As I add to the Natural Products Expo Twitter feed, I hope to provide information and news for the industry that’s relevant and interesting to the vast array of naturals professionals. Just the other day a tweet caught my eye with a link to a Grist article titled “Warning: This product may cause sickness, paralysis and death.” Now, I’ve heard my share of regulatory advice about product disclaimers, but even the Food and Drug Administration might find this one extreme.
The Grist article is yet another story about the tragedy of the cheap meat industry. I’m a recovering vegetarian with 23 years of eating nothing with a face. But two years ago I crossed the line and have included birds and fish in my diet, adding great benefit to my overall health. I knew I had ethical issues to face—kosher vs. not kosher, organic vs. free range or antibiotic-free, etc. However, I never imagined that understanding meat in America would result in so many more conversations with my local natural foods grocers and butchers.
If you haven’t seen “Food Inc.” yet, come hear director Robert Kenner speak at Expo West and view a screening of the film. One of my insights is that the simple act of eating meat is actually not so simple. Many factors come into play like global climate change, workers’ rights, the health of your gut and your clarity of spirit. I’m sure you retailers understand that the way we consume meat has rippling effects way beyond the fork. These issues continue to change and the conversations remain juicy and important.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to create educational sessions that are both personally fascinating and relevant to the naturals industry. Please visit expowest.com/education for a full list of the 2010 education topics, and let me know what else you’d like to learn about.
Dove Weissman is conference manager at New Hope Natural Media.