Here's the Scoop: June 10, 2009

Color me green...along with everyone else
Personally, I am really pleased that the entire world has gone “green.” Evil chemicals, from all indications, are a thing of the past. At least if you believe what you read. While I’m glad that many of the disease-causing chemicals that have been forced upon society are no longer being used, the entire concept does have a troubling side.
We all want to earn a nice living, but somehow I feel that most of these large corporations are being driven by profit, rather than the “good of mankind.” Maybe I’m just cynical.
My wife has long been an advocate of “clean food” and “the less processing the better.” By default, I have usually gone along with this theory of eating. Not that I don’t indulge in the occasional bag of nacho cheese chips to accompany lunch. I’m hoping that those coatings of orange goop won’t come back to haunt me.
Of course, since Corporate America has discovered that people really like organic food and are willing to pay premuim prices to purchase it, we now have it in abundance in nearly every supermarket. That’s good for the consumer (unless you consider how the “rules of organic” have been bent in many cases to get goods to fall under that label).

On the other hand
I do, of course, feel badly for the health food stores that “got” this concept years ago. My casual observation is that many of these stores can’t really compete from a price standpoint with the buying power of the large supermarkets. The health food stores’ big advantage may be vintage hippie clothing on the staff, though.
Another thing that’s nice to see is that the public now has “green” options when it comes to things like cleaning products. Again, a handful of small companies have been churning out eco-friendly cleaners for a long time. Now, the Big Boys are getting into the act.
I was recently checking out cleaning products in a grocery store and was surprised to read on a bottle something like: “You no longer have to rely on harsh, earth-destorying chemicals for your cleaning chores.” Upon closer inspection, I learned that this “green” product was made by perhaps the largest manufacturer of harsh chemicals in the world.
I paused to consider what I had just read on the label. As a marketing person, I was proud of the spin the marketing department had put on this product — but somewhat embarrassed by my profession.
As a consumer, I bought the competing, more expensive product, that I knew came from a small company that actually made healthier stuff because it cares about the environment. It just felt better.
Now that everyone is seeing the benefits of an eco-friendly world, I’m a bit concerned that living conditions are going to get too good. Without cancer-causing chemicals filling our “food” and being dumped into our rivers and oceans, will we be in danger of living too long?
Well, I guess if we do, we’ll all be able to buy lots more healthy food and non-chemical cleaners. Corporate America can still thrive. Of course, I’m sure prices will keep going up — and some enterprising person tinkering in his basement (only a male would do this) will redevelop chemical-based foods and harsh cleaners that are much cheaper — and that future generations will think are as cool as TV dinners in the ’60s. We’ll have come full, vicious circle.
I asked a co-reporter what she thought of this whole “green” revolution. “I’ve been Green since the day I was born,” she responded. “That’s Green with no ‘e,’” Julia reminded me. She’s certainly no bandwagon jumper.