There’s one key point that the organic movement has deceived us about: it’s a consumerist lifestyle movement, not a sustainablity movement. Yes, I’m serious.
As my first example, let’s talk about organic cotton, the pride of all organic clothing labels. Cotton is already bad enough for the environment, because it uses far more resources than linen or modal. Organic cotton is even worse, though. The use of inferiour fertilizers and non-GMO crops leads to almost twice the water and twice the land use for the same amount of cotton. Somehow, the organic movement is convinced that it’s fine to keep using wasteful crops, as long as we can label it as organic, so we can feel fine about it. It seems that not changing their own shopping habits is at the core of that movement.
Secondly, avocados, which are marketed as an organic, healthy and sustainable superfood. Like all superfoods, the claims are hugely exagerrated. Avocados are, pound for pound, probably worse than beef. And beef is already a environmental train-wreck. I love avocados, which is proof of my hipsterism, I guess. But even I have to admit the downsides, which are huge. As an example, avocados spend four weeks in a precisely cooled container just to get them where I want to eat them. And that’s merely a small part of the whole chain of production. A movement focused on real sustainability would value locally grown and seasonal food much higher than superfoods. But that would mean actual restraints that its followers would need to live with.
Electric cars also prove my point, I think. Thanks to persistent marketing, people who care about the environment seriously think about switching their petrol or diesel car for an electric one. Which would mean buying a large, complex product with tons of CO2 emitted for its production. Instead, it would be best to not buy any new car for as long as possible. Constant consumption is the problem, not diesel engines! Buying less would be a real solution. But what organic or sustainable company wants us to not buy their product? Sometimes, sustainable products are an alternative to other products. But generally, not buying anything at all is vastly better.
And lastly, let’s focus on the organic mindset. Its a mindset that’s bereft of facts. For the organic movement, pretending to be sustainable is enough, they don’t need to actually check if their ideas really work. Some of them even believe that burying ground quartz stuffed into the horn of a cow will take the place of using real fertilizers. Organic is all about style and not about substance. Conversely, science-based agriculture (including GMOs) is the best we have. Simply because scientists actually check which action or regulation has the intended effect. It’s the only way to make sure we truly reduce our environmental impact.