The Pitfalls Of Identity Politics


What was I just saying about wingnuts and the health food movement?



Eden Foods, you are dead to me.

I’ve come to learn that an inordinate number of people involved in the organic foods/natural medicine/holistic health movement are wingnuts. It seems counterintuitive, one would expect these folks to be hippie-dippy peace freaks. But actually a lot of these folks were nurtured in the anti-government, anti-establishment “homesteader” movement of the ’70s, which was a breeding ground for Libertarians. And a lot of them also come out of the survivalist freak show on the far right, as well.

Such are the pitfalls of identity politics. Just because some company markets itself as embracing such progressive ideals as,

Organic agriculture is society’s brightest hope for positive change

doesn’t mean they don’t also believe such crackpottery as,

[birth control] almost always involve immoral and unnatural practices


Plan B and ‘ella’ can cause the death of the embryo, which is a person

… which we all know is utter bullshit. Such is the progressive dilemma: I appreciate CEO and founder Michael Potter’s activism against GMOs, but I find his crackpot views regarding birth control abhorrent. And there are plenty of other organic food companies which don’t hold these bizarre views about birth control, so thanks but no thanks. I’ll take my business elsewhere.



Filed under birth control, health insurance, healthcare

6 responses to “The Pitfalls Of Identity Politics

  1. I was also disappointed at the remarks of Whole Foods ‘s CEO remarks re health insurance.

  2. Oooops, “made by”… a bit sleepy … zzzzz.

  3. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    Now that you mention it, when I think about the way that a number of “natural” food, supplements and other products treat their customers, it’s pretty obvious that they are top down authoritarians. I was in a local store to pick up some ground chipotle peppers the other night and the young lady behind the counter and I had a brief conversation.

    She inquired as to how I was doing and I told her I was stiff and sore but that’s pretty much the way things are at present. She then tried to “enlighten” me about he benefits of some totally “natural” remedy. I politely told her that I have been dealing with these issues for some years (longer than she’s been alive) and that I was comfortable with my current regimen. At that point she got petulant and said, “Doctors don’t know everything”. I said nothing, but thought, “And you? with no medical training at the age of 20 something, do?”.

    When I flirted with macrobiotics back in the 70’s I loved the food but found the macro’s to be a humorless lot who were just as zealous (and fucked up) as any group of whackaloon KKKristians, gunzloonz or teabaggers (yes, I know that the Venn diagram for those three is sometimes a perfect circle) I’ve dealt with in the 35-40 years since then.

    • CB

      The ones that get me are the vegans who insist that I won’t have to take insulin anymore if I just follow their wonderful diet. It may be wonderful, but I’m a type 1. Not gonna happen. 🙂

  4. deep

    People often assume that just because a company is “organic” it is “good for you” or that the farmers have your health and well-being at heart. But there are plenty of examples drifting around lately of “organic” farmers using unsustainable practices, or using “organic” methods that actually render the soil more toxic than anything the petrolium industry could ever do.

    Of course, then the question is, “who can you trust?” Obviously we don’t all have the means to be farmers ourselves, nor can we go out and meet every single farmer who brings food to our plate, so we just have to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever with the best information we can acquire at any given moment.

    • Of course, then the question is, “who can you trust?”

      Yeah, I’ve been wrestling with this for a while. Back in 2008 I did a post on greenwashing, about the big corporations trying to cash in/burnish their green cred by purchasing organic and natural product companies. If you’re trying to be a conscientious consumer and starve the corporate beast, well, the only person you can trust is yourself. Get a garden. Put some chickens in it. Then, maybe sell some of your products to a neighbor. Grow into a big organic foods company that sells to Dole Foods or ADM. Lather, rinse, repeat.