Imagine a world with no milk, yogurt, or butter. No cheese? No chance. Without pollinators, the dairy aisle would be a lot less plentiful. That’s why the Whole Foods Market Lynnfield store in Massachusetts demonstrated to shoppers how many of their dairy department favorites would cease to exist without bees.
Whole Foods Market took a hard look at the dairy aisle and found that:
- Without pollinators, most fruit-flavored yogurts would be gone.
- Pollinators are responsible for the chocolate in chocolate milk.
- Without bee-pollinated clover and alfalfa we might see up to a 50 percent reduction in milk products.
- Pollinators directly sustain the plant communities where animals graze for cheese production.
- Many of the other perishables in the dairy aisle, from almond milk to fruit juices, are only made possible because of bees.
Last year, the company executed a similar experiment in the produce department and found that 52 percent of the normal product mix in the department is dependent on pollinators. The latest science suggests that around 85 percent of plant species on Earth either requires or strongly benefits from insect pollination.
To help raise awareness about the importance of supporting honey bee populations, Whole Foods Market stores will host “Human Bee-In” events on Saturday, June 21 with family friendly activities, sampling and food demonstrations. Contact individual stores to learn about local events.Additionally, from June 18-July 1, Whole Foods Market and The Xerces Society continue their ongoing partnership to “ share the buzz,” raising awareness for the critical role bees play in our food supply and educating consumers on how they can help. “Despite the critical role they play in sustaining our world, the situation for pollinators continues to be difficult,” said Eric Mader of The Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program. “Whether we are looking at honey bee declines, the massive downturn in monarch butterfly populations, or the risk of extinction now facing many bumble bee species, this is an incredibly tough time for pollinators. The stand that Whole Foods Market is taking to bring more attention to our pollinators should inspire all of us to speak out for these creatures, and to take action.”
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