August 31, 2009

"Are You an Eco-Douchebag?"

Your reaction to this sign will answer the question:



(Via Boing Boing.)

66 comments:

John said...

If it is used to slive non-organic begals it is no longer for lack of a better term Kosher. Environmentalism really is a religion.

AllenS said...

Dear Customers

We use only organic soap
when we wash our hands
which is pretty useless
we hope you don't mind

Michael said...

Whole Foods has some signs about how to maintain a properly organic chain of custody at home. As if, if you have anything that's not organic at home, it's not going to wind up in the same stomach as the organic stuff anyway, so it's VERY important that it be kept separate to avoid getting non-organic cooties.

David said...

Well, the person(s) whose complaint resulted in the sign is certainly an eco-douchebag.

traditionalguy said...

They have raised their game here. Saying that organic is different or better is one thing, but the concept of cross-contamination by touch is a spiritual concept from a religious tradition. People just love religion.

hdhouse said...

david: how so? perhaps it is keeping kosher as whole foods, last i looked supplied a wide variety of kosher products including bread.

it could be organic v. non but so what? if it is important to someone but not to you then the sign is for the person for whom this is an issue. perhaps you are the douchebag for what you think rather than what someone else thinks.

AJ Lynch said...

I hope there was a defibrillator nearby just in case it was needed.

John Stodder said...

The only problem with that bread-slicer is it's going to hell.

chickenlittle said...

Organic is in season at Whole Foods, though a bit overly ripe and starting to reek of vitalism and phlogiston.

vv: tatui: (a corrupted plural version of tattoo)

TosaGuy said...

How dare WF not utilze the resources and energy necessary to construct a second bread slicer in order to maintain a complete separation between Earth Mother's goodness and corporate gruel. Next thing you know, the WF CEO will come out against the son of the Earth Mother's health care plan.

They should be boycotted! Don't know for what...but for something!

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

The eco-aristocracy, Lord and Lady Douchebag.

Dark Eden said...

So do the Ecofreako types really think that say, touching a non organic bagel to an organic one automatically, "contaminates' the organic one?

Bissage said...

(1) Gee, it looks like I'm the only one who automatically took that to be a joke.

The organic cheese stands alone.

* sniff *

(2) I assume that an organic douchebag is made from waxed hemp or something . . . that can't possibly be a good thing.

chefmojo said...

That anyone would worry about this sort of "cross contamination" is evidence of extreme silliness at best, and stupidity at worse. Either way, both the customer with issues and the store are both eco-douches. The store should have just looked at the complainant, barked a cruel laugh and said, "You are a terminal fool."

As a chef, I understand what true cross contamination is, and this is ridiculous. I look forward to showing my colleagues that photo. We'll get a lot of mileage on the ensuing mockery.

bearing said...

Actually, I think a better measure is your reaction to the sign at the cash registers. You know, the one that says that if you're worried about placing your organic produce on a conveyor belt that may have come in contact with conventional produce, you can ask the cashier to clean the belt for you before you unload your cart.

I'm sure the cashiers just love it when customers ask.

Makes me wonder, incidentally, if the employees who stock the produce have to wash their hands (or change gloves) after they finish stacking the conventional cucumbers and before they open the case of organic lettuce.

wv. diliblog. Hm.

tim maguire said...

Hey, if I'm paying double for the organic, I don't want my pure bread mixing it up with the hoi poloi grains.

Would you let your champion poodle canoodle with the town mutt? Didn't think so.

LL said...

Why the over capitalization?

montana urban legend said...

Is "don't care" an acceptable reaction or must I be forced to play the part of some cog on the outrage machine?

Original Mike said...

Ann, you need a "You can't make this stuff up" tag.

David said...

HDHOUSE:

One way to become a douchebag is to complain about stupid crap. By my book someone who worries about organic/nonorganic contamination (where did Kosher come in?) is a douchebag.

My niece has severe peanut allergy. Now that's worth a sign.

Am I a douchebag, as you suggest? Oh, probably, but I'm so much of a douchebag I don't care.

William said...

Are you absolutely certain that this is not the staff's mockery of its clientele? I know a professor who keeps a styrofoam cup labelled "TIPS" on his desk.

BJM said...

Bread slicer?

Heresy!!

Salamandyr said...

I have moral objections to the consumption of organic foods. Signs like this help me steer clear of poverty increasing, Earth destroying, organic foods.

Chip Ahoy said...

A one-time vegetarian friend of mine hosted a grilling party where guests brought their own food to grill, which right there is fairly strange and douchbagic. I mean, why bother hosting? But then he was offended that a guest dared to grill meat on his grill assigned for vegetables thus contaminating it and that angered him, which is doubly douchbagious, IMO. What did he expect? But now, after that and a lot more continuous proselytizing grief -- I always had the impression he was trying to convince himself -- he has now given up being vegetarian altogether, rendering moot all that previous crap, which is triply douchbagacious.

On the other hand, I know several perfectly lovely vegetarians and I understand completely and respect their point of view.

