Weasel Word Wednesday #25 – artisan and organic

A double-whammy today.

Normally the words I select for WWW as overused and grating are those found in the corporate world. However, I’ve been meaning to point out for some time how the word ‘organic’ is starting to lose its meaning thanks to overuse, especially by major supermarket chains. Then this morning I read a terrific article in the Huffington Post about the word ‘artisan’ along similar lines.

Living in Tasmania, the fresh and high quality local produce just blows me away. From bread, cheese and meat to olive oil and wine, we eat extremely well here thanks to the talent of local people. And most of the produce is artisan or organic or both.

Do I believe in the value of organic produce? Of course I do. I find the option of eating food that hasn’t been grown/fed with chemicals very appealing. The less of that stuff we ingest the better, surely. I don’t spray any chemicals on my own vegetable garden, figuring if the plant dies, there was a good reason. But I started to think things have gone too far when I read last month’s Organic Gardener magazine and found a substantial portion of it dedicated to why children should only wear organic cotton or linen clothes. The brightly coloured garments from K-Mart or Target contain all kinds of terrible chemicals that will slowly poison your child. I agree that life would be much better if we could all waft around in healthy organic cotton and hessian sacks and live a simple life. Unfortunately, that isn’t modern life or realistic or affordable for most people.

Actually, I do come across the word ‘organic’ in the corporate world and it is a little grating and overused. It’s used in the context of ‘organic growth’, or expanding your business due to increasing the number of customers, increased output or productivity, new sales, or any combination of the above, as opposed to mergers or acquisitions or adding new product lines. I am not sure that it is clearly understood, so it’s probably better explained in terms of how that growth will be achieved.

I’m off to enjoy a cup of organic green tea and harvest some of my organic purple garlic, catch you later.

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3 responses to “Weasel Word Wednesday #25 – artisan and organic

  1. Organic used to mean chemicals that contain carbon that were made by plants or animals, as opposed to physical chemistry which required no life form to make products. Artisan refers to artists, (food artists?) who worry more what food looks like than its nutritional content.

  2. Here it’s only Tuesday. I submit the acronym WTF that is recognized by OED. I say that it should stand for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

  3. I like your definition of artisan Phil. And working for a US company I encounter that time zone issue a lot. For example, if I want a press release to have the correct date on it, I need to post it at or after 3.01am EST. And news going out on Friday US time is pretty much a waste of time, as we’re already enjoying our weekend in Australia by then 🙂

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