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.