|I just can’t help it, but every time I go shopping lately I get a very upset stomach. Not from hunger, not from any particular store. No, my angst is of a psychological nature and has to do with feeling completely overwhelmed and underiformed about the deluge of new products, new buzz words on labels, new owners for old companies and so, so many unknowns. A sweet potato is no longer a harmless little handful of leathery orange spud, a grape not just a tiny globe of sweetness, and don’t even get me started on the dairy products!To everyone asking the question,”What does Organic even mean anymore and how can I tell if something really is?” Below is a sober and thorough look, without the hype, of the reality of today’s organic food industry, and what consumers need to know and understand.
The Organic Myth
|Pastoral ideals are getting trampled as organic food goes mass market|
The next time you’re in the supermarket, stop and take a look at Stonyfield Farm yogurt. With its contented cow and green fields, the yellow container evokes a bucolic existence, telegraphing what we’ve come to expect from organic food: pure, pesticide-free, locally produced ingredients grown on a small family farm.
So it may come as a surprise that Stonyfield’s organic farm is long gone. Its main facility is a state-of-the-art industrial plant just off the airport strip in Londonderry, N.H., where it handles milk from other farms. And consider this: Sometime soon a portion of the milk used to make that organic yogurt may be taken from a chemical-free cow in New Zealand, powdered, and then shipped to the U.S. True, Stonyfield still cleaves to its organic heritage. For Chairman and CEO Gary Hirshberg, though, shipping milk powder 9,000 miles across the planet is the price you pay to conquer the supermarket dairy aisle. “It would be great to get all of our food within a 10-mile radius of our house,” he says. “But once you’re in organic, you have to source globally.” -SOURCE: BUSINESS WEEK (click link below to read the whole article)
p.s. And remember, besides relying on words like “certified” and “organic” we’ve got to READ LABELS and learn what to look for in the ingredients, and what to make sure is not there.