Thursday, July 2, 2009

natural foods and goods

It may seem absurd to believe that a "primitive" culture in the Himalaya has anything to teach our industrialized society. But our search for a future that works keeps spiraling back to an ancient connection between ourselves and the earth, an interconnectedness that ancient cultures have never abandoned. ~ Helena Norberg-Hodge

Lately I've been debating the merits of city vs country life as my partner and I weigh in on our future goal to buy a home. While I love being in the city, I long for trees, water, and the ability to look out a window and see nature. I want to grow my own garden, free of gmo seeds and pesticides. I want a room of my own to craft in and a body of water nearby to swim in. I may be asking for too much, but these are the things I currently long for. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that if I get these things, I'll miss my beloved city. And the reality of finding a location like this is slim, given that it would require us to move well beyond the commuting boundaries that are reasonable. But since I feel alienated from the land and nature, I continuously dream of a life more simple and connected to the earth. A life with a yurt and a yard in which to place it in. Suburbia with its perfected coiffed lawns be damned, I want forests and rivers.

I want to get back to the basics and in honour of some of the reasons why, I give you this:

Excerpted from the Organic Consumers Association:

Breaking the Organic Monopoly and the “Natural” Foods Myth
Whole Food Market and United Natural Foods, Inc.:


Undermining Our Organic FutureAfter four decades of hard work, the organic community has built up a $25 billion “certified organic” food and farming sector. This consumer-driven movement, under steady attack by the biotech and Big Food lobby, with little or no help from government, has managed to create a healthy and sustainable alternative to America’s disastrous, chemical and energy-intensive system of industrial agriculture.

However, the annual $50 billion natural food and products industry is threatening to undermine the organic movement by flooding the marketplace with conventional products greenwashed with “natural” labeling. "Natural," in the overwhelming majority of cases, translates to "conventional-with-a-green-veneer." Natural products are routinely produced using pesticides, chemical fertilizer, hormones, genetic engineering, and sewage sludge. "Natural","all-natural," and "sustainable," products in most cases are neither backed up by rules and regulations, nor a Third Party certifier. These are label claims that are neither policed nor monitored. For an evaluation of eco-labels see the Consumers Union
Eco-Label website.

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