Monday, 7 October 2013

The good, the bad and the healthy

I’ll be honest with you – I do not do my best to be a better person. In fact, I hardly even try. But sometimes, even though very rarely and far from regularly, I get the urge to do something about my egocentric existence. Then I choose the laziest way possible – I resolve to buying “right” products, in particular food. And see, that’s where the problems start.

There are Fair Trade products. They are more expensive than regular alternatives because the producers (poor farmers in Third World countries) get a fair fee for their produce. Which is good. The Fair Trade logo doesn't mean the products were made using sustainable energy. The farmers are better off, but they still may be causing damage to the environment. That’s bad. They might also be using loads of pesticides. Not very healthy.

Then there are products, usually foods, called ‘organic’. From my secondary school I can vaguely remember that inorganic compounds cannot be properly processed by the human digestive system. In other words, if it’s not organic it’s not edible, i.e. all foods are by definition organic. I might be wrong, school was a very long time ago. In Dutch they refer to these products as ‘biologisch’. It’s a complicated concept, but one of the features is that for plants no pesticides and for animals no aggressive medications are being used in the process. Very good. That means that farmers run a risk of losing part of their produce to diseases and parasites. It makes the price much higher and that is bad for the family budget. Besides, we all know that pesticides and medications also help prevent plants and animals from getting diseases that could be transmitted to people. Might be not so healthy.

And then there are animal friendly products. That often means that these products were not tested on animals. Good. But wait, were they then tested on people? That’s closer to bad. Or weren't they tested at all? That might not be so healthy. Yesterday we had lunch at Bagels&Beans.  I had an everything bagel with Prosciutto di Monastero, Parmiggiano Reggiano, pine nuts and arugula. There was a little green square next to Prosciutto di Monastero. According to the menu a green square means… animal friendly! I am not kidding.

I guess my attempts to be a better person are doomed to fail.


  1. Try the delicious halal (in the secular sense) pork from the Berkshire Butcher! in Leimuiden.

  2. Animal Friendly- это как в том анекдоте про поросенка на костылях? :)

    1. Я такого анекдота не знаю. :(


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