Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Eden Foods and the Death of the Progressive Boycott
Today I have one last post on Eden Foods. I wrote about it last Friday for CNN, there's a new piece up on Forbes that covers the struggle, but I worry about it slipping away out of view.
If people concerned about women's rights cannot stop Eden Foods through exerting their consumer power, then we might as well give up.
Hobby Lobby is complicated. It's a huge chain, lots of people from all political stripes use it to support their crafts, and it's going to be hard to effect a strong boycott. Yes, there are lots of excited people and protests now, but it's going to fade and the company will survive or fail on its own. It just doesn't rely on a lot of high-information progressives for its profit margin.
Eden Foods, on the other hand, exists squarely on our turf. Yes, there is a libertarian market for organic products, but as I wrote on CNN, "organic products, a market that relies on educated, well-informed, urban consumers, a demographic that trends liberal." Follow the links (and there are many more studies).
Moreover, people tend to buy organic foods as a conscious choice, not a reflexive decision. The products are usually more expensive, for one thing. It's a business that usually relies on volume to make profits. Start getting Eden Foods out of your stores, refuse to buy them, educate store manager and other shoppers, and we can make a difference.
Moreover, CEO Potter makes for a perfect target. He's offensive in his discussion of birth control as like Jack Daniels, his self-expressed ignorance both about women's issues and about religion (though his lawyer talks a good religious game), he's exactly the kind of person it's easy to motivate lower-information shoppers against.
Here's my problem. I am not an organizer. I am a writer and thinker. I argue. I debate. I compose. I publish. And then it's up to you.
As covered yesterday in Forbes, Credo Mobilize now claims (this link says 100,000, but they've updated according to Forbes) over 150,000 signatures against Eden Foods. 15,000 on this Eden Foods - Whole Foods petition. This is good, but where are the daily diaries here? Where is the outrage across the liberal blog world? Where are the focused campaigns? I keep hoping for more, more pressure. I'm not seeing it.
This is on our turf. Organic foods. The perfect villain. The structural elements are all in our favor.
If we can't win this one, well, then maybe progressives don't actually care that much about access to contraception and fighting back against the religious exemption.