If you want to make me mad, just lie to me. Especially irritating if it's a person I trust. Same is true for Brands, Companies, Products, Restaurants and now I'll add Farmers to my list. Recent Tampa Bay Times articles have uncovered more of what I feared (and some of what I know) about Restaurants claiming to have local, organic, sustainable produce...even making claims to source from someone that (upon further investigation) doesn’t even sell to them.
The 3 articles linked in this article are worth the read. Although it focuses on Tampa, I’m sure a thorough investigation of tops restaurants and farmers in other cities would have a similar outcome.
"Farm to Fable: A Times investigation into Tampa Bay's local food scene"
It brings me back to the importance of Transparency. Don’t make claims that aren’t true. Be transparent with your ingredients. If it’s not all organic, don’t say “organic”...say “we use some organic ingredients”. If you are a reseller at a farmer’s market, don’t act like you are a farmer. If your restaurant menu states “local, sustainable, organic, wild caught, etc”...make sure it really is just that.
As consumers, we can vote with our dollars. It’s easy when it’s product you can trust, but frustrating when you don’t know which brands to trust. I think if we all start asking more questions and demanding transparency, companies will start listening.
It leads me back to why I feel so strongly about Beautycounter. They’ve taken a weight off my shoulders in having a variety of products that I can trust for myself and family - products that are safer, a company that strives for transparency and honesty.
Beautycounter will tell you that they are not perfect...they state that they are not all organic or all natural. (See my video on Beautycounter's Natural & Organic Claims here.) The products take longer to make and test...they are pricier than some other options. But, here is where I decided that voting with my dollar is worth it. It’s worth it to be behind a brand that is making a positive impact on the industry and educating people about safer products.
So, start asking questions, start demanding transparency, start finding brands and products and farmers and people that you trust.