I finally got around to reading this article that Brad linked about Wal-Mart selling organic food at low prices. Part of me is thrilled at the prospect of being able to feed my family better food. However, my excitement is tempered by the outcome described in the article. It's not unlike the feeling I have when I leave Wal-Mart with bags full of crazy-cheap goods. An avid bargain junky, I'm excited by the deals I got but I have that nagging guilt that I've contributed to something that is hurting society.
I justify my shopping there by insisting that it won't make a bit of difference if I do or don't support Wal-Mart. It is the capitalist machine, it's how America works and all we can really do is try and fight the inevitable troubles as they come.
Once organic is mainstreamed, Wal-Mart won't be the only market for it, as the article seems to suggest. There will suddenly be competition and competition means growth in these parts. Organic farms will have to increase production but so will other major chains have to provide the lower priced organics. The demand will grow and so will the farms.
Unfortunatly, the little guy could get trampled by the bigger companies being able to produce more. I recognize this but I'm not sure there's much to be done...it's the way things work here. I don't know what the answer is but it seems a little too easy to get mad at the big guys for it. They all started somewhere and succeeded by finding ways to give people what they want. If they do it unethically or even illegally, we call them out. It's been done before and Wal-Mart was forced to clean up their image as an employer.
How else can we respond?
Read the article, I'm really interested in what others have to say about this.
2 years ago