease), yet only 2% of shoppers who buy gluten-free foods do so because they have celiac disease, while 59% said they buy such products because they think they’re more “healthful”, according to a 2013 shopper survey published by the Food Marketing Institute (Source: AdAge). This is just an example of the irrationality that characterizes the health foods industry, but I’m not a doctor (unlike those prescribing themselves gluten-free food), so what do I know.
Clever business model indeed, by getting people to overpay for things they don’t need and that might not have any impact on their health in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I think they have a lot of good products, but they also have pretty conventional food with retarded labels to seem healthier, just like every other store! And that, I think, is my biggest issue: people believe blindly that shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s makes their diet healthier, when you still have to be selective, just like in a regular supermarket.
Here are the items that are a good idea to get at Whole Foods:
– Bulk spices and grains
– Wine
– Cheese
– Any vegetables that Costco doesn’t have
– Some items that you can’t find anywhere else, like vegan cheese
– Certain types of soy sauce and other bottled condiments
– Almond milk, rice milk

I like to go and look for interesting condiments and nice smelling soaps. I also like some of their vegan alternatives, but many are not that good for you, they are just vegan (for those who care about their ecological footprint); I couldn’t find the tempeh today, though, I wonder where they have it…

This review is not about the people who work there, which have been always nice, or this location in particular, it’s about a company that I deem as vulgarly deceptive (read about the “humane farms” issue: http://www.peta.org/blog/food-fight-peta-files-false-advertising-complaint-over-whole-foods-humane-meat/

Every time I come here though (which is not super often) I have to come alone because my husband wouldn’t set foot in this store. He has the knack.

Some useful links:
The Knack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60P1xG32Feo
Americans, Who Are All Doctors, Embrace “Gluten-Free” Crap (NOT!): http://gawker.com/americans-who-are-all-doctors-embrace-gluten-free-c-1324809055
Gluten-Free Food Fad Gaining Momentum Among Marketers: http://adage.com/article/news/gluten-free-food-fad-gaining-momentum-marketers/244174/

What do you think? Was I too out of line? I couldn’t care less.

I just feel that anyone who could get angry about this silly thing has never heard an opinion that counters their own, is not familiar with Dilbert or is the unfortunate product of public schooling and incest.

I still use Yelp, and I know that in many cases these decisions are made by algorithms and not people, so there’s a chance nobody at Yelp ever really read my review. Still, it’s just a shame that a few people who were “offended” by my kind words had enough power to silence my voice on this platform. Unfortunately for them, I have other ways to spread my ideas on the Internet.

Yelp removed my whole foods market review