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Ethical and organic

Those of you who make the extra effort to seek out ethical or organic products might be interested to know that Cadbury is taking over Green & Black’s chocolates. As one blogger commented — hey, at least it’s not Nestle. (via Andy)

From time to time I’ve sampled G&B’s. Yummy stuff, and I for one will be disappointed if Cadbury’s merges it into their existing lines. Not that I expect them to — assuming there’s a profitable market for organic ethically produced chocolate, there’s no reason to assume Cadbury would want to change that, particularly if it’s the only prominent brand out there.

Meanwhile, the Store Wars is promoting organic foods, featuring Egg Stormtroopers and full of bad Star Wars/food puns. Funny stuff.

So, is organic better? To my mind, not necessarily. As per usual, it’s not a black and white argument with black representing the evil processed, pesticided McCardboard muck and white representing pure natural gloriously delicious food. Mud is pure and natural. So are locusts. Doesn’t mean I want to eat them. So nope, personally, I don’t generally go out looking specifically for organic produce, though I do look out for stuff that’s fresh, and not overly sprayed or genetically modified (I have a nagging feeling that GM foods fall into the “we don’t yet know enough about this to know if it’s good or bad” category).

Speaking of ethical products, you can now get sweatshop-free sneakers (distributed in Australia by Community Aid Abroad shops). I do need some new sneakers. Not sure I had their limited styles in mind, though.

Programmes such as Fair Wear are helping to spread information about manufacturers who commit to fair wages and conditions of their workers, though in Fair Wear’s case, it’s limited to products made in Australia, which I guess explains how Nike got onto their list of signatories. Until there’s a unified list of products and manufacturers (and maybe there is, but I haven’t found it), it will remain difficult to find and buy from them.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “Ethical and organic”

I bought tomatoes from a friend selling them at work. They were delicious, full of flavour, red and lovely looking. Then she stopped selling them and I had to buy them from the supermarket. Orangey red in colour, hard as cardboard, and as tasty as paper products.

She’s since re-planted her tomato plants and is reselling them. Of course, I’ve gone back to buying them off her!

Yes, in Ottawa, Canada, in our brief summer period we have the “ByWard Market”. Most of the produce sold is locally produced. So tomatoes that taste lucious, peas grown free of acres of rows with pesticides sprayed upon them and tasting like sugar sweet. Corn that is utterly delicious and tender, tiny fingerling potatoes that are heavenly boiled then tossed with some fresh butter. Even raspberries and strawberries that taste oh so sweet and fresh, because they were picked that day! Man, I love Canadian summers. Makes the winters bearable with the freezing cold! Ahhhh, today was a “perfect day” here. Low humidity, hot sunshine, blue sky and 22 C on the thermometer. I’m enjoying it or could you tell? ;)


That is almost as bad as finding out that Converse is owned by Nike (thank god for the look alikes-no sweat sneakers).

I’ve noticed another brand of FairTrade chocolate in the last couple of months, “Cocolo”. I *think* I like their Premium Dark better than the Green & Black’s Dark. It’s organic and all that too. I think I’ve seen it at Oxfam, but it doesn’t seem to be as widely available as G&B’s though.

Every food we can buy is genetically modified by artificial selection, sometimes over thousands of years. I wish people would use the proper term ‘transgenic’.


I offer as an example, the humble banana – now touted as the best thing you can give your kids…

When Jim Cook and Co. arrived here the bananas they found growing wild were practically inedible, due to the fact that they were mostly SEEDS – big black hard ones.
Over time the ones with the SMALLEST seeds were selected by the farmers, until we got what we see today – the seeds in OUR bananas are actually all those little black dots down the middle…

So it took at least a hundred or so years – what’s the difference?


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