Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beware - Big Corporate Organic


Bet you didn't know that Organic Food companies have been steadily gobbled up by Big Food companies...
The fact is, organic food has become a wildly lucrative business for Big Food and a premium-price-means-premium-profit section of the grocery store. The industry’s image — contented cows grazing on the green hills of family-owned farms — is mostly pure fantasy. Or rather, pure marketing. Big Food, it turns out, has spawned what might be called Big Organic.

Bear Naked, Wholesome, Hearty, Kashi: all three and more actually belong to the cereals giant Kellogg. Naked Juice? That would be PepsiCo of Pepsi and Fritos fame. And behind the pastoral-sounding Walnut Acres, Health Valley and Spectrum Organics is none other than Hain Celestial, once affiliated with Heinz, the grand old name in ketchup.

Over the last decade, since federal organic standards have come to the fore, giant agri-food corporations like these and others — Coca-Cola, Cargill, ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and M&M Mars among them — have gobbled up most of the nation’s organic food industry. Pure, locally produced ingredients from small family farms? Not so much anymore.
Bet you are paying premium prices for questionable wholesomeness too!

The Organic label is meaningless, now that questionable ingredients have crept into the ingredients list as well... the interest in making money has become far more important than actually bringing organic food to your table:
Ingredients like carrageenan, a seaweed-derived thickener with a somewhat controversial health record. Or synthetic inositol, which is manufactured using chemical processes. ...

BIG FOOD has also assumed a powerful role in setting the standards for organic foods. Major corporations have come to dominate the board that sets these standards.

As corporate membership on the board has increased, so, too, has the number of nonorganic materials approved for organic foods on what is called the National List. At first, the list was largely made up of things like baking soda, which is nonorganic but essential to making things like organic bread. Today, more than 250 nonorganic substances are on the list, up from 77 in 2002.

Thank goodness that people like Michael J. Potter, the founder of Eden Foods, is standing up to this nonsense. Read the whole article here.

My advice.... keep reading labels ... do some research ... buy local ... and grow your own food if you can!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't trust "organic". No proven benefit, costs more and no one really knows what it means. The whole "health food" thing is all voodoo and superstition. If I inadvertently pickup a food/vegetable in the supermarket that is in the organic section I put it back and move on. People are so easily fooled by the bogus claims.