Buy Less, Make More, Feel Better

milk 1  Amazingly my fridge has four cartons of milk in it. They are all different brands, one is soy and one is coconut. These are clearly cow milk (see cow on both cartons). The Mountainside Farms milk, in my opinion, is more visually appealing than the Horizon ORGANIC but I actually bought the Horizon on an impulse at a bodega.

The Mountainside Farms milk gives more information immediately to the buyer. We know that it’s filtered fresh with no added hormones or antibiotics (stated twice). The Horizon Organic states that it has 8 grams of protein, and that it is organic. If I actually took the time to read both cartons in the bodega, I might have chosen to buy the Mountainside milk even though it is not certified Organic.

milk 2This side of both cartons is farm fresh propaganda. Again, the milk on the left seems more appealing because it shows the buyer rather than tells the buyer why the milk is fresh. The Horizon milk generalizes about the company’s overall process but it does not give the detail that the Mountainside milk provides (filtration process, hormone identification, and facility information). Horizon’s last bullet point on this side reads: We steer clear of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. What exactly does steer clear mean? I’m sure it’s just a marketing strategy to appeal  to the masses, but it still creates confusion where the Mountainside milk does not.

This comparison has really opened my eyes to the amount of propaganda we absorb as truth so easily. I always assumed Horizon Organics was a reliable, healthy choice but just like VW, Horizon has not been true to what it is claiming to be. There is a reason I liked the Mountainside milk better from the start. It’s true and honest to its claims. Horizon deceived me and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

While I was researching the Horizon fraud, I found a chart that documents the ownership of organic companies.

Organic-chart-feb-2014

For some reason, it never occurred to me that Kellogg and Coca-Cola would ever be on this chart. I assumed that all organic companies were independent of that corporate sector of the food industry. Organic and Pepsi don’t really go hand in hand in my head. This chart creates a conflict in my life as a consumer: do I want to inadvertently support these monster franchises through my effort to purchase organic alternatives to the foods already provided by those franchises?

The answer is no. I don’t want to continuously support those mega-wealthy corporations. I don’t want to eat their organic food because there is no guarantee that their version of organic meets all the needs of my version.

Instead of being frustrated by this saddening realization that not all that is organic is good, I am using it as another reason to buy less and make more-meaning to truly create and consume my own organic sustenance. There will always be local farms and organic food lovers who want to share their wealth of knowledge and their (hopefully) abundant harvests with those that want to support their food providers directly. There will always be fresh basil waiting somewhere that’s not a package inside a grocery store. It’s our task to step away from the grocery cart and go find that basil.