Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Green or GreenWash?


I picked this loaf of organic bread up at our local supermarket recently.  I don't normally buy what my boys call "Plastic bread" but this was in the reduced to sell basket and with an excess of eggs and milk I knew I could make it into a bread and butter pudding. But I also wanted to pose the question to you as to whether this was a good green choice or a fine example of greenwashing?




Greenwashing:


Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on "whitewash"), also called "green sheen", is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.*
 * Source Wikipedia

The bread uses organic (Bio) ingredients but that is where, in my opinion, any green advantage stops. 

It might be organic but ... 

  • It is highly processed and bears little resemblance to bakery or home-made bread.
  • Both end crusts have been cut off - I would hope they have been used elsewhere but why remove them?
  • The bread is wrapped in a non recyclable plastic bag which will end up in the bin.
  • It will no doubt have travelled many miles before ending up in the supermarket.
  • It proclaims proudly that it doesn't contain palm oil.  Since when was palm oil an ingredient in bread anyway?

So it is shouting loudly about being organic and palm oil free but I would think a loaf of home-made bread or one from a local bakery (which can be found in most villages and all towns in France) would have far less impact on the environment even it it wasn't made from organic ingredients.

What do you think?  A good green product or a plastic bag of greenwash?



13 comments :

  1. A total waste. We do buy bread because despite my efforts gluten free home made bread is not successful, but I’m never sold on “organic” when it’s in a plastic bag. Also I agree with you, on the palm oil thing? I use olive oil or butter in my bread when I make non gluten bread.

    This is marketing, at its finest! Now I want bread and butter pudding!

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    1. In my local organic shop I see shoppers' trolleys piled high with plastic wrapped food and yet they feel they are helping the planet by buying organic. Not in my book. Ditto palm oil. Organic pal oil can be grown on land only recently cleared from virgin forest and still be labelled organic.
      PS - the bread and butter pudding was good and as for the plastic bag, I will reuse it as often as I can to freeze my own home-made bread or home-grown veggies.

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  2. Green wash.Plus the plastic bag has a whole lots of other issues for health. I like that you put so much thought into what you buy and eat.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - if only everyone could stop and think about the implications of what they eat, then the planet might not be in quite such a mess.

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  3. I read a book once called “Green, Greener, Greenest” about the various degrees to which things are environmentally friendly. It was a great read. This doesn’t sound like something I’d file under “greenest” however.

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  4. Agree that this is green wash. There do seem to be alot of additives in these kinds of products. I think they affect alot of people too - I've been on a gluten free diet for the last few years, but have recently found that by buying freshly baked bread from a bakery that I have no issues - I wonder if other people who are gluten intolerant might find the same thing?

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    Replies
    1. I read about this recently and it makes sense. In France you don't hear a lot about gluten intolerance and many people buy their bread fresh from he bakery every day ... but sadly this is gradually changing and there is now much more "plastic bread" on sale than 10 years ago.

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  5. I didn't know the word GreenWash! Though I thought about this a lot - how misunderstood concepts like green, natural, sustainable etc. is, and how many companies hijack these words for their own benefit. It's important to keep discussing it, defining it.. Props!

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    1. These words are a goldmine for marketing gurus and their misuse drives me nuts. I watched a TV programme a few years ago where they made an apple pie that was massively over-processed and hardly even had a bit if apple in it yet by carefully manipulating the wording and images on the packaging they could legally imply it was an artisan produced pie of the highest natural quality. Grrrrrr.

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  6. Ughhh annoying. In the US, we have plastic film recycling for things like bread bags- so maybe there is something comparable for you?

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    Replies
    1. There is no recycling for plastic film in my area in France. There is a move to use corn based packaging but this is not without its problems. Ideally there needs to be a radical shift in how much packaging is needed and only that which is absolutely necessary should be allowed and then in a form that is sustainable.

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  7. Why would they cut off the ends?? That really boggles my mind.

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