This is what your salad bar looks like without pollinators

This is what your salad bar looks like without pollinators
With Pollinators

Pollinators play a vital role in producing one-third of the world’s food crops, but they are disappearing at alarming rates. Whole Foods Market and The Xerces Society are joining forces to “share the buzz” about the plight of the pollinators and empower shoppers to “bee” part of the solution.

To kick off the two-week campaign, Whole Foods Market’s Gilman store in Berkeley, Calif. demonstrated what shoppers’ salad bar choices would look like if pollinators vanished. The before-and-after photos (above) are startling – as are the findings:

  • Avocados, tomatoes and berries are just a few of the favorite offerings that would become scarce or disappear from the salad bar without the help of pollinators, which play an integral role in more than 100 types of crops in the U.S.
  • Only 40 percent (26 of 63) of the store’s original salad bar offerings remained. In addition to produce options, shoppers would have to give up salad toppers like almonds, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds, too.
  • Beef and dairy options would be scarce. Pollinators are vital to crops that feed cattle, which means no more yogurt, cheeses or other dairy options on the salad bar.


Whole Foods Market will be hosting a “Party for the Pollinators” event in stores nationwide on Saturday, April 18 with fun, family-focused activities that share ways shoppers can help protect pollinators, like planting organic wildflowers, choosing “Responsibly Grown” produce or buying organic.


“With nearly one-fourth of America’s bumble bee species now at-risk for extinction, it’s time to get serious about saving our pollinators,” said Eric Mader, pollinator program co-director for The Xerces Society. “But it’s not too late. With the support from Whole Foods Market and its shoppers, our organization is working to turn this situation around. We’re creating and improving thousands of acres of pollinator habitat in the U.S., reducing the use of agricultural pesticides and training people in pollinator conservation techniques that can save these unsung heroes of our food chain.”


This is what your salad bar looks like without pollinators
Without Pollinators


In addition to attending in-store events, shoppers can purchase pollinator-friendly products that support The Xerces Society’s goal of planting 100,000 acres of pollinator habitat within the next 12 to 18 months. Featured products include:

  • High Mowing Organic Sunflower Seeds – $1 per packet sold from April 15 to 28
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Buzz Crunch Almond Honey Cereal and Organic Buzz Crunch Honey Apple Granola – $1 per product purchased on April 18
  • Blue Diamond Almond Breeze shelf-stable almond milk  – $1 per box sold on April 18
  • Whole Foods Market’s new, limited edition 365 Everyday Value® “Pollinator-Friendly” Almond Butters – $0.50 for each jar sold from April 15 to 28


Whole Foods Market launched its “pollinator-friendly” almond butters to directly support a pilot program developed by The Xerces Society and Nevada Ranch in Le Grange, Calif., which is working to integrate native wildflower habitat and improved pesticide protection into large-scale almond production.

“Whole Foods Market sells a lot of almonds, but most people don’t realize that almond trees can’t produce nuts without pollinators, or that there aren’t enough bees to sustain the demand on their own,” said Errol Schweizer, global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “When we heard about the important research and work happening at Nevada Ranch, we put our money where our mouth is and bought last year’s entire harvest for this special batch of ‘pollinator-friendly’ almonds and almond butters.”

To further showcase the vital link between pollinators and food, Whole Foods Market created a series of short cooking videos illustrating how classic recipes like apple pie, marinara sauce and guacamole would turn out without pollinators. The grocer also created a series of short animated videos (narrated by Jaden Smith) spotlighting how lesser known pollinators like moths, butterflies, fireflies and hummingbirds play their part. Find these videos, kid-friendly educational activities and more information on how to help pollinators at

About Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the leading retailer of natural and organic foods, the first national “Certified Organic” grocer, and uniquely positioned as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store™. In fiscal year 2014, the Company had sales of approximately $14 billion and currently has 414 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market employs approximately 88,000 team members and has been ranked for 18 consecutive years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by Fortune magazine. For more information, please visit