J500 Media and the Environment

Consumption Disfunction by travisjbrown


This week I had to write a food review for Natural Home magazine. I was amazed at how difficult it was to find out which food companies were green and which were greenwashed, and which products were organic and which were….organic…washed? I contacted about 25 different companies, asking if they’d send samples. A week later I received an e-mail from Kellogg’s saying that they could not send me their Gardenburger product because they did not have many to spare. But that I should not feel insulted and that our magazine is the most amazing magazine that ever wrote about nature or homes or natural homes.

Ok, so it didn’t go exactly like that. But you get the idea. I didn’t care. I didn’t want their darn burger anyways. But what really irked me was that Gardenburger was not a small blossoming company like I suspected. No-no, they were owned by Big Papa K.

I felt so used and lied to. I needed a shower.

So if I (a well-informed, green-blogging, prudent, brilliant, environmental magazine intern) couldn’t easily tell the difference between the green and that which has been washed green, how is the average consumer supposed to?

The world is in a desperate need of a green consumer report organization. Now I realize that Consumer Reports actually does have a green site called Greener Choice. This site is actually a great place to start, its very informative and helpful. But it is not nearly developed as the Consumer Reports Web site. Or how about a green consumer wiki like Tip the Planet where people can easily log on and write about the greenness or greenwashing behind different products and companies?

Man, I should really get on that.

Or maybe I’ll just leave it to some corporation with a lot of money.

Talk about a vicious cycle…

-Travis Brown


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

If you got organicwashed, do you still need to shower?

Greenwashing is hard to avoid. There’s some info out there on Horizon Organic Milk coming from 10,000 cow confined feed lots. If they are owned by Dean, the number 2 food processor in the US, you can see why they would want the increased output. Really, if you don’t want the wash, you’ve got to be able to go to a source. You can go to Iwig, the family dairy farm just outside Topeka.

Bobby Grace

Comment by bobbygrace

I agree with Bobby. Food consolidation is as insidious as media consolidation. Here is a very disturbing overview of where your natural food comes from. Go local when possible. (Excellent picture.)

Comment by j500

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