Eco-Wibble

Gaaah! When this sort of wibble turns up in The Telegraph then we know we\’re doomed:

So, where do we go from here? In the end, surely it is the job of the government and supermarkets, not the Soil Association, to work out what an acceptable level of food packaging is.

No it isn\’t you mad bint. It\’s your job to work out what an acceptable level of packaging is on the things that you buy! What is acceptable to you. Get that? You\’re the consumer, you make the choice!

The same applies to the "eco-footprint" of what we eat, and ensuring that farmers (in all countries) get a fair deal. That\’s not something that I, as a consumer, can easily influence when standing in front of the shelves.

Of course it bloody is something you can influence. Look, does this have to be described in Janet and John terms for you? Everyone in this game except you is trying to make money out of it. You are spending your money in order to maximise your utility. All those other people make money by pandering to whatever you think will maximise your utility. If you want less packaging? They\’ll provide it. You want local? They\’ll get it for you. You want organic? Ditto.

Look, why in fuck do you think that the shelves are groaning under the weight of organic products? Because you and millions like you buy them….the farmers, the supermarkets, make money out of providing what you\’re willing to flash the cash on. You are the only person they\’re trying to influence, it\’s your money they\’re tring to get ahold of and thus, you are the person in this whole system who actually has the influence.

I\’ll agree though that supermarkets do still sell products that don\’t meet your standards….that\’s because there\’s an awful lot of people who don\’t share your standards. Most of your fellow Britons could not give two hoots for your wibbles about food miles, eco-footprints and excess packaging. What you\’re actually saying here is that everyone should do as you say, not as they would wish. And that, my dear, is as useful a definition of food fascism as we\’re going to get.

Could you please bugger off to the Indy or the Groan, where you belong?

 

 

13 comments on “Eco-Wibble

  1. “Most of your fellow Britons could not give two hoots for your wibbles about food miles, eco-footprints and excess packaging. “

    Only too true, as I pointed out on yesterday’s thread.

    But expect Sanitybiskit to come on arguing that if we don’t, we are all monsters… 😉

  2. But it’s our planet too. We’re not just buying organic because we like it, we’re buying it because we think that it is good for the planet. Why should we allow people who don’t care about the planet to ruin it for us?

    This is a tragedy of the commons, of course, but one of the ways we fix such problems (not necessarily the best way, or the right way) is via regulation of everyone’s behaviour. It may be suboptimal, but it’s better than what we’ve got now.

    Tim adds: “We’re not just buying organic because we like it, we’re buying it because we think that it is good for the planet. Why should we allow people who don’t care about the planet to ruin it for us?”

    But organic is bad for the planet. Requires more land than industrial production. We should be banning organic, not the other way around. But of course we’re far too liberal to actually do that.

  3. Wow. Only took a minute… 🙂

    “Why should we allow people who don’t care about the planet to ruin it for us?”

    Why don’t you tell us what plans you have to force the rest of us to ‘be like you’ (this should be good…)?

    “….regulation of everyone’s behaviour. It may be suboptimal…”

    Not the word I’d have chosen…!

  4. we’re buying it because we think that it is good for the planet

    And we’re not buying it because we think that it is bad for the planet, and a waste of money besides. Why should what you think be considered more important than what we think?

  5. Tim, figures please. Last thing I saw, there were some things (milk, chicken, tomatoes out of season) that were judged better inorganic (so to speak) than organic, but pretty much everything else organic scored better than that using “conventional” methods.

    JuliaM: well, you’ve got two options in case of “market failure” (and killing the planet by our continued existence counts as market failure in my eyes, YMMV), and government doesn’t seem to want to persue either: regulation, or allocation of ownership. If we could sell our rights to a clean planet that would be okay (sorta), but we can’t. Similarly, if government banned food/etc production methods that are intensely damaging to the planet (such as excessive tropical deforestation) that would be okay, too, but we’re not doing either, which is why we seem to be on the path to destruction.

    Stephen: but this is an empirical question the answer to which should be observable, surely? And we know that for some things, organic is better, and for others, the conventional method (see reply to Tim, above).

    Tim adds: “but pretty much everything else organic scored better than that using “conventional” methods.”

    I’ve not seen any such figures. I’ve seen that organic tastes better (a function of the varieties grown perhaps), I’ve seen that some organics (milk) have higher desirable attributes (Omega 3 was it? Due to clover in the pastures) but no, I’ve not seen figures that show that organic “scores better” than conventionals on environmental grounds. I find it difficult to think that it can, given that it needs more land (and that arable crops will require more ploughing than, say, no till, ploughing causing some of the major eonvironmental effects of arable farming).

  6. if government banned food/etc production methods that are intensely damaging to the planet (such as excessive tropical deforestation)

    Food prices up = Brazilian farmers deforest and grow crops so that people don’t starve. A bit like what British farmers have done over the last thousand years or two. Where’s the moral high ground here? And how is our gummint going to stop Brazilians doing this and exporting food to elsewhere in the world? Clue = it can’t.

  7. “…killing the planet by our continued existence….”

    OMG! We’re killing the planet …!! Could you sound any more immature (and wrong) if you put your mind to it..?

    I mean, assuming you are a believer in ‘anthropogenic global warming’ (and you sound gullible enough, tbh…), all mankind’s industry to date hasn’t succeeded in changing the climate by that much, if at all.

    What next? Rains of fire from the heavens? Giant radioactive ants?

    You know, Sanitybiskit, I’ve decided to mentally read your comments in the voice of Roy Cropper from ‘Coronation Street’. It just…..fits, somehow 🙂

  8. You nearly had me with you until the penultimate paragraph: “What you’re actually saying here is that everyone should do as you say, not as they would wish. And that, my dear, is as useful a definition of food fascism as we’re going to get”.
    What overkill and misuse of the word fascism! What she’s actually implying (not saying, as you write) is that she would LIKE everyone to think as she does, not that they should be forced to do so or punished, which is how I understand fascism.

  9. “Will they go away again if I start eating organic and knitting my own sandals out of yoghurt?”

    Fairtrade coffee. It’s the only way. To save the planet!!

  10. “What overkill and misuse of the word fascism!”

    Would you prefer the word ‘socialism’ then…? Merely two sides of the same coin.

    And yes,they would like everyone forced to think like them. Lack of choice is what this is all about. We proles aren’t to be trusted, you see…

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