Published on June 13th, 2012 | by Tanya Sitton3
Innovative Project Combines Health, Ethics, Food, and Social Media: Meet HoneyColony!
Inspired by bees‘ collective sharing of knowledge, a new site on the horizon deserves support and enthusiasm from ecovores of every stripe. Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or ethical omnivore: if you value health, bees, sustainability, and ethical food: the HoneyColony project needs you!
Vanishing of the Bees director Maryam Henein spearheads the project, which seeks to build community and knowledge (as well as ease of shopping!) for those of us who value ethical food practices. HoneyColony is in the early stages of development, but promises to be a great resource for social networking, recipes, advice, product reviews, health information, and ethically sourced food and fair-trade products.
Creators envision a site devoted to aggregating the information gathered by a community of ecovores, who value natural health support, fair trade and organic products, and sustainable agricultural practices. The current crowd-sourced fundraising project for HoneyColony ends Saturday, and showcases the kinds of products likely to eventually be found on the site – which you can get for less than retail value by donating to the HoneyColony project between now and Saturday.
Because it’s a new kind of social web to envision (and try to explain!), the worker bees at HoneyColony put together a video about what the project seeks to accomplish.
HoneyColony will offer products carefully vetted to meet high standards for organic, sustainable, fair-trade sourcing. Henein describes herself as ‘a food justice, food policy activist at heart,’ and is deeply committed to food as a health and ethics issue. Though in an imperfect world there are no guarantees, it’s hard to imagine a better candidate to seek out, organize and aggregate ethical vendors.
Henein provided EDB with some sample pages from the under-construction HoneyColony project.
In addition to the product pages, each user will create a profile, for community input and networking.
An advisory panel of experts from various related fields will be available to provide suggestions and support, and the site will be set up to incentivize community contribution. HoneyColony will seek to aggregate and amplify our power to vote with our dollars, and support organic, free trade, ethical suppliers when we shop. Imagine Facebook plus Amazon plus EatDrinkBetter plus Your Farmers’ Market, all in one site — but without the ads, and with a world-wide community of like minds all sharing information about food, health, and sustainability!
Vegans need not shy away from the concept based on its name. HoneyColony was inspired by bees, but is NOT all about honey! Many apiarists and honey enthusiasts will undoubtedly be part of the community, because the HoneyColony founders are wild about bees (as are we all!) and sometimes honey. But if you don’t eat honey, know that there will be plenty of good stuff there that’s vegan — like hemp seeds, chia seeds, B12 supplements… Bees were the inspiration: that’s the source of the project’s name. But it isn’t just about bees and honey — it’s about all the things that EatDrinkBetter supports, and that vegans and other ecovores value: healthy, sustainable, and ethical eating.
The HoneyColony project needs startup funding, and there’s an opportunity to help that ends Saturday: go there now! Come back and finish reading after you check it out. I’ll wait.
Right now, the funding goal to get the project off the ground is not nearly met. Henein says that HoneyColony will become a reality one way or another. If the IndieGoGo project doesn’t suffice, they’ll seek alternative crowd-sourced funding until the vision becomes a reality.
Henein says that after Saturday, the HoneyColony website will be the best source of information about what comes next for the project. Find HoneyColony on Facebook, for updates as events unfold. I’ll be following developments closely, so you can watch for future updates here at EDB also! HoneyColony is exactly the kind of grass-roots, community-driven project that could make huge waves in the food world.
The HoneyColony project seeks to emulate the wisdom of the bees, and collectively create something beautiful that individual members could never make alone.
Count me in!