November 13, 2006 11:36 AM

[insert intriguing title here]

Weeks seem to zip by faster than ever. It's definitely hard to believe that we're already in the twelfth week of school, but there's just so much to occupy yourself with that the expanse of time seems to melt away.

This past weekend was the Green Festival, which is, apparently, the largest sustainability event in the U.S. The festival showcased speakers, workshops, organic and natural foods, and a myriad of booths of environmentally friendly businesses and nonprofits. It's definitely pleasing to realize that the demand for organic and earth-friendly products has grown so substantially over the years. However, I left the festival with a mixed feeling, as I started wondering where the increasing globalization and rise of "corporate organics" will lead the sustainability and natural/organic movements.

Now for a little side note, which isn't fully thought out and may be slightly choppy (my apologies in advance if you end up reading this extended entry). My concern lies, in essence, in the disastrous potential of multinational corporate control of organic production and marketing, and potential reduced competition and weakening of organic standards. Two items that captured my qualms about the potential issues the movement must come to terms with as it grows included Celestial Seasonings organic teas, part of the Hain Food Group (which indirectly invests heavily in companies such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil, and such) and Elephant Dung Paper, which I feel needs further study. If dung paper were to turn mainstream, would there be sufficient dung left for the organisms that depend on it, such as various dung beetles?

I suppose that, as part of the College of Natural Resources, I've started questioning aspects of the environmental movement a bit more in depth. Yes, it's important to recognize we've made huge advances in the sustainability and organic and natural markets. However, I think that we need to go beyond the surface level and really get to the roots of these issues - at some point we may have to determine whether the goals of these movements are compatible with the goals and methods of the current incarnation of capitalism.

Rola Abduljabar Rabah | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Wow, ever get the feeling someones reading your mind? All of the things you're discussing are things I have been thinking heavily on as of late. Can we talk? I have been lamenting the "organic craze" and wondering how long its going to take for Doritos to be branded with the logo. Then consumers will be left standing in the aisle perplexed, asking themselves "what does organic even mean?" Not to mention the pointlessness of "Organic" food being shipped halfway across the world. The fuel and time wasted in shipping is just as harmful as food covered in pesticides, albeit in different ways. Anyhow... I would love to discuss this with you if you have the time between all those exams! D Boxa

Posted by Devon | 2007-04-20

I'd respond back to you and all, but you have no contact info ;)

Posted by Daniel | 2007-05-06

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