The Fight for Real Organic Food Continues

November 7, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Greed and power in the food industry is turning a trip to the grocery store into an objectionable experience, as processed and factory foods are further pushed onto the unwitting public.

On the positive side, however, most of us now have plenty of organic  options, providing we know where to shop and how to find the good stuff. From fresh organic produce, to organic and compassionately farmed animal products, to a variety of delicious organic packaged foods, it is now easier than ever to eat healthy and stay away from unwanted pesticides, antibiotics, GMO ingredients, and synthetic additives in our food.

And now that Proposition 37 in California to label GMO foods has been defeated by the food industry and a sleeping populace, it is more important then ever to know how how to access and support the organic food movement.  In a big way, your life depends on it.

Consumers must be prepared to demand and fight for high-quality organic options in our supermarkets, or we will be faced with a further degradation of production standards, questionable business practices, and conflict of interest matters.

Big Agra Conflict of Interest

A recent issue raised by various organic food industry watchdogs has been the presence of conflict of interest that has influenced decisions on what food additives are approved for use in organic packaged products. US organizations, such as the Cornucopia Institute and Center for Food Safety, have recently raised the issue of Big Agra business encroaching on the independent oversight that the US National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has over what synthetic items can be added to the approved National List. This list includes processed synthetic items and processes that are approved for use in organic packaged products.

The following video from Cornucopia Institute provides a thorough overview regarding this issue:

A conflict of interest question has been raised regarding who makes the decisions about what contractors and consultants conduct technical or TAB reviews of materials on the National List of approved organic ingredients. Currently, the NOSB does not hold the final decision in this; instead, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), the designated federal officer that participates in NOSB meetings, and the USDA Office of Ethics are said to carry an unethical influence over these decisions.

The decisions of the NOSB significantly affect the direction of the organic industry and what synthetic items are actually considered acceptable organic food components. Questionable items are already approved, such as the food additive Carrageenan, which was re-approved for use in organic food processing as of the Spring 2012 NOSB meeting.

“Degraded carrageenan,” which is present in all food-grade carrageenan, is classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Academy of Science in United States.Cornucopia Institute

Who Owns Organic

It can be quite shocking to realize that we’re at a stage of having a “possible human carcinogen” approved as an ingredient in our organic products. Perhaps as awareness of this grows, concerned industry players, consumers and government officials will implement new checks and balances to ensure that less conflict of interest exists in the NOSB in the US, and in similar organic industry authorities worldwide. Industry oversight will grow in importance now that most non-organic, all-American brands, many of which are supporting Monsanto’s no GMO labeling efforts, are the same companies that have been heavily investing in the organic industry over the last 15+ years.

Some of the big food companies that have given money to the [GMO] anti-labeling cause also own organic brands, such as Kellogg Co., which owns the Kashi cereal brand, Dean Foods Co., owner of the Horizon organic dairy line and J.M. Smucker Co., which owns several organic brands.Wall Street Journal

Here’s a PDF of the top food companies in the US and their ownership ties to well-known organic brands (as of June 2009): http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/themes/Cornucopia/downloads/OrganicT30J09.pdf

Click here to download a short video created by Dr. Phil Howard, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University about who owns some of the more well-known organic brands.

How to Shop Organic

Let’s agree that buying food is much more complicated than it used to be, especially for the aware, health-conscious individual. There are more choices than ever, but these choices come from fewer companies. For shoppers, it is vitally important to understand the labeling process currently employed in the organic food industry. This is why people who want to label GMO foods are so passionate about this cause: labels are one of a few ways, if not the only way, that consumers can make informed decisions about what food they buy.

The USDA’s NOP offers some insight on its website about the labeling requirements of organic products, which can be viewed in the Labeling Organic Products PDF.

