Below is a blog of mine featured on SocialYell’s blog.

The truths about greenwashing are everywhere.  If you are just starting out on this journey of living a more sustainable lifestyle, along with the increasingly “green” product line on your local Walmart’s shelves, you’ll most likely notice a growing awareness that claims of greenness may not be 100% truthful.  So, OK, you check out SocialYell’s rankings, read news bits off your twitter stream and feel pretty confident on what to believe.

What you may not realize is that there is a greenwashing taking place in our food that, to the average consumer, may be even more difficult to decipher and understand.  Fauxganic (faux organic) food is becoming more prevalent and more difficult to really understand.

Organic means organic, right?  Well, kind of.  Like any industry, and yes Organic food is an industry of almost $23 billion a year (yes, that’s with a B), the bigger it is the more blurred the lines are.  Your organic strawberries may not be treated with pesticides, but truly sustainable farming practices are not being practiced at the farm they came from.  (For an in depth exploration of these topics, a must read is Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma.)

Here’s an illustration on the more far reaching effects of sustainability in food: I was on vacation in Florida a few weeks back and went to buy some organic oranges.  I’m in Flordia, a citrus mecca of sorts, right?  When I turn the bag over, I’m shocked to find that these oranges are actually from California!  So, does the lack of pesticides compensate for the journey these little fruits took to the store?  It’s something to think about.

The origins of organics, I argue, take into account much more than just adhering to a non-pesticide rule.  It’s the whole picture, the whole approach to how we produce from start to finish.  Earth to plate.

Be educated!  Take a few minutes to flip over the package, read the fine print, and peruse the interwebs to see where your food really comes from.  It’s an eye opening experience.

Meghan Nesta is a sustainability and social media nut residing in the Philadelphia, PA metro area.

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