How many times have you heard “This is not organic. It has alcohol in it.” Or, “I don’t think this is organic. It’s too greasy.” Or worse, “This can’t be organic. It’s too good.”
So… How many times?
These remarks are heavy with implied preconceived ideas about what organic represents for many people. A few weeks ago, we were talking about a perception of organic in beauty that implies the absence of any and all types of embellishment, even of natural origin. But in general, the perception of organic (at least for non-consumers of organic products) seems to resemble a very strict doctrine on fitness, diet and basically life.
Organic succeeds somehow in pulling together the many clichés about healthy eating, degrowth and hippies. However, with organic tomatoes you can make ketchup. And you can find organic beef in a big greasy burger.
So why the confusion?
Generally, people who turn to organic products (cosmetics and food) do so because of a certain fear: that of exposing themselves and their loved ones to potentially harmful substances. Logically, they sometimes happen to take it a step further into a holistic approach for their health and wellbeing. They introduce more fruits and vegetables in their diets and break away from certain habits that are considered less healthy. But this is only a tendency not a rule.
There is indeed a broader consciousness behind the concept of organic but the very first goal is to limit the intake of toxic and useless elements into our lives. And it starts with agriculture.
Yesterday, that meant limited choices. But today, many players have stepped in and quite a few markets are growing.
Green chemistry is moving forward. Organic cosmetics can be innovative and do not necessarily smell of patchouli (or other hippy-associated scent). As for food, many players have turned to organic agriculture. You could find everything you need for a 100% organic mojito. There is even a certified organic equivalent of the little blue pill.
With the many recent and upcoming advances, and the abundance of new players, who all bring their own identity and flavor to the table, the image of organic products is bound to change. Hopefully…