Most people’s idea of how the food system works in the US is far afield from reality. This is what NobodyisFlyingthePlane is about. We associate ‘organic’ with healthy, safe, and good for you. It also has the connotation of small family farmers following the hallowed farming practices of their forebears.
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.
[There is a]
growing list of nonorganic ingredients that can be used in products with the coveted “certified organic” label.
just another sign that Big Food has co-opted — or perhaps corrupted — the organic food business.
When business controls the government this is an example of what you get:
As corporate membership on the board has increased, so, too, has the number of nonorganic materials approved for organic foods
“The average consumer has no idea that all these additives are going into the organic products they’re buying.”
debating whether organics should use genetically modified additives or nanotechnology
Contrary to the explicit requirements of what roles MUST be represented on the board, the corprate interests are buying up seats reserved for consumers and farmers.
“If you fill the slots earmarked by Congress for independent voices with corporate voices, you greatly mitigate the safeguards built into the supermajority requirement of the law,”
NYTimes: Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized? http://nyti.ms/N6pC7G