Here’s a quick video with Anne Lappe, author of “Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen,” offering an overview of how to identify organic foods in stores:

In the video, Lappe mentions that buying organic produce is easy – it’s either organic or not. But what if your organic produce selection is limited? Or you’re on a budget, and shopping all organic is breaking the bank. Here’s a quick review of what fresh produce is typically most heavily treated with pesticides and which is not: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

Here is another article with some insight regarding organic dairy, meat and seafood. http://www.motherearthliving.com/food-for-health/what-we-eat.aspx

Think Local

If you already buy organic products or just want to eat healthier, don’t get discouraged by this article. It is a resource. Take this opportunity to learn from the wealth of information available here, and start making even better food choices. In our world, it is difficult to be 100% organic. But there are ways you can move closer toward this goal. Support smaller organic food producers and local farms. Eat fresh and raw foods. Start an organic garden or become involved in a community urban farming project. And stay informed and educated, so YOU are the one who decides on what food ends up on your dinner table.

Sources:

http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/05/wildfires-rage-at-new-mexican-organic-meetings/

http://foodbabe.com/2012/05/22/watch-out-for-this-carcinogen-in-your-organic-food/

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CFS-NOSB-Comments-24-Sept-2012.pdf

http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

http://www.motherearthliving.com/food-for-health/what-we-eat.aspx

http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=7580

http://www.cornucopia.org/Cultivator-Summer-2012.pdf

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203400604578073182907123760.html

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.  He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com, and an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Agriculture, All Original Articles, Body, Business, Contributors, Earth, Food, Natural Health, Resources, Self, Society, Staff, Uncategorized

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. moriyah says:

    Buying Organic for 40 yrs has not gotten easier.
    What has made it easier is knowing it has been hijacked.
    MSG, Nitrites, inert ingredients, added sugars, blah, blah, blah.
    Whole grains, fruits, veggies, grow your own are now the only options. Soon it will be grow your own, if you can, only on the devitalized soils having acid pH, aluminum and barium as a result of Chem Trails etc.
    Ok, so, make your own soil, purify and re-energize your water, cultivate your own soil bacteria, monitor your earthworms, insulate from GMO cross contamination.
    Welcome to my world.

  2. DDearborn says:

    Hmmm

    Monsanto does not even allow GMO foods in their own cafeteria!!!! Obama’s chef as stated that GMO foods are banned in the Whitehouse. The entire Bush family refuses to eat GMO foods. Virtually all of the elites refuse to feed their children GMO foods and
    high frucose corn syryp….now why is that again? Because of thier control over the subsidies these 2 food types are now in every single food that is still affordable to the working class. Rich people don’t care if food cost $2 or $20 because these are incidental costs for them.

    People wake up.

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.













Waking Times

While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous “killer robots,” the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown.… More

August 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea

The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea













Kevin Sterne, Contributor
Waking Times

Even though the crypto currency, Bitcoin, isn’t exactly new, it still hasn’t infiltrated the mainstream ethos. But it’s getting there. You may have heard the term outside the fringe Internet message boards, or dark bar alleyways—that seemingly hacker-fancied geekdom thing that probably sprang from … More

August 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Happy Ending? Or Happy Now

Happy Ending? Or Happy Now













Zen Gardener, Guest
Waking Times

No matter where I turn the awakening is screaming out at me. Every event and announcement of intention by the dark side, no matter how destructive and disturbing, is only precipitating more conscious awareness and very present, personal involvement by humanity. It’s a thrilling … More

August 14, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?

Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Politics affects everyone, so everyone deserves a voice; especially the youth…

It seems like everywhere I go online, I am met with the diligence of Andrew Demeter. I wrote about his award-winning mini-documentary “We The People, Genetically Modified.” Expertly produced, it encompassed a … More

August 12, 2014 | By | Reply More
How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System

How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Industrial chemical-based agriculture, which produces the vast majority of US food crops, is actually destroying the soil that makes the growing of food possible in the first place.

This is not true in other countries. Worldwide, 70 percent of the food is grown in backyards or … More

August 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Activism Works

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy

Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy













Michele Simon, EcoWatch
Waking Times

The East Coast has been getting most of the attention lately on the state by state effort to label genetically-engineered food. Vermont recently passed a bill and New York State’s bill is now moving. But let’s not forget about the western states, which are also … More

June 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More