The transition from becoming an environmentally friendly consumer has now been made easy due to the green movement. The green movement is a term which refers to the conscious actions and motives to protect the environment. Changing our diets to natural, organic and locally grown foods has proven to have a direct correlation with an increase in our health. In addition, it is a drastic step in the right direction to taking care of our environment by promoting organic farming. I am going to explain how easy it is to go green, how going green will make us healthier people and how the environment will be directly affected by a copious amount of green consumer demands.
Going green is something that is now almost always relatively available. We have the advantage of the ever-growing market which constantly provides us with new ways to go green. Today more and more supermarkets are opting for the green choice, not necessarily because they feel it is the best thing to do for our environment and selves, but because they are realizing the high demands of these products from their consumer’s and costumer’s. Competition is on the rise, for example, Wal-Mart knows if they don’t offer organic cleaners, then they will lose their customers to a competitor, like Target. Often times the cost of these products are debated to be high, however, with the ever-growing market, the costs are lowered as the competition is rising.
Josh Dorfman states, “Check out Method cleaning products. They’re non-toxic, biodegradable and packaged in the best looking cleaning bottles ever. They’re also sold at Target and they’re inexpensive. Or look at Terracycle organic plant food that is extremely potent and very cheap. It happens to come from worm poop and is packaged in reused 20 oz. soda bottles. It’s available at Home Depot. Wal-Mart is selling 100% organically grown, 300-thread-count cotton sheet sets for less than $40. There are quite a few options available (13).
Lately the consumers have been running the show here. Gary Gardner explains that “Consumer demand for healthy food and increased awareness overall of agriculture’s toll on the environment have driven much of the increase. A study by the Food Marketing Institute in the United States reports that 24 percent of U.S. shoppers purchase some natural or organic produce at least once a week. Such high demand has brought organics into mainstream supermarkets” (5).
Health benefits may be a big enough reason, to some, to change their way of purchasing and eating. Many of today’s supermarket foods are pumped with hormones, antibiotics, and ripened with gases, according to the movie Food, Inc. Foods that are certified organic allow us to only eat what is naturally provided to us from that piece of produce. “The definition of ‘organic’ varies from country to country, and even within nations, but most definitions focus on highly restricted use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Because agriculture is a prime source of water and soil pollution in many countries, this shift away from chemical inputs is welcome environmental news” (Gardner 3). In supermarkets they label each product as ‘certified organic’ if it meets those specific requirements. This means families are able to buy ground beef without ammonia and antibiotic tablets crushed into them. One farmer, from the movie Food, Inc., states that she is now completely immune to antibiotics due to her immune system building up a tolerance from unknowingly consuming so much of it within her day-to-day diet. This now becomes a medical problem rather than a food problem. If this women were to get sick and antibiotics were not responding due to a resistance, she could potentially die from something that would have otherwise been treatable. It we are only consuming what each food provides for us in it’s natural state, our bodies would naturally build up it’s immune system using the nutrients which is derived from the food itself. This idea may seem simple, but currently, much of the body’s energy goes directly to fighting off all the toxins we don’t realize we digest.
According to the article titled, “The Environmental Movement Has Created Green Consumerism”, “Possibly the single most important development within Western societies in the past quarter of a century has been the rise of environmentalism” (1). There are many environmental factors that will eliminate pollutants through both gases and chemical-toxins.
Going green isn’t only about buying organic products, but is about buying locally grown products as well. Locally grown-in season products have many benefits to each community. It provides healthy work opportunities within each community, and from an environmental stand-point, it takes less gas to ship to each marketplace/provider. Michael Pollan from Food, Inc. says: “There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it’s the idea of a tomato”.
Because the green movement emphasizes locally grown foods, the foods will be picked fresh and delivered fresh. This means no scientifically researched methods of ripening will occur between the field and your dinner table, and no toxic materials will be entering into our earth’s atmosphere. Without the use of pesticides our soils can gain nutrients and strive solemnly off of naturally decomposed materials, rather than scientifically engineered fertilizers.
It is understandable why factoring farming companies disagree with these organic, locally grown methods of farming. It will take away much variety in the supermarkets and only allow for ‘in season’ foods. However, it is clear to see that the pro’s outweigh the con’s by a long-stretch. It is extremely easy to go green, especially with the high demands for healthier, safer, locally grown foods. It has been proven the overall benefits both to our health and to the environment outweigh the costs of the opposing viewpoint. We have taken the farm so far away from the communities that the food produced their often makes us sick and can lead to many fatalities. It is time to take our food back into the hands of the communities again.
Gardner, Gary. “Organic Farming Offers Many Benefits.” Opposing Viewpoints (1998): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2010.
“The Environmental Movement Has Created Green Consumerism.” Opposing Viewpoints (2010): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2010.
Dorfam, Josh. “Buying Green Products Will Improve the Environment.” Opposing Viewpoints (2009): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2010.
Food, Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Magnolia Picture. 2009. DVD