Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Anatomy of a Charlatan
This is it, the spark that lit the tinderbox and it really doesn't look so bad at first blush, does it? Take a close look at the bottom of the label, right there beneath the clear window that lets you see the ugly sugar you bought so that you can feel good about buying 'healthy' sugar. There are two little words there Unrefined & Unbleached and it is that second word that is pissing me off royally.
This company's decision to use the word unbleached says everything I need to know about them. Since sugar is never bleached, BY ANYONE, not even the soulless corporate conglomerates because bleaching is NOT part of the process, they deliberately preyed on the ignorance of the consumer. This is the first communication I have had with this company and they chose to use that first contact to try and mislead me, not the actions of an honorable entity.
I am sick to death of Eco terrorists using the consumer's concern for planet Earth against them. Anyone who sells you food by selling you a lifestyle choice instead is a charlatan, pure and simple. Like all companies, they are in the game to make a buck and they know they can wring more dollars out of you by blowing smoke up your ass. And you let them.
I looked up their Hand in Hand business, some sort of Fair Trade symbol that was created and administered by the Rapunzel company, and could find very little. Even their home page just told me where I could buy sugar and hair extensions, yes hair extensions. Although no claims were made about Fair Trade hair.
No one cares about the hair, but the foodies are a different thing altogether. It's the foodies these people are targeting and it is a ripe market indeed. They breathlessly follow each food trend so they can be the 'first' to make tapas, or whatever, in their social circle. They regurgitate food 'facts' without looking into the truth of them very hard. And they love to talk, love to pretend they know things and share their 'knowledge' with the uneducated.
Like all those HFCS alarmists, high fructose corn syrup is just more sugary than regular, but those people needed to feel important OR needed to sell you something. So they manufactured a crisis and all the alarmists ran with it, implying that I would change my ways if I really love my children.
I do really love my children, so I raised them to watch out for charlatans, alarmists and pretenders.
Companies are in business to make money, it is their job to do anything in their power to make you buy. They lie, deceive, cheat and undermine the competition to get ahead and, since this is 2013, you already KNOW this for a fact. It is their job to lie and the consumer's job to question, to sift through the hyperbole and get to the bare facts. If you don't want to expend the energy looking into things, that's fine with me, just don't pretend that you know things when you do not.
The hypocrisy of choosing this small package of sugar from Brazil over sugar from an American company that employs Americans and must adhere to American regulations is stunning. You do realize that all these Brazilian sugar cane plantations are destroying the rain forest to make more farmland right? Your fair trade sugar just cost another endangered species the right to exist, good job.
And do you really think that American farmers are not concerned about the health of the planet? I submit that they are as much or more concerned than you are because that is their livelihood, they have a vested interest in the long term health of their dirt. They live here, they feed their children the same food you do and they love their children in equal, so why are you turning your backs on them?
No system is perfect, but we Americans pay a whole bunch of tax dollars just to make sure our food producing industries are safe and ethical. Fair Trade starts right here at home, with the consumer who makes well reasoned choices and not choices based on packaging and deceptive words. It starts with you being a pro-active consumer and not making food choices based on vanity.