Greenwashing Rears Its Ugly Head Again: Truth About Organic Foods

  • Sep 4, 2012

New Study Shows That organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic foods

Austin, Texas: There is a new study that has been making the rounds on the Internet, newspapers, blogs and daytime talk shows–that organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic foods.


I am not sure where anybody got the idea that an organically grown tomato had more vitamin A and vitamin C than non-organic tomatoes.

Is it due to greenwashing?


People flock to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other specialty stores looking for organically grown food that are pesticide -free and antibiotic-free for health reasons. If they think that the vitamin levels are higher, then they are misinformed, misled, lied to or they hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe.

Greenwashing is wrong for a number of reasons, including moral and ethical ones.

However, the big loser in greenwashing is the green movement itself.

People will hear or read the headlines and come away with the fact that organic products are not better than non-organic products — and the organic movement will take a huge hit.

Over-promising the benefits or organically-grown food over the past decade has led to confusion in the marketplace.

Confusion leads to misleading statements and claims – as well as misunderstanding by consumers.

The organic movement needs to go back to the education phase and let people know the dangers of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides in their food.

Not make false claims or vague claims that the food is healthier.

“Healthier” can mean different things to different people – and most consumers probably thought healthier meant more vitamins and minerals.

My philosophy has always been that an educated consumer is the most loyal consumer.

In my own business, I spend a great deal educating my clients on the value of marrying their environmental message with environmentally-friendly branding and promotional product and marketing solutions.

No hyperboles.

I try to let them know the percentage of the product that is made from recycled materials, how it can be recycled, etc.

Vagueness leads to confusions.

Greenwashing leads to chaos in the marketplace.

Let’s all learn from this new study – and go back to the basics of messaging.

State your benefits clearly.

Do not mislead.

Spell it out for your customers.

Hype leads to misinformation.

Let’s be clearer in our marketing message and we can advance the green movement by leaps and bounds.

There are too many “doubters” out there looking to stop the environmental movement with silliness and stupidity like this attention-grabbing study.

We’re all in the green movement together.

Let’s demand more transparency and more honesty in our claims.