Greenwashing for a Better World

This week we are talking about green advertising and how it relates to the natural world. It was upsetting, yet not surprising, to read that to create a “green” product is an oxymoron because no product is actually green. Corbett says that “the only Green product is the one that is not produced.” At the heart of these advertisements, the message is still to buy more, while making the false claim that these purchases have little ecological effect (Corbett, p. 157).

Did you know that the USDA’s requirements for a meat product to be considered “natural” is only applied after slaughter? Thus, it disregards the animals diet packed full of GMOs and growth hormones. This also does not put into account that many factory farmed animals are exposed to pesticides and chemical fertilizers. As seen above, Tyson falsely claimed that their chicken was “all natural”. The reason they were able to get away with such a claim is that government agencies do not closely monitor corporations that try to advertise for “all natural” products. On the other hand, corporations are monitored vigorously when labeling themselves as organic. When something is labeled as organic, we know this is legal assurance. Labeling products as “natural” is just a cheaper and more convenient way for companies to gain more profit from having “ethical” standards, and this is one way greenwashing takes place (Hemmelgarn, 2016).

Going forward we see that greenwashing is an advertising tactic that uses phrases like “100% natural” and “all-natural” to sell products that are anything but natural. They also package their products with “earthy” colors; especially green, which is associated with organic and true Green products. The consumer is tricked into buying it because we see the color green as representing health, vitality, and environmental.

http://www.organicvalley.coop/community/beyond-the-plate/greenwash/

– Mattie Martin

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5 thoughts on “Greenwashing for a Better World

  1. There is a difference between commercial and political speech. In addition, many words are not clearly defined or at least legally defined, so we are stuck with advertising claims that don’t make sense and are intended to convince us to buy a particular product.

    There is a saying so old that we more often repeat it in Latin, “caveat emptor” or in English, buyer beware. Every purchase we make should be purposeful and fill a need that we believe we have. For big items, it is best to shop, stop and think, then buy the next day if necessary.

    If the advertisers claim doesn’t make sense, then the product probably doesn’t either.

    Mike Cappel

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  2. agree your writing. besides the information is really new to me 😀

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  3. I love that you are bringing this point up because the world deserves to know about this. I truly want to know what is in my food, and I try my best to buy products that are organic and non gmo, because they help ensure that I am not putting toxic chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics in my body from the animals. This lets people know that the government isn’t working as hard as it should to make sure that people know what they are eating and make sure those things are safe to ingest.

    ~David Bohm

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  4. Its really crazy that companies do this. For instance, what the heck does “100% natural” even mean? And why isn’t all food 100% natural? It makes you question a lot of what we put in our bodies on a daily basis. I think it’s pretty messed up that corporations are manipulating people who really do want to make a difference but aren’t informed enough to make more progressive decisions. Good post!

    -Drew Sliger

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  5. This raises a good question of do we really know where our food comes from? I agree, we don’t really know where it comes from, and people just leave it up to chance because it says all natural or organic.

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