By Brooke E. Williams
About a week ago now I was having dinner with my friend at a lovely local restaurant in PDX, when he asked me about my views on GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods. As the GMO labeling bill was on the ballot in the most recent midterm election.
As a college student my views on GMOs may or may not be shared by others. I am skeptical of their health effects, however on a tight budget, I do not always have the option to buy only organic products. And I do love my Juanita’s and other snack foods that I grew up with, that are far from organic, non-GMO, all natural, no artificial anything. The fact that healthier food is more expensive than the artificial ‘stuff’ that is on grocery store shelves is a big issue that is all wrapped up with big food corporations like Monsanto and Con-Agra.
The day after my GMO conversation with my friend, I was scanning one of my favorite websites Refinery29, that posted a headline “This New Site Will Change the Way You Shop for Healthy Food”, I was like this is an interesting coincidence. Reading the article directed me to Thrive Market, it is an online wholesale health food store, with the mission, “To make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone”.
It’s like a curated health food Costco! With a FREE one-month trail sign up, then a $59 dollar per year membership that delivers to your door, the awesome goods you purchase. Granted they do not deliver fresh food, but all of the non-perishable goods, soups, soaps and Yerba Mate, at 25-50% off retail prices, with free shipping on orders over $49 dollars.
Like many companies that are trying to make their clients feel good about their purchases, with each membership the market donates one to a low income American family. You can also follow their social media accounts (@thrivemarket), where the post photos of delicious looking foods, and write about food related issues in America.
I am seriously contemplating signing up for the free trial of Thrive Market, as I think it would be an excellent way for me to eat healthier on my budget. The idea behind Thrive is that it is an online version of a health food co-op dreamed up by CEO Gunnar Lovelace, that allows consumers to be empowered by their buying choices no matter what economic level they are at, according to Mark Sisson, one of the investors of Thrive (Lieberman, 2014).
As a follow up to the ballot measure 92 debate in Oregon, there are two sides to this issue. One being that our food is being modified and put into things we eat everyday and don’t even know it and we don’t know the health side effects, which is supported by the group Oregon Right to Know. The other is that it is these GMO crops that are allowing for farmers to produce more on their land, and keep the prices of key foods down and by labeling these products, farmers will loose money on having to pay more to label their products, big companies like Monsanto would also loose money. The public campaigns for this ballot measure were tough, with those in favor of labeling spending around $8 million dollars, while the opposition spent $20+ million dollars, with big backers like Monsanto and Con-Agra (Mapes, 2014).
In the end the ballot measure was narrowly struck down, with fewer than 51% opposition, mainly coming from the farming communities in Oregon (Tims, 2014).