One of the funniest things about being a blogger, I think, is how often I get approached by all kinds of people, organizations and businesses asking me to do a variety of things for them, most of the time for free.
Some want to write guest posts, others want me to share some infographic they’ve created. Some ask for book reviews, others ask for links or ads to be placed either within posts or on my sidebar. Some of the requests are exciting, some are ridiculous, and some (I’ve learned) require a bit of homework before an answer can be given.
Believe me, close consideration is important.
I’ve learned the hard way in this space that not all offers or opportunities are good ones, even if they appear so at the start. I’ve made some mistakes for sure…and will probably make more, but I’m learning and trying to be better 😉
For example, I was recently asked if an online business could feature me as one of their “green leaders” on their website. They’d do an interview with me and feature me on their site…they’d get to talk about how “green” their business is and I’d maybe get some traffic to this space from some new visitors. Sounds good, right?
Well, it did until I did a quick Google search and found that they have horrible customer service ratings and reviews. And I’m not just talking about a few complaints…I’m talking about many, many *very angry people. So, do I want to be associated with such negativity?
Nope. not this lady.
Now, when I got an email recently from a nice lady asking if I’d put a link to a new campaign being launched by Cascadia Farms called Bee-Friendlier on my sidebar, I was intrigued!
Here’s the email:
I work for a company called Solve Branding (www.solve-ideas.com) and we’re doing work to help raise awareness regarding the struggles bees are facing.
We developed a website in conjunction with Cascadian Farm Organic and The Xerces Society that you can visit at www.bee-friendlier.com. The site is designed to educate people about how important bees are to our food supply and what anyone who wants to help bees can do to get involved.
In order to raise awareness of this project, I want to ask if you’d be willing to add www.bee-friendlier.com to the resources section of your website, http://evergrowingfarm.com/. We think your visitors would find it valuable, and we’re appreciative of anything you can do to help raise attention to this important cause.
I thought, “Bees…Organic…Win!” I mean, really, you all know how much I love the bees!
But something inside told me to look a little further before saying yes…so I did…and it wasn’t hard to connect the dots between the campaign (Bee-Friendlier), the company (Cascadia Farms), the parent company (General Mills), their very passionate stance on GMOs, and their support of the big bad company (Monsanto) that is responsible for the chemicals (Neonicotinoids) that are actually thought to be largely responsible for killing the bees!
Maybe I’m just being sensitive, and I know it’s not a perfect world, but it seems like a conflict to me. And, honestly, I’m surprised Xerces is working with them…but maybe they have a plan???
Anyhow, here’s my response (in part) to the nice lady:
While I am always happy to see companies working to protect the bees, I have to say that I am confused by the fact that Cascadia Farms is organic, yet it is owned by General Mills…and to the best of my knowledge, General Mills fully backs the creation of and use of GMO’s in their products. Granted, there are many out there who believe that GMOs are perfectly safe…however, there are others who do not. Additionally, Monsanto, who is behind GMOs, is also behind the neonicotinoid insecticides that are wreaking such horrible havoc on our beloved bees. This just seems like an awful conflict, don’t you think?
While I appreciate the donations being made to the Xerces Society, I will respectively decline your request at this time, as I’d prefer my readers donate directly to Xerces if they see fit.
What do you think? Am I being sensitive? Or do we need to stop pretending that all these big pro-GMO corporations don’t own all these little (organic) guys? How are we, as consumers, supposed to trust the one that is in the pocket of the other?
It’s a complicated web, my friends. A very sticky, complicated web, indeed.