Organic, eh, not so much. Although I do appreciate chemical fertilizer and pesticide avoidance, and I'm charmed my misshapen, ugly and blotchy fruit and vegetables.

hdhouse said...

I've thought it over David. You are.

Joe said...

Grilling vegetables absent meat is a crime against nature.

reader_iam said...

I love my resident criminal-against-nature. And he, remarkably enough, seems to love me.

Two grills. Together since start of '92, married since start of '95.

P.S. He always does the vegetables for neighborhood barbecues, by request. He's learned how to do it well. ; )

Pogo said...

At Pike's Market in Seattle sits a small funky gift store chock-a-block with eco-diverse-inner goddess type stuff for women of both types, liberal and progressive.

Fair trade jewelry and hemp bags and new age shaman energy chakras everywhere.

My wife was buying a necklace where the pendant was made of a real butterfly wing encased in glass and rimmed in silver. Quite pretty.

A young thing ahead of her scowled: Did the butterflies die naturally ???

She was assured that no butterfly was denuded of its sartorial splendor until it had shaken loose this mortal coil and joined the choir invisible, once the final grain of sand spilt from Nature's hourglass.

Not fully satisfied, she walked away.

Theo Boehm said...

Salamandyr's point about organic being destructive, wasteful and poverty-inducing loomed behind this post I did on my blog a while back.

Check the link at the beginning for some alarming reading. 

But I really don't want to make you feel any guiltier than you need to.

Roger J. said...

considering the money to be made selling organic stuff to the well-heeled rubes, I think this is just good marketing. Lets WF look sensitive while keeping their organic rubes on the hook. I love capitalism.

DADvocate said...

Shopping at this store, for bread anyway,is a waste for those of use concerned with organic purity. A single inorganic molecule touching organic food contaminates the organic food. You might as well eat garbage.

I even carry my groceries in organically grown cotton bags to maintain the purity.

reader_iam said...

Re: Cross contamination sign

For one reason and/or another (not just DH, or DS), I've become a master at avoiding cross contamination: the traditional kind (mojochef's reference), peanut allergy, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian from meat/poultry/seafood, vegan from ova-lacto, etc. and a couple combinations of the above.

I have, shall we say, a healthy, some would say too healthy, respect for different food preferences/requirements and am experienced enough accommodating them to have earned a deserved trust in handling them.

But this one would be a bridge too far for me. I'm pushing 50, and I think my adapter's getting a sufficient workout (as opposed to other parts of me, but that's a different lament).

I have no problem with this sign (what's a little more information to either use or ignore?--hell, I spend a significant part of my life on these here internets). But I don't want to add to my list of shopping-related questions, "Was this bread cut on a separate machine?" Nor do I want to get yet another cutting board and bread knife. (I have a separate one for gluten-free.) Or worry about my wheat (some organic, some not) flours mixing. (I do keep the gluten-free scrupulously apart from the gluten-with; same with the cereals & other grains, etc., when I have them in the house).

This would be my Waterloo, at long last. I totally respect your preference, but would you mind please bringing your own bread to our next potluck?

chickenlittle said...

A single inorganic molecule touching organic food contaminates the organic food. You might as well eat garbage.

LOL!

wv: chlow (code word for Holland, given the linguistic similarites of Swiss German and Dutch)

reader_iam said...

It occurs to me that I'd probably be considered a douche-bag by those on both sides of the issue.

C'est la vie!

G Joubert said...

Me, I'd worry about my wholesome conventional food getting polluted by "organic" material.

grandrants said...

Chip-Ahoy, not sure whether the "one-time" refers to the vegetarianism, or the friend himself, but regardless, you might just share the Mitchell & Webb skit about that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t0L8WAkfVE

Now THAT's comedy!

Maguro said...

An actual organic, biodegradeable douchebag sounds like a pretty good marketing idea for Whole Foods. Maybe they'll develop one made out of hemp or something. Can't have those non-organic douchebags clogging up our landfills.

Another untapped market niche: organic cigarettes. How bout "Obama" brand all natural, unfiltered cigs? Could be a winner.

chickenlittle said...

Another untapped market niche: organic cigarettes.
That market's been tapped. link

jacksonianlawyer said...

Does anyone else find it most-curious that, within the body of the sign/message, both "Bread" and "Slicer" are capitalized, with the same being true for "Organic"
and "Conventional?"

http://www.sc.edu/webpresence/editorial_guide/capitalization.html

rhhardin said...

Titus would be the expert on organic chain of custody.

Sigivald said...

Wait, they sell bread that isn't primarily made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen?

Just say no to silicate bread!

I've never seen a foodstuff that wasn't "organic", myself. It's pretty much necessary to it being food in the first place.

Maguro said...

chickenlittle - Thanks for the link, didn't know there was actually someone shameless enough to market organic cigarettes. Never put anything past the ruthless bastards at RJ Reynolds. If we'd put tobacco company execs in charge of the CIA to begin with, Al Qaeda never could've touched us.

Freeman Hunt said...

