This last weekend I went to check out the Natural and Organic Expo. Overall I think it was a good expo. There were a lot of stands, it was well attended and there was lots of entertainment, from presentations to live bands to fashion shows. It has grown immensely since it started and will definitely continue to grow, not only because it’s a well organised show but because the whole theme of natural and organic products is becoming quite a trend.
I’ve called it a trend rather than a fad because I hope it’s not going to be temporary. I hope that natural and organic products and all the related themes and issues continue to rise up in people’s conciousness and impel them to make socially responsible decisions.
Having said that, there are definitely a lot of people who are latching onto the natural and organics theme in order to just make money, rather than out of concern for people and the environment. I walk past people selling some random tablets that are being touted as the panacea of health. They contain so many antioxidants that one of these a day will do so much for your health they will barely stop short of curing aids. Never mind the fact that scientific evidence has shown that antioxodants don’t do anything for you. Which brings me to the subject of detoxing. Again, scientific evidence has shown that detoxing doesn’t have any significant benefit unless it is sustained for extended periods of time. In other words if you eat healthily (unprocessed foods) and avoid toxins (alcohol & cigarettes), you will be healthy, if you don’t do that, you will probably suffer from some health problems. I don’t need to run any tests to tell you that stuff. The body is a marvelous thing, when you cut out toxins and excessive caloric intake, your body spends energy in cleaning out and repairing your system. To do this for a week or a month is not really going to have much of a health benefit in the long term although you will undoubtedly feel better during that time. My point is this, detox if you want to, the longer the better, but I can tell you for free that you don’t need to be taking any special ‘detoxing shake’ or ‘detox pill’ or anything like that.
These things are all gimmicks, preying on people’s ignorance of the facts. I have to assume when I walk past these stands, that the people peddling these ‘quack’ remedies actually believe in them otherwise they are just charlatans. There weren’t too many of these at the expo and there were some very interesting stands. I picked up some back copies of Biophile magazine, which I think is quite an interesting read. I tasted some of the many organic wines on offer and they were good. I noted the details of online organic stores where you can order organic produce etc. I learnt about some interesting new technologies and products.
One of the things that bothered me was the number of organic products that were imported, this kind of defeats the whole idea. Organic and natural is not supposed to be a selfish thing, it’s not about making you healthy at any cost, particularly at the cost of the environment. To fly or ship products here, uses huge amounts of fossil fuels. Organic products should be local. The emphasis should be on eating local and eating organic, not just on eating organic. It was pretty annoying seeing the amount of imported products proudly displayed like they are going to save the world.
All of these things are tied into each other. Sustainability, organics, climate change, health. The individual (that’s you) must take on the responsibility of reducing their carbon footprint through supporting local products, recycling, consuming less and conserving fuel and electricity. There is a huge lack of education and understanding about many of these issues and people need to take on the responsibility of educating themselves. It should be compulsory to learn about these things in school. The Natural and Organic Expo does a good job of raising awareness, but a lot more needs to be done to make people act.