It's not often that working on a client's business can completely shift your perspective on life. I mean completely shift how you make decisions on a day to day basis. I've worked on behalf of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Montinore Estate wineries, and yet I still just drink beer. I've created countless campaigns for Microsoft, but every screen I surround myself with originated in Cupertino.
So, my advice to any creative that finds themselves with an opportunity to work with Whole Foods Market is to re-watch that scene in the Matrix where Mr. Fishburne offers up the red pill or the blue pill. Albeit a nerdy metaphor, do spend time with that choice. Because it will affect more than just you.
If you choose to bypass the blissful ignorance of what you put into your mouth everyday, you'll find yourself saying words like sodium tripolyphosphate around a perfectly delightful shrimp cocktail. People's brows will furrow, they'll stop their dipping and laughing, and you'll remember those words aren't much for small talk at parties.
Your mother-in-law will have to make special trips to the grocery store when you visit because you muttered some off-handed comment about rBGH the last time you visited. As if you really needed to seek out another reason to frustrate her? Of course not, she never decided to come shadow you at work now did she?
Your wife will grow tired of hearing about TBHQ after she realizes it has nothing to do with frozen yogurt. And it'll get even better when you have to drive by those classic golden arches because of that word. Effectively kicking out the last leg on the stool of sanity you both just want to sit on during those long car trips with your hostage 3 year old. An American classic that you've always known to be unhealthy, but have never realized the exact makeup of why, will become a mere mirage in the distance to you - but not to those little eyes in the car seat.
Or, you could just choose to eat blissfully unaware. Learning about how the food you eat gets produced will be complicated, messy, and certainly not as tasty as those chicken nuggets. So, keep trusting labels that tout "whole grain" or "all natural" to be as meaningful as they're designed to appear. And I wouldn't take that job working for Whole Foods, and certainly don't Google any of the words I mentioned earlier.
Because you can't turn back once you've been ruined.
Want to learn more? Check out Eat As Promised, a natural foods campaign we helped Whole Foods build. And if you want to go even deeper to see what's in your food, visit http://www.fooducate.com/ and http://www.purefoodkids.org/