… When Profit Is the Only Motivator
In recent years, we have seen big chain box stores and big chain drugstores leaping on the ‘natural’ health bandwagon. There are now even more reasons for consumers to watch out for misleading marketing ploys.
It would seem as though there is more accessibility to natural, pure products than ever
before, since box store and drugstore chains have begun to carry products touted as ‘natural’. In some cases, these same corporations have suddenly decided that healthier choices are so important that they have rushed their own ‘natural’ product lines to market.
Here is a question: Why were these same corporations happy to provide chemical laden products for decades (and still do), except now, they are tripping over themselves to provide seemingly ‘natural’ lines of products right alongside of their other product lines? Sadly, it is (for them) all about market share; in other words profit. Here are some things for savvy consumers to watch out for and be aware of.
This trick is meant to mislead consumers by, for example, spelling organic with a ‘k’ like this, ‘organik’. Make sure that the fine print really does insure organic status and which organization has certified it as such. Otherwise, this is just a ruse, is insulting, and lacks integrity. Personally, I would not part with any of my hard-earned money to enrich a company who would use such unethical tactics.
Become a diligent label reader
If a product has ‘natural’ such and such on the front label, be sure to turn the package over and read the entire ingredient list to make sure that the product really does contain only natural, pure ingredients and what, (if any) is the specified percentage, of organic ingredients. No toxic chemicals please!
Do a little bit of research
After all, it is your health and your money. Make use of trustworthy and informative websites. The internet can be a tremendously helpful resource. Find reliable sites, blogs and forums and then bookmark them. With our site for example, you are welcome to subscribe to us, so that we can keep you informed about new developments in the field of natural health and related products and about newly published articles.
Be very wary of box stores, drug stores and other companies that have ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ in recent years and wish to ‘grab a piece of the pie’
The natural and organic movement gained a small following in the 1960’s, building on even smaller earlier movements, and has grown because of the passion, integrity and dedication to healthier living of individuals and small companies. Their biggest motivator was health. Be wary of companies whose primary (and sometimes only) motivation is maximum profit.
Does the ‘green’ or ‘natural’ proclamation stand up to scrutiny?
I have noticed many products on drugstore and box store shelves that attempt to proclaim their ‘all natural’ and/or ‘green’ healthy status and upon closer observation that ‘marketing’ just does not stand up. For example, having one or two healthy sounding ingredients surrounded by two dozen unhealthy chemical ingredients is once again a very insulting marketing tactic. I have seen this tactic in particular on personal care products such as shampoo; soap, lotion, and make-up just to name a few.
How is it made? Be aware that a host of toxic chemicals can be involved in the manufacturing process and yet they do not have to be listed on the label
Synthetically manufactured vitamins are an example of this. I have seen aisles in drugstores and big grocery stores filled with hundreds bottles of cheaply priced (and produced) vitamins. That cheap bottle of vitamins is in all likelihood a synthetically formulated product, sourced from petroleum and coal tar derivatives—why? Because it is cheaper to produce. Again, bad things happen to good consumers when maximum profit trumps all other factors of the manufacturers and retailers. (Click to Tweet)
The bio-availability of synthetically formed vitamins is very low, partly because your body does not recognize these imitators. So what does your body do with substances that it views as invaders? It will discard the substances as waste as quickly as possible, or if it sees that the substance is harmful* it will store it in fatty tissue to keep it from causing systemic damage. Therefore, that $6.00 bottle of vitamins is not such a great deal after all.
(*Some research indicates that synthetically manufactured vitamins cause significant increases in incidence of illness that they were supposed to be helping diminish.)
Who has the product knowledge and thereby the ability to offer great customer service?
Two additional factors that come into play are product knowledge and customer service. Smaller producers and retailers are often in the natural health industry firstly because they began with a desire to provide healthier choices to the consumer. In so doing they have succeeded in uniting their passion with the ability to provide a living for themselves and their staff.
Part of their success stems from hiring like-minded staff and then providing them with ongoing training and education so that they can provide customers with better and more knowledgeable service than can be had from drugstore chains and box stores. If you enjoy the convenience of shopping online, then you know that any reputable online retailer will have a dedicated customer service line and/or email to answer questions that customers and prospective customers may have.
Remember, while passionate and ethical individuals were taking huge personal financial risks to start small businesses in order to offer healthy products to consumers, the big multinationals were sticking to the status quo. Now, it appears as though they would like to swoop in and behave as though they have cared about manufacturing and providing healthier products all along.
It is always consumers who will suffer, when a few huge companies monopolize any industry or enterprise. Protect your access to choice and variety by supporting businesses whose commitment is to the well-being of people, not to profit and growth at any cost. If these smaller enterprises go under, you can be assured that the major product manufacturers will go back to business as usual.
It is also worth noting that smaller producers and manufacturers often create employment opportunities on a local level rather than outsourcing to overseas manufacturing facilities. That means they are contributing to healthier individuals and to a healthier local economy. This demonstrates a significant commitment to people and our planet. I find this to be a very compelling factor.
With that said, whether you purchase products from brick and mortar health stores or through online providers; ask questions and deal with people that you feel are trustworthy. The businesses that we choose to support should be able to demonstrate that integrity plays as important a role as profit does.