Organic produce is all the rage in certain circles. Grocers and farmers markets, and the citizens that support them, are wholly devoted to it– and for good reason. Organic food is healthier and better for the local economy.
Yet something insidious is creeping into the organic market, and must be corrected sooner rather than later. Originally, producing and marketing organic foods was “much more of an organic process.” Independent farmers, with smaller scale farms, would sell their produce to small distributors. The produce was local and devoid of synthetic chemicals.
Increasing profit was not the prime objective. “Organic” farmers were intelligent farmers, farming in ways that protected the food and the environment. The product and impact to the land were both healthy, and safe for buyers in their communities.
Though it was true that definitions of organic varied from state to state, those standards were higher and stricter than the USDA standards.
Predictably, big business has noticed the consumer interest in purchasing organic food, and wants in on the profits. The last decade and a half has seen large agriculture corporations begin to farm “organically,” but the taste and quality pale in comparison to local markets.
This big business intrusion has driven USDA organic policy down. The organization, Beyond Pesticides, made a firm statement against the practice, stating, “The organic movement was founded on the principle that we all are stakeholders in the organic food system, and promised that we would all have a meaningful say in defining what it means to be organic. Something fundamental has changed, when a few large corporations can weaken the law over the protests of hundreds of thousands of the very community members whose trust is most vital to the integrity of the organic label. The organic industry must do better than this.”
Eat lots of produce and eat organic; just be sure to choose your organic produce wisely. Steer clear of USDA organic products, and buy local produce instead.
Read the full article here: Organic Foods Are Not Grown Equally | George Mandler LDN LicAc