Whole Foods only sells food items that are free of hydrogenated fats, as well as artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives. The company also has quality standards for organic products, flowers, animal welfare, dietary supplements, seafood and cleaning products.
Whole Foods Market seeks to sell and promote the safest, healthiest and most responsible products that it can. One of the main ways that it accomplishes this is by prohibiting an extensive list of ingredients from the food products that it sells.
Whole Foods Market also developed a system of ratings, called the Responsibly Grown rating system, to help provide consumers discernment when selecting produce and flowers. This rating system accounts for farming practices, environmental impact, harsh pesticides, GMOs, farmer safety, water conservation, energy conservation and protection of butterflies and bees. The Responsilby Grown rating system utilizes "good, better and best" labels to complement existing labels.
Animal welfare is incredibly important to Whole Foods, and it does extensive research in this area before selling any particular meat product. Whole Foods does not sell any meat that has been given antibiotics and also prohibits the use of growth-enhancing drugs in all of its meat. Whole Foods requires its meat producers to allow enough space for animals to move about freely and naturally. The market utilizes third-party audits of its meat producers.
Whole Foods Market developed another rating system for its cleaning products, called the Eco-Scale, to inform customers of the environmental effect certain products have. There is also a list of prohibited ingredients for the household items that the store sells.