organic food in switzerland

in the early 90’s when i moved back to switzerland from california i noticed a big difference between the respective organic (bio) food scenes.
while in california eating organic was almost all about health, here in switzerland it was almost exclusively about fair trade and ecology, and to a lesser extent about supporting a more localised economy (think global, act local). in other words things motivations were much more political in switzerland. i remember thinking, that it would make sense, if both these advantages were equally valued. organic (bio) food is ofc both healthier for the consumer AND better for the environement.

10 years later much has changed in swiss “bio”. i can now find an organic food section in almost any big supermarket (coop, migros). sadly this mostly means, that i can now buy organic cherry tomatoes all year long; the old dictums long forgotten. organic food no longer is seasonal food and was probably shipped here over half a continent or more.

but things really hit home when i watched 5gegen5 the other day (yep i still do watch this crap). in this silly, yet captivating game show – contestants have to guess what was answered most – 100 swiss were asked what the advantages of organic food were. my first guess (“its good for the environment”) got no mention. all answers had to do with it being healthier and better for you.

this development kind of scares me. it turns this organic food thing into a fad, a commodity. right now people are willing to invest money into organic food, because they seem to think its healthier. but maybe soon people will come to believe, that its better to eat poisonous food in order to build up their resistances … i dunno. it’s possible. it just makes for a frickle foundation, if people only buy organic because of individual reasons.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.