January 8, 2016

Are You A Granola?

If you make your own granola you might be a granola.

Labelling other people is probably not very productive. At best it isolates us from each other, and at its worst it demeans and destroys core values. Such labelling is often used to get rid of movements that threaten the status quo.

Hippie was a derogatory label for young people that dared to think differently. The youth of the day represented a radical threat to the system and were actively discouraged from continuing their push for change. Same with the more recent Occupy movement, suppressed in real time by an extreme show of authority that sent a strong message to anyone else thinking of stepping out of line.

Another more recent label that would make me laugh if it wasn't used so disparagingly is "granola". Linda and I have both been called "granolas", which like hippie or occupier, I would begrudgingly accept as a compliment.

Not that I am "a kind of breakfast cereal consisting of rolled oats, brown sugar or honey, dried fruit, and nuts." However, I have eaten a lot of this cereal in my days, and have gone as far as to make my own granola and granola bars, so maybe I do fit the label.

So how do others see people they call granolas? The most highly rated definition on urbandictionary.com follows:

An adjective used to describe people who are
  •  environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger)
  • open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active
  • queer or queer-positive
  • anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) 
  • with an organic and natural emphasis on living 
  • will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons)
  • limits consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. 

Usually they buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values.  
The choice of not removing body hair and drug use are not characteristics that define granola people, and people, regardless of granola status, may or may not partake in said activities. This definition is sometimes confused with hippie.

 How can this be bad? I think I am going to embrace the label, and embrace "granola core values". Who knows - I may start the Great Granola Movement of 2016. I wonder if that would be a threat to anyone? If so, I wonder if they would call me a Granolist?

"What do we want?"

 "Homemade granola bars!"

"When do we want them?"


"Oh ya, system change, too... and the end of simplistic labelling."


  1. I'm granola and I'm proud!

  2. Fun to think about being a granola and all!

    Labeling has been in my mind lately. Your blog post makes me think more about it. I used to be pretty good at non-labeling but have used labels more than I like more recently. I see how it is helpful in a way and not so in other ways. Maybe it is not the label so much as it is the judgement and stigma that can go with it. I do see how dividing it can be.

    Keep warm up there! I've been following your weather.

    1. I am trying hard to be less divisive and more inclusive. Less narrowing and more expansive. Less parts and more whole. Less good/bad and more there it is.

      It is getting a little cold here, but we are still one of the warmest places in this wintery country. The next few days look good. The prairies, where I was born, gets much colder - minus 20 degrees F tonight. Brrr.

  3. Some granola core values are very good, some hippie core values are very good, some granola and hippie core values are not so good atall e.g. drug abuse. I don't fit either label but embrace the values I consider to be good and don't care what people might call me as long as I can stand by the choices I make. Pam in Norway

    1. That is what is best about not identifying specifically with one label - you can pick and choose what makes the most sense to you from all areas. We can learn something from all points of view if we keep an open mind.

  4. gretchen1/09/2016

    yup, this is me and proud to be! and i do make my own granola :)

    1. Home made is the way to go. Wholesome healthy cereal, wholesome healthy people.

  5. Anonymous1/09/2016

    I've been called "Crunchy", which in essence means the same thing. I'm Crunchy Granola and proud!

    1. Crunchy is funny, too. I think it is good to be named after such a good thing. Loving the crunchy granola.

  6. Living in the south, people see my husband and I as "crunchy" (AKA: granola), and that is fine with me. It is strange that to care for our health, our fellows, and Earth necessitates a label in some people's minds! Keep crunching;)

    1. It has been interesting watching western culture change 'environmentalist' into a pejorative term akin to 'terrorist'. The environment, and our system of exploitation, are failing and people are looking for someone to blame for their reduced standard of living. They are looking in the wrong place.

      Time to get crunchy! Crunching. Crunched. Cruncher. Crunchanista.

  7. Anonymous1/09/2016

    I've had people call me Granola or Crunchy. It does bother me sometimes. Mostly because it's said in an slightly mocking way. It also surprises me that the ideas you list above would be mocked. Being aware of our impact on others and trying to improve the earth seem like goals we should all share, not goals that open us up to ridicule.


    1. Trying to do the right thing should never be ridiculed. Every point of view is right about something, and we all have more in common than things that make us seem different. We are all digits on the same hand, and thumbs are fighting with fingers.

  8. Anonymous1/09/2016

    I've been doing a bit of running lately, and was reading an article about how many runners have had things thrown or abuse hurled at them from cars as they run. The article's hypothesis was that by running (or cycling) you are challenging the prevailing cultural norms and quietly criticising everyone who drives past!
    I actually think the 'crunchy granola' thing is the same, the 'granola' lifestyle is to a degree a criticism of whats wrong in society so it is no wonder people enmeshed in consumerism feel the need to mock.
    I've yet to be called granola but given the above definition and the lovely commenters here it will be a proud day!
    Clara (Australia)

    1. That makes a lot of sense. It is the "you think you are better than I am" syndrome. People get offended if someone doesn't eat meat, or drink alcohol. Or if they take the bus, or ride a bike.

      I love challenging the prevailing cultural norms, which are highly over-rated in my opinion. Last time I looked they weren't written in stone. We made them, we can change them.

      Let my life be a living criticism of planet-destroying, soul sucking ways.

      Keep on running. Maybe wear a helmet. And ear plugs. Armour.

  9. Anonymous1/10/2016

    Love this post. It reminds me so much of my late father. He grew up on a farm and was a blue-collar, working class guy all his life - but he was granola without even knowing it. He planted a huge garden every year, saved the seeds - heck, he saved EVERYTHING, and if he didn't use something, he knew someone who could. We hung out the laundry, sewed or mended the majority of our clothes, and, by virtue of having no city water (we had a well and a cistern), learned to be very conservative with water use (the Navy shower was the norm). My dad would laugh if he were here to find himself called "granola", but I think it's a name he would have worn with pride. I know I do, thanks to both him and my mother. Granolas of the world, unite!



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