January 07, 2008

On Organic, going green and all that good stuff

Couldn't resist posting about Clorox buying Burt's bees. For sometime now, I have been a fan of burt's bees products. Their website is clean, lists ingredients and even mentions the % to which a product is natural. I have used their products and the really nice thing is I have been able to recognize the ingredient list in their products - I mean, who wants to discover after ten years of shampoo use that sodium-lauryl-suphate is dangerous? I think one of the problems is the complicated chemical names that the consumer cannot recognize easily, add to it labelling like "Natural", "xyz-free (for eg: formaldehyde)" and the whole process gets more confusing. If I buy a nail polish that is formaldehyde-free, does that mean it has no other harmful ingredients?

And then there is the whole ethical issue. The product might be safe to use but may not exactly be doing good to our fellow-species. Leather is reasonably safe to use but I for one would try to avoid buying leather products where possible for obvious reasons.

And then there is nature. A product with the slogan "No animal testing" need not necessarily be good for our environment. It just means there is no lab where animals were tested with the product. It might still be made using petrochemical derivatives that are not bio-degradable and will not be for the next billion years!

And then there is GMO, cloning, irradiation and other processes that our good old food goes through in the name of "decontamination" (who would think frozen corn could be genetically modified?!) and how they are not required to be labeled such.

And so on and so forth. Sometimes the old ways are really the ways to go (such as our old friend, soap, who will go a long way with us :). Actually, let me rephrase that, old, time-tested ways rock, almost all the time (Blech, I sound like someone who hasn't read Who moved my Cheese, I did read it - it just does not apply in this case :p)!

Anyways, interesting how the big bad boys are at least trying to clean up their acts. There is some hope, after all.

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