Think Your Food’s Organic? Think Again

CAFOs require heavy doses of antibiotics to keep the animals alive

CAFOs require heavy doses of antibiotics to keep the animals alive

By Jim Hightower

USDA allows factory farm cattle milk to be called organic. With the phenomenal growth in consumer demand for organic products, such giants as Kraft and Dean Foods have rushed to capture this multibillion-dollar market, except they don’t want to play by the rules. Big Food found its enabler in Barbara Robinson, who was chosen to administer the organic program during the George W. Bush years.

When it comes to a healthy diet, I am not a purist. Too late for that because I grew up eating such culinary concoctions as toasted sandwiches constructed of Spam, white bread and that oddly orange, oddly spongy cheeselike stuff known as Velveeta.

As an adult, I even have been irresponsible enough to serve as a taster, judge and promoter of Spam creations that were served at a now-defunct annual event held in my town of Austin, Texas. Called “Spamarama,” the festival featured unspeakable and (often unswallowable) dishes made from the gelatinous, pink potted meat, including — get ready to gag — Spam ice cream.

So I am not quick to criticize every little diversion from 100 percent wholesomeness. For example, even though I’ve been an early and ardent advocate of organic production, I recognize that there are certain times when processors of organic foods (from beer to cheese) are unable to get essential ingredients that are produced organically. Thus, non-organic hops sometimes are allowed in organic beer. Indeed, the original law creating the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “certified organic” program recognizes such realities, allowing up to 5 percent of a certified product to consist of non-organic ingredients.

Read full post at AlterNet.


3 responses to “Think Your Food’s Organic? Think Again

  1. As with all things it is hard to verify the extent of accuracy in this report as much as it is impossible to verify the content of our food and it’s origins. I am sickened by global cooperate bullying with corporate entities using their position to force feed the masses artificial, synthetic, plastic food. It is apparent to me that I have no control over what I put in my mouth because I am held victim to business practices that more and more dictate what is made available. I am therefore in the process of starting my own home grown hobby farming based on synergy and sustainable farming practices.

    The fact that we cannot rely on the elected government to protect our best interests further solidifies my belief that our world is corrupt from top to bottom. I will not buy organic food; I will instead grow my own. I will not support factory farming I will instead farm my own food. I will not voluntarily pander to the greed and deception of multinational corporations bent on the destruction of all that is good for the plastic life style that feeds the overinflated bank balances of the few who line the inner sanctum of that global machine.

    • you go, Butchman..

      I started gardening last year and am learning from my mistakes. Be sure to buy “heirloom” seeds – those that come from local farmers. That way, the seeds are perfectly adapted to your growing conditions. I’m in the subtropics, so seeds from Michigan didn’t do well here. When you buy your seeds from some place like Home Depot, you have no idea of the origin, or if they’re “terminator” seeds that were genetically modified to produce crops with seeds that are no longer viable.

      Becuz this is the subtropics, our growing season is 10 months long. Plenty of opportunity for me to keep learning.

      I planted a bunch of herbs outside and some inside. I could not figure out why the outside herbs never sprouted till, one day, I caught a feral cat sleeping in the pot! That’ll interfere with plant growth. lol

      Next time, I’m planting more of everything. While most of the plants did sprout and are producing crops, there is very little, e.g. I planted about 6 tomato plants, but with three people in our family, we’ll eat all those tomatoes in about two weeks.

      We also tried a hydroponic system – way too expensive, imo.

      Do let me know how your garden grows… but be warned, every “real” farmer I know says the first attempts at gardening will be failures. It takes awhile to develop a green thumb, I guess.

  2. Also see Verb’s piece, How Organic is Organic? Codex Alimentarius Cohorts Wage War Against Food,

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