[Sust-mar] RE: the Hellmans urban gardens contest posting

Dave McCall dmccall at clean.ns.ca
Wed May 9 15:17:20 EDT 2007

Hi all,

Figured I briefly weigh in on the whole Hellmans garden issue. Apart from the
whole 'corporations want to commodify everything' problem, I think the mistrust
and anger stems in part from the lack of permanence of the Hellmans site. From
what I've read and what I've seen from the site itself (a parking lot with cars
actually parked on it), its not meant to be a long-term structure. More
importantly, as far as I can tell, the impetus is not coming from the
community. Permanence and community are crucial to the success of any community
garden. If these are lacking, its not a true community garden.

A good analogy would be the current trend in the organic food industry as a
whole. Unfortunately, a lot of consumers are buying organic simply because the
label says "organic". Market demand and industry pressure are watering down
organic standards to the point where a product picked in California, gassed
with ethylene to ripen it, canned and shipped across the continent in
quantities similar to those of conventional products, etc. etc. can obtain
organic certification. If people demand "organic" at all costs, without
stopping to find out where it comes from or how its grown, it opens the door
for industry to step in and coopt not only the name organic but everything it
stands for (its been happening for a while now by the way). In other words, be
careful what you wish for...you might just get it.

Anyway, just my two cents...

Dave McCall

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