Filed under: Sustainable CommunityMy very favorite spot of our local grocery store is tucked way in the back, between pet food and the dairy aisle. It's the clearance rack. Really just a gigantic cart, I can find some unbelievable finds, especially when the store discontinues a product. When I passed it the other day, it was loaded top to bottom box after box of organic Rice Krispies. Apparently, the world isn't ready for pesticide-free snap, crackle, and pop.
After the explosion of the organic and natural foods market in the late 1990s, we've seen more and more organic and natural foods on the grocery store shelves. Mainstream corporations wanting their slice of the organic pie have tweaked conventional products (like Rice Krispies) a nd their packaging to make them more appealing to the "green" consumer. But does better packaging mean better food? Not always.
It's called "greenwashing" and it's the art of changing a product's design to draw in consumers who want to buy into the "earth-friendly" brand. And according to this article, when a company tweaks its package in just the right way, what looks like organic may simply be "organic-like." Not only that, simply marketing a food as earth-friendly doesn't make it so. Organic foods may make up the ingredients, but that doesn't mean the food was made in an environmentally friendly way or with fair labor practices.