Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Nature is evil, natural is bad for you
One thing brings another. Yesterday's natural, organic, bio, etc. shop on Dizengoff St. connected me to a natural, organic, bio, etc. olive oil factory. It is sited in a beautiful pastoral, rural setting, producing ersatz peasant olive oil, uncontaminated by artificiality. The entrepreneur, a retired government officer enjoying early retirement and a big pension (Elokhim My God! He is sooooooo relaxed! He is soooooo much younger than me, living the rest of his life with no need to work nor money problems. Each year of work of these people is counted as three years for retirement. Envy? Moi? Dont be ridiculous! ) rides the worldwide craze for natural products. He let me taste his oil and it is not bad, but certainly not better than the cheap (8 dollar a bottle) brandless oil sold in the supermarket. I for one prefer the supermarket olive oil.
He has oils from different varieties, and perfumed olive oil soaps, all tastefully presented with flowered violet-pink paper packaging. With pride, he showed me the process of extracting the oil and his refrigerated store of 50 gallon steel barrels full of oil. It is all done by stainless steel machines with electric engines, the bottles are filled by an electric pump. I have nothing against modern food processing industrial machinery, in fact, I am strongly for it. But why his oil is natural, organic, bio, pure, etc. (and commands a high price) while the supermarket's oil is not?
Why people loves Nature so much that they are willing to pay more for the idea of a natural product? Nature, so I think, is evil (too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, full of pesky insects, poisonous plants, parasite worms and bats thirsty for human blood). Man's big achievement was to pull himself out of Nature, to create an artificial and secure environment, to eat processed and healthy food.
Nature is evil. Natural is bad for you. But "natural" is good business in Israel 2006.