Your mother always told you to eat your veggies. Nowadays, she might say something along the lines of, “Eat your organic, non chemically-treated, hand-picked, homegrown, pesticide-free veggies!” followed by a toothy smile and an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Since my younger years, circa the 90s, around the same time Earth Day started taking root in the U.S., I’ve noticed a change in products as I leisurely walk through the bread aisle at the market. Everything boasts organic, fresh from the farm ingredients and nutritional benefits—but how many of these claims actually have the consumer’s physical health in mind?
For the most part a teenager will slip a box of Gushers into the cart until their parent swaps it for a case of natural fruit leather. Seldom do parents see past the recycled paper cases or “100% natural” labels that companies attach to their products. Have you ever wondered if this strategy is just a marketing gimmick?
As more emphasis is put on saving the environment and lowering your blood pressure, many sly food markets and other companies have continually taken advantage of our wallets by splashing “green” all over and telling the public that they too can do their part to save the world.
In an effort to boost the average person’s morale, we are provided with less earth-killing and self-destroying options: McDonald’s gives us salads! Shampoos are made with bamboo and lilac! Huggies diapers are now pure and hypoallergenic!
The efforts to reduce consumption of a product through the “natural” promotion of it have my head spinning. The reality is: Salads aren’t all that healthy when drenched in packaged Italian dressing (which use a lot of plastic, by the way), shampoo contains lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol and D&C red no. 33 and synthetic fragrances, which don’t really add to my hair-washing experience, and babies don’t need aloe and vitamin E built into a gourmet pamper.
Next time you choose a product for its pretty packaging and environmental claims, think about the masterminds marketing it to you—they know how you think.