Tag Archives: organic

Companies with a conscience

Stop. Close your eyes and think about the qualities of a successful company.

If you are like many environmentalists, these words may have came to mind: Profit. Exploitation. Pollution.

In today’s world it’s easy for us to get caught up in what is going wrong in in society, and in doing so, we forget to focus on the good. We forget to think about those companies who do their best to end exploitation and do good for the environment at the same time.

Here is what these “do-good” companies have realized: being a good sumaritan is actually good for your company.

Chipotle

Chipotle has all the ingredients (literally) for a successful business. They have a niche, they have a business sense, and they even top it off with tasty burritos.

But this product has a conscience. Chipotle’s menu consists of natural and organic ingredients.

The hallmarks of Food With Integrity include things like unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable, nutritious, naturally raised, added hormone free, organic, and artisanal. And, since embracing this philosophy, it’s had tremendous impact on how we run our restaurants and our business. It’s led us to serve more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant in the country, to push for more sustainable practices in produce farming, and to work with dairy suppliers to eliminate the use of added hormones from their operations. —Chipotle Web site.

Learn more about Chipotle’s Food With Integrity philosophy here.

Aveda

Aveda has a superb product and comparable prices to other designer hair and beauty manufacturers.

So what makes them stand out?

Aveda believes there is no responsible alternative to doing business other than through environmental sustainability. At Aveda, we also believe that profit and environmental responsibility will increasingly work together as more industries find out that “nature works” for both sustainability and the bottom-line. –Aveda Web site

Aveda uses 100 percent wind power to operate their manufacturing facilities. Aveda is also one of the largest purchasers of organic ingredients among beauty organizations. Aveda doesn’t stop there, however. They support responsible packaging, participate in charitable giving, and support the indigenous communities that help provide Aveda with its natural plant-based ingredients.

Organic valley

Organic Valley, the “Family of Farms,” is comprised of1,205 farmers from across the United States. Instead of the traditional company, where the wealth is distributed to only a few, each member of the Organic Valley cooperative shares the organization’s wealth.

Organic Valley prides itself in distributing food that is better for the environment and better for people.

A commitment to choosing local and regionally produced foods is a core value of the organic movement. In addition to fresher foods and reduced fossil fuel consumption, the profit from the sale of locally produced foods is more likely to find its way back into the community. Consumers and family farmers working together to support such local systems form a sustainable partnership. –Organic Valley Web site

And all this environmentalism has profitted the company. The sales of this $259-million cooperative jumped 25 percent in 2005. This is an above-average growth rate for even a conventional food company.

So, environmentalists and social advocates, do not despair! There IS good in the world! I feel a wind of change in here and I think I sense the dawn of a new kind of company — a company that gives back equally to what it takes. A company that truly cares about the world. A company with a conscience.

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Boycott the meat industry

The United States Humane Society (USHS) recently documented gross abuse to dairy cattle at a slaughterhouse in California. Documented abuses to cattle included poking, prodding, kicking and dragging downed and sick cattle, and even forcing water through the animals’ noses and mouths.

To watch complete coverage of what they found, please visit the Humane Society‘s website.

This behavior is despicable and unacceptable.

The sad thing is that this happens more than you would think. I have read numerous investigations that have pointed to the same conclusions. For years, organizations such as PETA (which many people think is off its hinge) have been pointing to animal cruelty in our nation’s meat production plants, but it took a startling investigation such as this one (which has no doubt come to light because the meat from these sick cows was sent to school children and the elderly) to make people actually start caring about these types of mistreatments toward animals.

This video and the other videos on the USHS’s website make me sick to my stomach. Not because children ate the meat from these sickened cows (although that is horrible indeed), but because the workers at this industrial cow farm obviously think that it is okay to abuse and torture animals. To them, animals represent lower beings than the human race, and deserve to be treated as if they do not matter. What’s more, these animals represent no more than a couple of dollars to these people. This type of mentality makes me sick.

Secondly, this makes me sick because these type of animal factories are driven by our disgusting market for mass-produced food. This system of mass produced food is not only unsafe for the humans that consume the food (with mistreatment of animals, use of unnatural pesticides and fertilizers, use of growth hormones, and the introduction of genetically modified foods), but it is inhumane, and I would argue, unethical, as much of the food that workers try so hard to mass produce is thrown away somewhere along the line from animal/plant to human mouth.

I urge anyone reading this blog to take action against this cruelty in any or all of the following ways:

1. Protest against the mass-production of meat and the cruelty of animals at these mass-production plants by refusing to eat meat of unknown source. I am banning all grocery store meat. If you are unaware of how to buy ethically raised meat, the Local Harvest website allows you to find local farms, read about them, and purchase directly through the farmers.

Purchasing your food directly from the farmer ensures that you will be able to monitor how the animals are raised. Buying locally is also better for the environment, as it reduces pollution due to transportation of food.

2. Do not eat genetically modified food. If you shop at a grocery store, try sticking to those products that are USDA certified organic. These products will have the USDA organic green seal on their packaging. For produce, use this key if you are uncertain about how your food was grown:

  • Conventionally grown produce will have a four-digit PLU code (a banana, for instance would have a 4011 on its label.)
  • Organically grown produce will have a five-digit code starting in “9.” (An organic banana will have a PLU code of 94011.)
  • Genetically modified produce will have a five-digit code starting in “8.” (A genetically modified banana will have a PLU code of 84011.)

3. Write your congressman/congresswoman to tell them how you feel about this issue.

4. Support future endeavors by the USHS by donating to the USHS Investigations Fund.

5. Spread the word about this investigation to your friends who may not know that these kinds of things are going on in our supposed “civilized” society.

6. Write your own blog discussing the issue. The more people who are talking about it, the more difference we can make.

If this kind of mistreatment of animals does not make you feel sick, I question that you have a soul. Please do the right thing and join me in my protest of these types of atrocities. Just doing one of the above suggestions can make a difference. Thank you!