When I purchase certified organic energy bars, I have certain expectations - one of which is that it contains products that were grown organically (another of which is that they will require a bit more of my paycheck). Turns out that is not always the case - a growing number of non-organic products are being added to what is known as the "accepted organic list" which is a compendium of ingredients allowed in certified organic products.
Disturbed? Yea, so was I. And this is just one of many trends towards big business in organics. Small organic companies dedicated to sustainability have been outgrown by food giants who's goal is neither conservation nor health, but profit. Founder of Eden Foods, Michael J. Potter, is one of the last big names concerned with the genuine meaning of organics. He grew his company from a hippie cafe into one of the largest truly organic companies in the country. He calls the certification a fraud, and refuses to label his products as such.
Potter says that as soon as organic became profitable, and as soon as companies realized that consumers were willing to spend a little bit more money on an organic product, they began selling at a significant markup. The difference between organic and conventional mac and cheese is marginal, but the prices of the organic are gouged. It is this sort of misuse of organic branding that has Potter miffed. So what can you do as a consumer to ensure that organic keeps its meaning? Potter recommends thinking more about the companies you buy food from - are they a subsidiary of pepsi? Then they probably aren't doing all that much to advance sustainability and low-impact farming.
Organic Food Purists Worry About Big Comapnies' Influence from The New York Times
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