For a good laugh and a thought-provoking digital story, check out Grocery Store Wars: Join the Organic Rebellion. As a devout Star Wars fan myself and child of the 1970s and 1980s, I relate quite well to this.

What a great use of digital storytelling to encourage people (not just kids) to think critically about the foods they eat and the way many foods are processed and chemically infused. This isn’t just an example of a fun and thought provoking movie, however, it is also serious message marketing. Since its release “Store Wars” has been downloaded over 10 million times, covered by over 30 mainstream media outlets, translated into six different languages, shown at worldwide film festivals, linked to countless blogs, and its impact continues today. Wow.

The theme of this movie reminds me of Juice Plus, which our family is considering trying. It also brings up a question I have read and heard a bit about: What exactly is “organic food?” My perception is that the label “organic” is applied in the commercial marketplace pretty liberally. Certainly fruits and vegetables you raise yourself (thereby avoiding “the dark side of the farm”) qualify as organic, but how much processing or chemical alteration can still be done to produce and it have still sport an official label as “organic?” According to the current WikiPedia article on this subject:

Organic food is, in general, food produced without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides, and in many definitions genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In common usage, the word organic can apply equally to store-bought food products, food from a home garden where no synthetic inputs are used, and even food gathered or hunted in the wild. However, the term organic is increasingly associated with certified organic foods, which are produced and labeled according to strictly regulated standards. In many countries, including the United States, Japan and in the European Union, certification is a matter of legislation, and commercial use of the word organic, outside of the certification framework, is illegal. The specifics of certification are the subject of wide debate and disagreement among organic producers and consumers; at present, there is no universally accepted definition of organic food.

The remainder of the WikiPedia article sheds additional light on this question of defining organic food. The Organic Trade Association (sponsor of the “Grocery Store Wars” video and website) has its own definition of “organic” that is also worth looking at.

Thanks to Cheryl Oakes for this link included in a comment on a blog post from this weekend!

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