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Open Source is Tech's Explosive Organic Movement

• http://www.thedailybell.com

It's hard to believe the Food Revolution has only been in effect for about ten years. In that time, we've seen drastic changes in the way citizens of the world choose to buy food for their families. What was once considered a pricey preoccupation of the body- and health-conscious has risen to become a major industry, topping $42 billion in 2014.

Why? Because people woke up. We woke up to the fact that most of the products on our supermarket shelves are atrociously mislabeled and composed of artificial and genetically modified ingredients. This is not food; at best, it's maybe food-like. We woke up to the reality that many of America's most popular and beloved food brands — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Post, Pepperidge Farms, Nestle — are making products that aren't good for us. We also woke up to the realization that the government isn't looking out for us when it comes to our food, so policing it is our personal responsibility. Thus, we can no longer afford to be negligent or apathetic in a food environment that has become corrupt and toxic.

We're now understanding the truth behind that age-old saying: You are what you eat. We literally become what we consume, on both genetic and epigenetic levels, and we don't want diabetes for ourselves or our children, or to be exposed to unnecessary hormones and antibiotics. We want food made with integrity, not just for our well-being, but for the health of the earth. Conscious food production practices are crucial for long-term sustainability of soil, biodiversity, and many elements of the biosphere.

The explosive growth of the organic food industry represents an ethical response to the conventional agro-chemical world, one projected to continue through 2018 and beyond. But the organic movement doesn't just stop at food. Let's consider another thing we consume every day: information.

For anyone who has bought into the food revolution, it's not much of a stretch to see we're ripe for an open information revolution. Not one defined simply by the omnipresence of information via the Internet, but one — like the food revolution — in which people demand accountability, transparency, and participation in the dissemination and consumption of information. Likewise, the outcome would be a new set of practices and players contributing to more healthy and sustainable environmental and personal practices.

If information is like food, packaged in technological bits and bytes, then you might say free and open source software is equivalent to organic, labeled products. Just as we care about what we put into our bodies, we should care about what we install in our technology systems. Some of the big players we currently know and trust are, frankly, serving up a bunch of cookies that aren't great for us. They help advertisers track us, compromise our privacy, and in some cases, make us susceptible to infections in the form of viruses and malware. When you navigate the app market, what do you put in your basket? What are you allowing into your life?

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