- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 1, 2019

The upscale liberal shoppers who frequent Whole Foods Market were plenty crabby after Senate Mitch McConnell was honored as “Person of the Year” by WholeFoods magazine.

As it turns out, however, the magazine serving the “natural products industry” has no connection to the supermarket giant known for its organic meats and produce.

Whole Foods — the market, not the magazine — spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend explaining the difference on social media to irate consumers steamed by the McConnell honor.

“Thanks for reaching out,” said the organic grocer in myriad responses on Twitter. “Whole Foods Market is not affiliated with this publication.”

Tempers boiled over Friday after Mr. McConnell posted the cover photo from WholeFoods magazine showing that he had been named “2019 Person of the Year” for his contributions to the hemp industry.

“I was recognized as the most influential person in the natural products industry, specifically because of my work to legalize industrial #hemp for farmers in Kentucky and around the country,” Mr. McConnell tweeted.

A few tweeters offered congratulations, but many more were unable to stomach the idea of the Republican leader receiving such an accolade and vowed to stop shopping at Whole Foods.

Responses included, “We’re done with you,” “I won’t shop @WholeFoods anymore,” “I don’t understand why Whole Foods magazine would choose to associate #MoscowMitch with their brand,” and “Can’t tell if this is a parody or not.”

The hashtag #BoycottWholeFoods cropped on Twitter, with one disgruntled shopper tweeting, “Now let’s drown Whole Foods with a blue wave boycott.”

Legal Insurrection’s Mary Chastain chided the McConnell haters for failing to do their homework.

“Did people bother to read any of the articles?” she asked in a post. “Did they even bother to realize that the magazine is called WholeFoods instead of Whole Foods? Yes, it’s one word instead of two words. Of course they did not because outrage.”

The article in WholeFoods — the magazine, not the market — called Mr. McConnell a “hemp hero” and praised his leadership in ending the “hemp prohibition.”

At the same time, the publication acknowledged that some readers would be cheesed off by Mr. McConnell’s selection.

“Odds are, you have an opinion about the Republican senator from Kentucky,” the article said. “Regardless of whether that opinion is positive or not, one thing is certain: Mitch McConnell has done a tremendous amount to influence the natural-products industry in 2019, and what he has set in motion will continue to impact this industry for a long time to come.”

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