Tag Archive: greenwash

A chard leaf surrounded by text,

A chard leaf with the caption, “Local and Organic Chard Can Be Delivered using a Smartphone or Tablet…But was it made possible through gentrification, farm-worker exploitation, or racial injustice?”

Dr. Amie “Breeze” Harper, a senior research analyst/strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions (CDS) and intersectional food justice theorist, writes about the gap between tech innovation, venture capital funding, foodie culture, and labor/human rights:

Most people who are into mainstream ‘foodie’ culture care more about their food being ‘local’, ‘fresh’, and ‘organic’ than if the food came to them through the abuse and exploitation of farm workers and other marginalized human workers in the food system.

Many foodies actually think organic and sustainable mean the treatment of human beings and non-human animals is ‘humane,’ which is false. What would be great to have from Blue Apron is a statement that acknowledges the need to be more critical about horrible treatment of human workers.

So far, such statements are no where on their site, however, once
again, it could very well be that investors do not want to appear to be ‘too political’ and prefer to be ‘post-racial’ and ‘post-class’. Yes,
their focus is not farm-workers or other food industry worker rights.

However, the silence around this is quite compelling because the fact is, foodie-tech start-ups could not exist without the human laborers in the food system.

However, I’m still always fascinated by the fact that millions of dollars can be poured into foodie-tech apps by venture
capitalists when food justice activists working in/for the poor and
communities of color, with hardly any resources, struggle like hell to create food security and/or sovereignty for themselves.

Read her full post over at her website, The Sistah Vegan Project.

7/30 UPDATE: Check out her update here, where Dr. Harper announces her theme for next year’s food justice conference.


Even though this post on Acting green vs Buying green from Eco-Snobbery Sucks restates what I’ve always said (you shouldn’t go out and buy new “earth friendly” stuff to be sustainable)  I’m reblogging this because it’s got a fancy picture 🙂

acting v. buying green

Source: The Energy Collective

London is trying it’s best to live up to the goal its set for itself some years back: to hold the world’s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games. There’s no measurable standard to judge what makes something “truly sustainable” (a gold medal to be sure, rather than a bronze “somewhat sustainable”), but that hasn’t stopped the host city from spending plenty of time and money promoting its vision—and one-year legacy plan—to the public. London assures us it’s taking the challenge seriously; it even created the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 to monitor its efforts, which has already urged Olympic organisers to ensure licensed merchandise is ethically sourced. Some highlights include a walkway illuminated by footsteps and reusing over 98% of materials in demolition and construction.

Even some of the 55 Official Bankrollers of the 2012 Olympics—pitching in more than half of the original £2.4 billion budget (it went up to £9.3 billion)—are playing their part (the rest are being naughty or don’t have a good PR team).*

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Source: Mother Jones

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of conservation gone 3-D, opened in N. Am. theatres this weekend at an unexpected $70.7 million in gross earnings. Ironically enough, much of its success it no doubt due to the heavy promotion it received from its marketing partners, including Mazda, HP, Pottery Barn Kids, and IHOP.

The internet is abuzz with appropriate cynicism, and there’s not much more I can add to the conversation. I’ve gleamed excerpts from some thoughtful articles to contextualize the original book, the film, and materialism.

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Bamboo forest, natural light

Source: annieo76's Flickr Photostream

A lot of companies are taking advantage of people’s feel-good notion of the word “green”, coupled with their total ignorance of industrial production, and are cashing in on this “earth-friendly” craze, pushing out products that are anything but “friendly”—to the earth or the workers who mass-produced them.

One of the biggest offenders is bamboo textiles. It may sound thoughtful to say your socks and t-shirts are made of 65% bamboo viscose/rayon, but why, exactly is that green?

I was going to go on a long rant about this, but I found that plenty of others have already explained why bamboo fabric isn’t really environmentally-friendly. So rather than recreate the wheel, here are a few good articles:

As with anything that’s supposed to be good (for you or the earth), too much of a good thing is bad. Ultimately, reducing your consumption, reusing what already exists, and recycling (or upcycling) is what’s eco-friendly—not running out to buy the latest “green” products.

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