But do they let the Fair Trade tin foil hats touch the same shelves as the Conventional ones?

chickenlittle said...

@Maguro:

I'm not sure RJ created the brand. They may have just bought them out.

chickenlittle said...

Just say no to silicate bread!


As in, sand-wiches?

Get real

wv: conit (such an ugly euphemism)

raf said...

It does raise the question of whether there are any other points of cross-contamination, such as the person carrying organic stuff and non-organic stuff. Is it possible for there to be air-borne contamination? Some breads may spread microcrumbs via air currents.

WV: citiccan. A repository for failed financial institutions.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I wish it were a joke. Having inspected over 700,000 acres for organic certification, however, it's only a minor symptom of all that's wrong with that particular world view.

My inspection days were finished after being reprimanded as a result of having caught a guy dead-to-rights using Pursuit [herbicide] on his "organic" soybeans. Caught him, right down to the lab analysis, for which (apparently) I was not authorised to pull a sample unless ordered by some organicrat in an office.

Meantime, the organic world goes on making distinctions without a difference: it must be mined potassium sulphate, rather that manufactured; broccoli seed must not be fungicide treated, because (presumably) the one-billionth of an ounce active material per acre will make a crucial difference in two months when someone eats the broccoli ...
and of course there's the illustrated problem with non-organic bread crumbs.

It has become a secular religion, which is why I got out of the inspection business. I'm a lousy rabbi.

class-factotum said...

actual organic, biodegradeable douchebag

They already have organic cotton tampons and organic re-usable rags. You know -- the re-usable rags our great-grandmothers used because they didn't have a better option.

Smilin' Jack said...

Why is it OK to make fun of this sign but not OK to make fun of kosher foods?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Because kosher is understood to be a religious choice. The organic people think they're the future of all agriculture, that they alone will save the world, and that we all must follow their enlightened lead.

Joe said...

Who said it wasn't okay to make fun of [commercial] kosher foods? It's just as idiotic.

Comrade X said...

It's like having separate water fountains; it makes sense, but only if you're an asshole.

Pogo said...

If they charge the Organic Believers more for the purchase of the machine, I say have at it.

Never give a sucker an even break.

chickenlittle said...

It's like having separate water fountains; it makes sense, but only if you're an asshole.

you hydrophobic bidet!

rhhardin said...

I suppose the Roundup-ready arugula is out.

Comrade X said...

The proper response to the douche who initiated this was:

"Our other organic customers are environmentally conscious and would never dream of asking for their bread to be sliced in a carbon-belching bread slicer. Why do you hate Gaia?"

Comrade X said...

Myself, I've given up conventional sliced bread and moved almost exclusively to Texas Toast. Better toast, hot sandwiches, patty-melts, french toast, garlic bread, etc. Not to mention, more eco-friendly because of the fewer slices.

kentuckyliz said...

Comrade X wins the thread! Why do you hate Gaia, indeed.

WV: ashes
the destiny of all of us carbon life forms and our foodstuffs
dust in the wind, baby

kentuckyliz said...

The poisonous airborne spores of the conventional unorganic pesticide bread have eaten away the paint from the base of the stand holding the sign.

WV diate
Diate the poisonous nonorganic conventional pesticide bread.

Synova said...

Kosher *is* different... along with other religious food limitations... but still not to the point where it's socially acceptable to expect other people to be as careful as you would be, not if you expect someone else to feed you.

Allergies are different. Diabetes is different.

I belonged to a writing group with people who had various allergies and Kosher Jews and a Vegan to boot and we certainly did our best to keep all of those in mind when we brought snacks, so I've been there with reader (no deadly peanut allergies, thankfully!)... and no one EVER asked if the same knife used for the vegetables touched the cheese.

Organic or even vegetarian and vegan are entirely optional sorts of things, usually, and don't entitle someone to force anyone else to buy into their delusions... and if someone is gracious enough to make an effort, it's completely inexcusable not to graciously accept the effort made by examination and testing to make sure that gracious effort measures up.

peter hoh said...

I'm not one of the cool kids who knows how to link to a youtube video so that it starts at 2:43, so you will have to advance to 2:43 to see the Eco-Douchebags at Sports Day.

Bruce Hayden said...

Because kosher is understood to be a religious choice. The organic people think they're the future of all agriculture, that they alone will save the world, and that we all must follow their enlightened lead.

My understanding is that Kosher was about cleanliness and cross-contamination, etc., from a time when we didn't have the sort of cooking and cleaning capabilities that we have now. It did become somewhat religious over time, just like any ritual does, but for a long time, it kept the Jews who kept it healthier than their Gentile neighbors.

Bissage said...

I'm not one of the cool kids . . .

Peter, stick #t=2m43s onto the end.

Like this.

And I always thought you were cool, so now you must be extra super-duper cool!!!

Bissage said...

I knew this promiscuous Jewish girl who only slept with Gentiles and she ended up with herpes so, yeah, I'd say that avoiding cross-contamination might just be the way to go.

peter hoh said...

Thanks, Bissage!