Are You an Organic Skeptic or Believer?
The ONE Network's New Five Part Documentary Series
Organic products account for over 64 billion dollars spent worldwide annually. In Canada, over 3.7 billion dollars were spent on organics in 2012 alone. But what does it mean to be “organic”? And how can consumers make informed decisions regarding the food, personal care, home-care, cosmetics and fashion they want to buy? Organic Panic is a five-episode documentary series on the ONE Network, in which organic “believers” are pitted against “skeptics” in a battle to win the hearts and minds of the concerned public. We asked the show’s producers, David Bratton and Chris Remorowski about their experience:
1. What made you want to create this series? We created the series because we believe that we need to clear our minds of bias and focus on what is best for humanity. Too much dogma seems to have entered the discussion about the environment. We felt that by having a fair and even-handed debate from both sides of the organics debate we could come to a better understanding about what is best for the planet and its inhabitants.
2. Has your perspective changed as a result of producing this series? If so how? (David) Our perspectives have changed significantly. These are such complex issues and they are all deeply entwined with economics. It’s very difficult for one person to make choices and feel like they have a real impact. I do believe that positive, widespread change in our habits and practises is possible. I was shocked to discover, though, that a lot of things we consider harmful really depend on how and to what extent they are used. The biggest thing we can do to help ourselves and the planet, really, is to cut way back on the amount we consume in every area of our lives.
(Chris) For me, the case for organic farming being the technology that will feed the planet in the future no longer seems as clear cut. I wasn't aware of what critics of the local food movement were saying and a lot of it made sense to me. I now believe that organic food production is an important part of an overall strategy to feed the planet but it is not the one sole way that this can or should happen. On the other hand, I had no idea how important organic production techniques were when it came to cleaning up the fashion industry. The amount of harm done to humans and the environment by the cotton industry and the scope of that destruction came as a complete surprise to me.
3. What questions remain unanswered for you regarding organics? Some of the topics that we would love to cover in a follow-up series would be things like the fishing industry. Wild caught fish are not certified organic – only farmed fish can be. But farmed fish are one of the biggest threats to the sustainability of fish in the wild. How can fish farmers and organizations like the USDA justify their organic fish policy when that policy so blatantly flies in the face of the spirit of the organics movement. We'd also like to look at the organics industry's impact on the travel industry. Eco resorts have proliferated at a tremendous rate over the last 10 years. I'd like to know how eco-friendly these places really are and how they're using organic products to help make them eco-friendly. Finally, the whole issue of the benefits of organic food still seems unresolved for both of us. As we mentioned before, we’re seeing too much dogma in this debate. People treat organic food like a religion. You are with us or against us, you believe in organics or you don't. We don't think this is a healthy attitude. We’d like to delve more deeply and broadly into the issue and see where the middle ground is. We’d like to have an even better idea of what is factually accurate in this debate and what is just facts that serve an agenda.
You can watch Organic Panic every day on the brand new ONE Network. For more information visit: onebodymindspiritlove.com/shows/organic-panic/