The Cost of Supporting Organic Farmers

Written by Robin

Topics: Learn

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If you haven’t watched The Story of Stuff, you should. Just bookmark this blog post, go watch it, and then come back.

OK, great. I watched this fantastic little movie last week and although I’d heard nearly all of the info before, I came away so impressed with the its style, presentation, accessibility and substance. I spend a lot of time working on and thinking about the issues in film but for some reason, this particular movie stuck with me over the weekend and I kept seeing a golden arrow everywhere I looked (I told you, watch it and then read this post).

Anyhow, with visions of golden arrows in my head and the phrase “externalized costs” running across my field of vision, I somehow found myself at my local Target on Sunday night.organiz.jpg

Yeah, Target, the big giant evil retailer. I needed to get some cleaning supplies. You know.target250.jpg

I haven’t been to a store like that in while and as I looked around, something caught my eye: a whole wall of political t-shirts. Really progressive political t-shirts. Really. My favorite had a picture of a carrot and the words “Support Organic Farmers.”

Of course, these aren’t organic t-shirts. They’re regular old Target shirts made in Asia with, I presume all the usual toxic ingredients using, again I presume, deplorable labor practices.

I just stood there in shock. First I took out my phone and took a bunch of pictures. Then, when I got back to the office and looked at Target’s website, I noticed what has to be the kicker. The price.


Did you watch The Story of Stuff?

Radio Shack, boat rides, resource extraction, externalized costs?

For $4.99 who wouldn’t want to support organic farming?

I’m glad that there’s a market for these. I really am. But I’m also somewhat terrified by the prospect of people going to target, buying the shirt, and then feeling like somehow organic farmers are benefiting from the whole deal.

I guess that’s what greenwashing is all about.

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jess says:

    I know! It’s crazy! In addition to the T-shirt pictured above, they are commodifying messages like “Hug A Tree”- “Save the Planet”- “In it Together”- “Think Globally, Act Locally” – “I Love Nature” – and so many others. It’s like an executioner wearing a T-Shirt that says “Thou Shalt Not Kill”– totally ridiculous. should do some sort of campaign around this…its just too good.

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