Social media and mass communications are bringing us an onslaught of awareness into the ills of modern society. GMOs dependent on Monsanto’s poisonous pesticides, sweatshop
manufacturing making everything we wear, fattening corn syrup and carcinogenic ingredients in our foods, and on and on. The overload of the negative can lead to thoughts such “We all will die sometime” and “It will happen whether I support it or not.” These are apathetic mentalities that there is so much bad out there, that it is hard to do good. The toxic answers lead us to question of, “But how can we stop it now?” Voting with our wallets can bring about a revolution, but how does it begin, and what is the endgame?
For better of worse, Big Food, Wall Street corporations, and multinational holding companies will always exist. Business is about supply and demand. Small ethical retailers, mom and pop health food stores, and everyone trying to do the right thing offer us an alternative to the status quo. But, the reality is that when the demand for healthy food and ethically sourced products increases, big business will listen and sell us products that are good for us- this is the nature of capitalism.
The paradigm shift to healthy ingredients, products, and business practices will take place when we as consumers demand it. We all want health. We all want quality. But, we also like a deal, we love cheap things. The reality is that fewer things at a higher quality are better for us. If we ate smaller portions of quality food instead of copious amounts of unhealthy cheap food, our food budget could be the same, but our waistlines would be slimmer and we would live longer healthier lives. The same goes for clothing. Everyone I know says, “I have so many clothes, but I always wear the same things.” Bingo! So, instead of buying five new pair of shorts for the summer, why not buy two pairs that are high quality and sustainably manufactured? This way the consumer and the workers come out on the winning end of things. Revolution.
Locally, I have three options for groceries: a local natural foods market, and two national box stores, Stop & Shop and Star Market. If I had an unlimited budget, I would love to to buy all my food from the local natural food market. But, budgets are not unlimited and we have to make purchasing decisions. In the box supermarkets I mentioned there now are two to three rows of natural and organic products. Why two to three rows of goodness, and twenty rows of junk? Supply and demand, plain and simple. We are being given what is being demanded. The more we want goodness, the more we will be given it. We vote with our wallets, and that alone will cause change. The more we buy from the natural food aisles, the more of those aisles there will be, and less aisles full of garbage.
Don’t settle. We always say, “Everything in moderation.” This phrase is a boilerplate response in our modern lingo. We don’t need slave labor making our clothes in moderation. We don’t need GMOs laden with carcinogenic pesticides in moderation. Closets full of cheap clothes made from labor that is borderline slavery? Don’t settle. Tasteless big cheap vegetables? Don’t settle. Less is more when it comes to quality, vote with your wallet.
Every day there are companies changing their offerings and the ingredients in popular items to match our increased awareness and demand. Awareness is a game changer. 50 years ago there was no internet or social media. There was no way for medical and scientific evidence to easily reach the consumer, but that has changed at an exponentially compounding speed. Change will come, but it may come in fifty years, or… change can tomorrow, it depends on us. We need to think before every dollar we spend. Who is profiting from this purchase? Who made what I am buying? Does my purchase encourage positive change? We can’t be silent. Tell your friends and family about why you buy the things you do. Encourage everyone to make ethical purchasing decisions. We can be the change. Revolution, or the lack of it, is in our hands.