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Walk the Talk

Randy Ritchie steps on soil at new BU farm.

It’s not easy to follow the path that we think is right, or even more, know is right. Commitment. Accountability. Honesty. Integrity. These are words that hold weight. These are words that used to mean something. Do they anymore?

We hear a lot of talk these days about food safety, the environment, climate change, Round-Up, GMOs, organics and if the earth will even be here in the not-to-far distant future… Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. What about action?

Very seldom does it seem that the media, the politicians (large and small), the corporate leaders or the various industrial complexes; food, drugs, chemical, information or war, seem to have the real best interest of you, your town, your family, your country, your pet, your garden, your health, your diet, your mental health or your planet at heart.

Increasingly, it looks like an Orwellian nightmare that may appear societally motivated or governmentally motivated, when in truth, it is financially motivated. Grabbing your money is tantamount to grabbing control of us all. Is there more competition or less competition for your dollars in your town today? Is their more diversity of stores in your community or less? Does one town blend into another with corporate facades that offer you a very limited fare of health and well-being, not to mention choice.

I know that It’s hard to say that I will only eat organic because it’s better for me. It’s hard to grow food and tend a garden when you work a lot of hours, have a family to raise and a life to lead in our modern world. It’s hard to look at what appears to be the bottom line and buy organic and GMO-free when the cost seems great, or “so expensive.” But the cost of not doing it is so much greater. There is no price to put on your health and well being, and the well being of the planet. We all know this. We all know that this is the right path to walk down. We could all cut out junk food or ice blended coffee drinks and buy organic if we wanted to, but that’s a big commitment. We need our comfort food, our frothy caffeine fixes!

Don’t we?

Ice cream sundae with two straws.

That’s your call. Ours was to start a biodynamic and organic compost company ten years ago… and it was hard. It still is hard to know that we make real organic, biodynamic, non-GMO farm-made compost that is far and above the competition, yet that so may people will turn to us and say that they can’t buy it because "it’s more expensive then the other stuff on the market." While the other stuff may be labeled organic, which is suspect, or natural, even though it may just be recycled garbage in a bag, is hard for us to stomach, very hard, because we try to do the right thing everyday. We don’t fake you out with words, and labels, and skimming just above the what-is-required line. We go above the standard. Above the line. Above what the government tells us is safe or good, or recommended.

Why do we do it? Because we have to! People start businesses out of passion or a belief that they have to. There is something inside of them telling them that there is no other choice but to do it. That is how we feel at Malibu Compost. We didn’t have a choice. We felt that we knew how to do something that just might help the world. We knew that it would for sure help people grow true organic food at home, or help them get rid of the poisons and toxins that the industrial chemical complex has been telling them they need in their homes and gardens since WWII. They don’t need it. That’s the truth. Plants need nutrients to grow and microbes to break down organic matter and release nutrient for the plants to uptake. That’s the truth. With water and nutrients, plants thrive. That is the truth.

On our path we have met some amazing people who are working for you, John Q. Public at a handful of small to medium-sized companies in the marketplace that are doing the right thing for you over and over and over. They’re doing it in the face of competition from giants who try to squash competition, own the market, eliminate choice, and buy and control the market with advertising money, phony baloney claims and promotional dollars. When you get a "Buy three and get one free" offer, that should tell you something.

A company can do that only because they’re selling you something that costs them little or nothing to make.

We’ve all heard the old “vote with your wallet” saying. That’s a tough one. What is that saying about me and my buying habits? Am I a bad person for buying a snicker bar, or a big white gas-guzzling truck? No. What it says is that I am human and that I can be swayed and cajoled into buying all kinds of things; good, bad, indifferent and absurd.

Here’s where this doing the right thing gets tricky… If we hang onto the beliefs of a movie star or a politician who says the world is going to cease to exist because of our evil system of consumption as they travel to a climate summit via a yacht, or a political rally by jet, then we are being duped by them. They are the “do as I say, not as I do” variety of celebrity or politician. They’re phonies. Hypocrites!

Yacht sailing ocean.

We don’t need people like them to tell us what to do, or how to think. All we have to do is get quiet, take a breath and close our eyes, then ask ourselves what is the right thing to do, the right course of action to take, the right message to put out, the right brand to buy, or company to support… The answer will come if we allow ourselves to tune out from the social media machine that is pounding our cell phones day and night.

It’s hard to commit. Hard to be accountable. Hard to be honest. Hard to have integrity. That is why these values are slipping through the fingers of today’s world like sand. It is hard to walk the walk and talk the talk. We know, because it’s something that we try to do every single day. It is hard to walk the talk… but isn’t it worth aspiring to?

© Randy Ritchie 2019

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