Filed Under: Organic Activists

“Dear Abby” for organic marketers

If you read the Houston Chronicle or the Ventura County (CA) Star, you’ve probably seen a Q-and-A column called “Dear Green Living.” It’s essentially a “Dear Abby” for environmentalists. The printed replies often mix enviro-propaganda with links to various Nanny Culture web sites, and (in the case of food-related questions) sometimes even endorsements of organic or vegetarian brand-name products. It’s not surprising, then, to learn that this column is distributed by United Features Syndicate for “E” magazine,
which espouses views that only a devoted Ralph-Naderite could love.

Yesterday’s “Dear Green Living” column included blatant plugs (perhaps representing paid exposure) of Whole Foods Markets, Stonyfield Yogurt, Envirokidz, RW Knudsen, and Planet Harmony – all manufacturers of organic-only foods
– and a link to the Organic Trade Association. The authors even quoted the “organic brand manager” from Whole Foods, who claimed that parents should feed their children only organic foods, because “a lot of traditional foods don’t appeal to a kid’s palette.” It’s enough to make us wonder whether we’re reading an advice column or a grocery circular, complete with a “for sale” sign.

Here’s a softball question from another recent column: “DEAR GREEN LIVING: How much animal waste and methane gas is produced by livestock in the U.S. meat industry? — David Rietz, Goose Creek, S.C.” The column’s answer included anti-meat and anti-livestock propaganda from the Worldwatch Institue and the Organic Consumers Association,
both of which have ground various axes against the meat industry in recent years.

David Rietz, by the way, is a plugged-in activist himself. He authored the Internet’s most prolific rant against the sweetener Aspartame,
and also operates the “NotMilk” web site
where New Jersey lunatic Robert Cohen preaches against dairy products.

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