Organic movement threatened by Big Food and Big Ag with its “greenwashing” techniques
(NaturalHealth365) Jay Westerveld coined the term “greenwashing” in the mid-1980s to describe false and outrageous corporate environmental claims. The story behind the term goes as follows: Oil giant Chevron commissioned a series of slick TV and print ads to convince the public that the company was a caring environmental steward, and these ads showed Chevron employees protecting bears, butterflies, sea turtles, and a host of other cute and cuddly creatures. While the commercials won an Effie advertising award, they became notorious in environmental circles as the gold standard of greenwashing – the practice of making sustainable claims to cover a questionable and dubious environmental record.
Today, greenwashing is far more complex than TV and print ads. As consumer interest in terms like “natural and “sustainable” have increased, Monsanto, Big Food, and Big Ag have sought to co-opt the organic and regenerative movement. From greenwashed products and the erosion of organic standards to the promotion of biogas technology as a “renewable natural gas,” corporate attempts to undermine the transformative power of these movements and fool Americans with false campaigns is something that all consumers need to be aware of.
WARNING: Big Food’s appetite for destruction knows no limits
In the past few years, Big Food and Big Ag corporations such as Bayer/Monsanto, Cargill, Walmart, General Mills, Danone, Unilever, and others have jumped on the bandwagon and publicly presented themselves as leaders in the regenerative agriculture movement. Nestle and Kellogg aren’t far behind, and Land O’ Lakes, the dairy and animal feed behemoth, has recently advanced a soil conservation effort as well as an initiative to bolster sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S. grown corn.
If all of this looks too good to be true, then it probably is. While the “potential” for global impact is significant, the move by these giant companies can be seen as just another example of Big Food jumping on the bandwagon to sell more of its toxic chemicals and corrupt an opportunity for profit.
Take, for example, the fact that these companies omit the idea of “organic practices” in their definition of regenerative agriculture and advance the philosophy that as long as farms use conservation practices such as reduced tillage or cover crops, then toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, biotechnology, and corporate control of farms is acceptable. It’s a greenwashing power play taken from the Chevron playbook.
Greenwashing is the “business as usual” paradigm of corporate control
The roadmap to regeneration doesn’t go through Big Food and Big Ag. It’s locally-controlled, small-scale, democratic, and decentralized. The organic and regenerative movement requires constant safeguarding against lies, corruption, false narratives, and the tangled web of totalitarian practices employed by big corporations to fool consumers.
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As a consumer, it’s important to remember that just because a food label features a green leaf or a cow grazing in a field doesn’t mean it’s organic or naturally-derived. In addition, if you’re not shopping at a local farm or farmers’ market, it’s important to know who owns organic.
The truth is: big companies are continually acquiring little brands, and while you might think you’re buying something organic, you’re really just lining the pockets of dubious corporations. The old saying has never been more true, than today … let the buyer beware.
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