The Jan/Feb 2014 issue of the US-based Sierra Club magazine, Sierra, highlights on the cover page an article with the eye-catching headline Don’t Eat That! Five Foods That Are Killing the Planet. While we are not endorsing the selection of foods to avoid, it is already clear that US retailers, and possibly some Canadian retailers, are experiencing the impact of this kind of article. A few impacts are visible at the retail level:
- a few, but not too many, customers will turn away from the listed products.
- a higher percentage of customers, still small but indicative of a trend, will ask about the environmental aspects of the listed products, sometimes just requesting information but sometimes asking whether alternatives are available.
- competitive products that avoid, or hopefully avoid, the harmful environmental effects, will more aggressively advertise their green benefits.
It is interesting how small a percentage of customers, often less than 10%, can sometimes influence brandowner and retailer behaviour. Articles like this one in Sierra play a significant, though not necessarily a comprehensive role, in greening of the marketplace.
The five foods that Sierra Club says we should not eat are:
- bluefin tuna, of the sushi bar variety [Greenpeace Canada ranks canned tuna for sustainability]
- conventional coffee, but organic shade-grown coffee is OK
- factory-farmed beef
- genetically modified corn
- palm oil
Much more information [again not all endorsed by GallonDaily] is in the Sierra Club article at http://sierraclub.org/sierra/201401/enjoy-five-foods-killing-the-planet.aspx
The Greenpeace Canada ranking of canned tuna sustainability is at http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/ocean/Tuna/Get-involved/2013-canned-tuna-sustainability-ranking/