Dear Editor of the Shuttle newsletter:
This is in response to the article written by Norman Weiss (Suggestions), Weaver’s Way Co-op (Phila., PA) purchasing manager, in the Aug addition of The Shuttle (pg 19)? Quite an interesting read. I was all in except for his disturbing answer to Devon’s question. For some reason, the energy that the first part of the article was written was absolutely opposite the last part. Granted Weaver’s Way is a business and when it comes to making business decisions…the bottom dollar always wins when it comes to making conscious choices about the health and welfare of our community and the earth in general. I just thought that his answer to her was a bit harsh…and I could even read into it more deeply to say…that the entire reason of creating a community based food co-operative was just flushed down the toilet with his answer. Let me dig deeper:
Norman says: “Stop persecuting GMO items.” Why? How are we going to change the system if we don’t stand up for what is absolutely wrong on all fronts. Why are other (entire) countries burning down crops of GMO foods and refusing GMO food donations even though most of their people are hungry? There is something to be said of the little staffer girl in a small community who speaks up for the entire world. (Give her a raise!)
Norman says: “We are and inclusive, tolerant and diverse organization that welcomes all God’s children.” <<< Is Weaver’s Way a church? And if this is the sentiment of all of God’s children…then recognize that GMO foods are not from God. So I could argue that they are not of God’s children but of Man’s children…or like some people like to call GMO…the Devil…which is far worst.
Norman says: “We have to have some white sugar or the shoppers will rebel.” <<< No they won’t! Most folks know where to get cheap GMO white sugar…Acme, Shop Rite and any other corporate conglomerate that doesn’t care about the people, just their bottom line. Like was mentioned in the article, Weaver’s Way doesn’t have the resources to do a full on investigation of all the products it sells, however the mission of Weaver’s Way clearly states that it strives to educate its members and community about consumer issues and the cooperative movement. Not to mention that the mission also states that WW is committed to the Environment…in these words: We work to sustain a healthy planet, promote environmentally sound products and practices, encourage and support local and organic farming, and try to act with environmental consciousness in all our endeavors. Im sure the members will be grateful to know that their co-op supports the earth rather than the profit.
Norman further states: “I don’t know of a non-GMO sugar-beet-cheap white sugar we can get.” Um…is this the purchasing manager speaking here? There are plenty of non GMO sugars out here: Agave, Coconut Nectar, Stevia, etc…But if someone wants cheap white sugar, there are other places to go….Shop Rite. Here is where education is needed…folks need to really stop buying it altogether.
Oh yeah, and this is the part that inspired me to write this. Norman finally ends his answer to Devon about her post on the GMO Hellman’s Mayonnaise (and white sugar) that Weaver’s Way sells:
“Please remember that exploitation of the Earth and its people is what helped make this country great and allows us in the middle class (read: privileged) to enjoy a lifestyle we’ve all come to cherish.” <<< When in history does the exploitation of people and its lands benefit a country? Thoughts come to my mind: Slavery, “Third” World Debt, China, Indentured Servitude, Walmart…you get it! Someone saying that exploitation is what gives us this comfortable cushy life where we can buy Hellman’s GMO Mayonnaise and Cheap GMO white sugar if we choose to is great and something to cherish is…all I can think of…Scary!
So how did this article get passed the Editor? Doesn’t Norman’s answer to Devon come as a red flag to the integrity of the organization? To the community? To others (non-middle class)? To members and non-members who appreciate the fact that this awesome organization offers something more? Hey! I’m not interested in Norman’s head on a platter… but I am just responding to the contradictions that his answer implies to the mission of the entire organization. Im just wondering why, when a simple and profound statement is brought up to the purchasing manager of a small (yet revolutionary) organization answers like this are acceptable…and printed. Plain and simple, Norman’s answer was absolutely horrible! I hope this letter connects to the members and inspires to raise awareness not about the fact that Weaver’s Way sells Hellman’s and other GMO brands (well, yes, that too), but to realize that this is the type of organization that is pivotal in creating change in this society and to use these types of opportunities to educate and advocate for our community, our environment and our world in general. Hopefully something wonderful can come out of this!