Q: How is Wal-mart like GWB?

A1: [insert snide comment here]

Now that you've got that out of your system,

A2: Because once the folks who hate them decide they hate them, everything the hated entity does is considered evil, just by virtue of the hated entity having done it.

Case in point: Wal-Mart is now going to sell organic food . Organic versions of name brand foods. And this has made some people mad, apparently.

Yeah, it's ultimately a marketing ploy. Duh. As they point out, organic Rice Krispies are not really nutritionally superior to regular old Rice Krispies. Organic junk food is still junk food. Any informed, label-reading consumer knows this. (And if you are not informed and do not read labels, then that's your lookout. The information is out there, publicly available, and free. If you can walk to your local library and use the free internet, you can look up a lifetime's worth of information on making good nutritional choices. It's not rocket science.)

I am unlikely to buy Rice Krispies in any form. I am, however, likely to buy organic meat if it's made readily available and affordable to me. As my good friend Ruth pointed out, vegetables and grains have relatively short life spans in which to absorb potentially harmful pesticides and other contaminants from the environment; what you want to watch out for are fats and proteins which have a much longer exposure time. If, like me, you have a limited amount of income to invest in organic food, focus on the meat and butter and milk and whatnot.

Here is where Wal-Mart's move is potentially awesome, at least as far as I am concerned. Right now, organic meat is prohibitively expensive for me, even at my beloved Trader Joe's. But if Wal-Mart really follows through on that whole pricing organic products only 10% more than their regular counterparts thing, that will bring organic meat into the realm of affordability for me and my family.

Perhaps that's where I depart from the pissy people quoted in the article: their concern, ultimately, is with maintaining a cultural ideology. My concern, ultimately, is with making good nutritional choices for myself and the people I feed, and teaching them to make good nutritional choices. If Wal-Mart helps me do that, good for them.

1 comment:

quarto said...

Oddly, I've been reading a lot of apology posts for Walmart lately (or, in your case, no apology at all), and I can't say I can disagree with a one of them in the end. So, go forth, thee, and shop at WalMart.

(I'm in that weird little demographic of people that NEVER shop at Walmart, not because I don't want to, but because there isn't one nearby. The last time I went was two years ago, in South Dakota. This makes me relatively ambiguous about the whole Walmart situation.)