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Fighting to end Daylight Saving Time

DST column

This weekend Americans move their clocks ahead so that sunset will be an hour later.

This is called Daylight Saving Time (notice none of these words are plural). But one retailer has had enough, calling it an unhealthy practice that must stop. Lakewood, CO-based Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets, Inc. BB #:188775 is asking people to join it in signing a petition to end DST.

In a news release last month, the company said, “With a nearly 25% increase in the number of heart attacks on the Monday following Daylight Saving Time compared to the rest of the Mondays throughout the year, Natural Grocers is on a mission to create a healthier America by ending Daylight Saving Time. On March 7, join Natural Grocers, America’s Nutrition Education Expert, in supporting heart health by signing the petition to end Daylight Saving Time.”

When I first heard of this effort, I was shocked and disappointed. They want to do away with that extra hour of daylight from March to November where we can grill and golf in evening daylight?

The website with the petition isn’t anti-daylight. It is anti-time changes.

“A growing body of independent research has shown that time changes adversely affect our health, sleep patterns, children’s focus in school, worker productivity and even worker safety. Earlier sunsets have problems also. They cause increases in depression (SAD or Winter Blues), traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities, and higher crime rates due to darker streets in the evening.”

This effort urges us to not fall back in November, but rather stay on Daylight Saving Time.

I asked Natural Grocers’ co-president Kemper Isely if he could clarify the retailer’s position on time change.

“It is our position that we should end Daylight Saving Time one way or another,” he said March 5. “Either we do not go back to standard time in the fall or next year preferred that we do not go on Daylight Saving Time. Which name is an oxymoron since you do not save daylight by changing a clock’s time. You still have the same amount of daylight in day regardless of how you move the clock.”

He said Natural Grocers started promoting this anti-time change effort last year and ramped it up this year.

On March 7, the day before the change to DST, Natural Grocers stores will host free “hack your coffee” bars with ideas for consumers to add health-boosting ingredients to their coffee, including collagen peptides, ghee and cardamom.

Isely said fresh fruits and vegetables should also be part of people’s plans to counter-act the loss of an hour of sleep.

“Of course, fresh organic produce will help offset some of the bad health consequences from going on Daylight Saving Time,” he said. “In-particular eating plenty of green veggies will help you with many issues.”

He said the company has gotten positive feedback on ending DST.

But not everyone thinks the concept must go away.

A Popular Mechanics article argues the good of DST far outweighs the bad.

“DST is a bizarre idea in the best way possible: It is a human attempt to force our lives to fit the natural world in a more sensible way, to #lifehack ourselves into a pattern of living that benefits our minds and bodies. DST is both a rebellion against the clock and an acceptance that we are all slaves to the clock.”

Essentially, it argues that having extra daylight in the evenings makes life more pleasurable.

The people agree.

The problem isn’t springing forward this weekend, it’s the falling back in the fall.

I could go for that. I’ll have to check back in on this in eight months.


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services