10 September 2010

Is it really organic?

The title is not misleading. Prior to 1997, organic probably was what most of us envision as organic. Today, this is unfortunately a rarity, as most small farms and organic operations have been gobbled up by large national or multinational corporations. In a shrinking area of the US, you may find some isolated areas of organic farms, but don't count on it.

Companies such as Heinz, PepsiCo, Kraft, Dean, and other firms have from 1997 to 2007 purchased many many small organic food producing companies. So now they and a few other large corporations control the bulk of organic operations in the US. As a result organic products moved from the small local stores and seller coops to the large food operations and supermarkets. This brings the foods many of us thought was organic under the control of large profit operations who want profits at all costs.

This begs the question of what does organic mean today. Let me assure you it has changed and has been diluted to the point of not being recognizable and not up to the standards of the 1990 law that established the organic food standards in the US. Not only are standards not being adhered to, but the USDA's testing that was required is no longer being done. Some minor attempts are being made to correct this.

Even worse, congress in its infinite wisdom has watered down the 1990 law and is allowing non-organic products to be part of the foods labeled organic. Imported products that may not be organic are being sold as organic. In the October 2005, congress weakened the requirements for organic labeling and then in 2007, USDA proposed and started allowing non-organic products to be labeled organic if the majority (75%) of the food is organic.

So if you have diabetes and desire organic foods, realize that what you are getting may not be what you expect. I know that I am thinking twice about purchasing organic for a higher price, unless I know where and who raised it or grew it. I urge you to read the following sites for further insights:

Site l, Site 2, and Site 3.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been leery of any foods labeled organic. In fact, all labels. I just don't trust the food industry. But one has to eat, and unless you want to raise, process, etc. your own food you have to take what you can find.

    I happen to be allergic to corn. What do you find in lots and lots of products? Corn syrup, corn sugar, corn starch, etc. Good thing all it does is make my nose run ;-).