Today, I wrote Ocean Spray asking them about sustainable farming and why pesticides are preferable to health

I rode Amtrak yesterday and picked up a copy of the terrific Amtrak magazine THE NATIONAL.  In it was an article about an organic cranberry farm in Washington state:

Tart & Soul
On Washington’s Cranberry Coast, an organic bog is offering an eco- and health-conscious alternative to Big Cranberry
http://www.amtrakthenational.com/made-in-america-cranberry-coast

I read that cranberries are one of the most polluted of fruits we eat. The pesticides don’t wash off well and producers of non-organic cranberries pollute the waters where this fruit is grown. I wrote Ocean Spray today:

I understand that current law allows Ocean Spray to get away with it, and soon agricultural polluters like you are going to get even more free reign to pollute our nation’s waters and the foods with a guy like Pruitt at the EPA and Republicans excited to do away w regulations that protect human and environmental health (like the Clean Waters Act).

But what is the ultimate benefit to your company of polluting the environment and poisoning your customers? I really want to understand that.

Why not become a leader in sustainable farming? Instead of lobbying for ways to get away with poisoning the water, air, land and food that sustain all life in earth, why not lead the way in finding ways to grow food in a way that won’t poison the people who buy your products and the earth that hosts your operations? Isn’t it better to NOT poison the earth and the people who consume your products? And if you disagree, why? Why is poison preferable to sustainability?

If you want to write them, here is the link:
http://www.oceanspray.com/Who-We-Are/Contact-Us/Contact-Form.aspx

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Addendum, 5/1/2017

I got an excellent response from Ocean Spray in my email today:

May 1, 2017

Hello Emily,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We love to hear from people who are into cranberries as much as we are. When you purchase Ocean Spray® products you are supporting the more than 700 family farms which own the brand. Ocean Spray takes great pride in manufacturing premium products.

We, too, share your concern in the important matter of pesticides. Over the past years, Ocean Spray has made many efforts to address our consumers’ concerns with environmental issues, particularly those dealing with pesticide usage.

Ocean Spray’s 700+ farmer-owners have adopted 6 farm sustainability principles, including:

  1. Farm succession for generations
  2. Water Stewardship
  3. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  4. Soil Health and fertilizer management
  5. Ecosystem conservation and biodiversity
  6. Well-being for workers and the community

Our cranberry and grapefruit farmers take great efforts to grow fruit in a responsible way utilizing integrated pest management (IPM) that minimizes impacts to the environment and people to ensure that consumers can always count on fresh, quality and sustainability produced products from Ocean Spray. We rely on IPM principles, such as hand weeding, pest scouting, and understanding pest lifecycles and behaviors, to help determine the most responsible approach with the goal to always minimize the use of chemicals as much as possible.

Ocean Spray also has one of the most innovative and comprehensive residue testing programs in the world! Our Pesticides Screen Program aims at ensuring the safety of our fruit and finished product by analyzing fruit pre-harvest, during delivery for compliance, and finished goods. Fruit not in compliance is rejected. Additionally, we have agricultural scientists on staff to assist farmers on IPM best practices. We also are leading the way in pollinator management, Ocean Spray farmers are taking steps to conserve and enhance pollinator health by planting habitat for pollinators and choosing pest management materials that are pollinator safe as they recognize the critical importance of bees for food production and the natural environment.

Thanks for choosing Ocean Spray. Be sure to visit us again sometime at OceanSpray.com, where you can get all the latest information on our products, find delicious recipes, and join the Cranberry Club for special news and offers. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-662-3263 if you have any more questions or comments.

Tastes Good. Good For You.

And Your Friends at Ocean Spray

# 9,425,001

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Addendum, 5/5/2017

I got a customer survey from Ocean Spray just now and they asked for my feelings about the response I got from Customer Service rep.  A couple of questions allowed me to give written feedback to the questions.  I can’t remember now what the questions were, but I saved my responses to two:

I am upset about the use of poisonous pesticides to grow food. The pesticides poison not just the food, but our waterways, land, and animals. I conveyed this deep concern in my email. The representative responded with information and in a respectful tone. I appreciated that. Even if I was not satisfied with the actual information. I would have preferred included some kind of statement that Ocean Spray is working to grow all its food without poisons, is cleaning up the damage their positions have caused in the past, is working to grow all food using renewable energy and is actively supporting political candidates who actively work to save the environment from getting spoiled by industry. This is an unreasonable wish, corporations, generally run by conservatives, will ever care about anything more than making money (health of human beings and the environment be damned)…you see, I’ve become rather cynical.

Listen, I don’t want this to be an indictment of the customer service representative and how they made me “feel.” You want them to make me feel good all while Ocean Spray is sticking a knife in? That’s no good. What I want is correct and TRUTHFUL information, to feel that I’m not being duped but that Ocean Spray as a company is driven by a commitment to integrity, and a guarantee that Ocean Spray will do everything in its corporate power to support the health of HUMAN BEINGS and the ENVIRONMENT. That is a problem of company policy and practice (no matter how some customer service rep makes me feel about it).

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Related Posts, Information, and Links

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Writing and Calling Companies About Their Products and Packaging
https://projectput.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/writing-and-calling-companies-about-their-packaging/

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Project PUT: Pick Up Trash on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPUT/
@ProjectPUT

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Project PUT: Pick Up Trash on Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/singbooksemily/project-put-pick-up-trash/

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Project PUT: Pick Up Trash Blog:
https://projectput.wordpress.com/

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Project PUT: Pick Up Trash Online:
ProjectPUT.org

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Project PUT: Pick Up Trash on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ProjectPUT

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