alma-busby-williams-head-shotBy Alma Busby-Williams, BCAction Community Leader for Change

There are a lot of things I worry about daily. I am the parent of a 20-year-old black man, who attends college in Olympia, WA, where two unarmed young black men were recently shot by the police for stealing beer from Safeway. I am also the mother of a 29-year-old black woman, who happens to be a popular blogger about racism and has been on the receiving end of a lot of vicious cyber-threats. And I often worry about the environment, and what we’re eating, and breathing. And lastly, I worry that if I worry, my breast cancer will return.

Halos boxThere are a lot of things I assume I will always have to worry about, but until recently, I felt pretty good about my family’s diet. I mean, we read nutrition labels. And when we can afford it, we buy organic. Almost eight years ago, after being vegetarians for 10 years, my family became vegan and starting eating many more fruits and vegetables. One of our go-to snacks was Halos® mandarins, the little gifts from God! We were all addicted to this sweet, seedless fruit! So, I must admit that I was shocked and horrified when I learned that the company behind them, Wonderful Citrus, has been using oil wastewater to water their oranges.

I mean—really? Now I have to worry about this, too?

To make matters worse, Wonderful Citrus has the nerve to use pink ribbons to sell these oranges. If they are actually concerned about women with breast cancer—as opposed to using this ubiquitous pink ribbon to mislead consumers into believing that they are committed to ending the breast cancer epidemic—they would stop using this type of irrigation. I have stopped buying Halos, but I know they are not only the California company using oil wastewater to irrigate their crops.

We shouldn’t have to worry about the food we eat. And if you’re like me and don’t want another thing to worry about—ask Wonderful Citrus to stop using oil wastewater to water their citrus.