The Real Answer to Clean Food
Now that the Cornucopia Institute has revealed that the National Organic Standards Board—the body tasked with making sure organic food remains pure and free from harmful and synthetic substances—is packed with corporate shills who are allowing all kinds of garbage into our food supply (it makes me cry to think of it, but it’s evidently true), what’s someone who wants to eat clean, humanely produced, chemical-free, environmentally sound food to do?
The answer, of course, is to get off corporate America’s gravy train altogether—the gravy is flowing one way only. Stonyfield Farms? Horizon organic milk? Straus Organic Dairy? Cascade Farms vegetable products? Kashi cereals? All the supposedly organic food at Whole Foods produced by corporate behemoths? No thanks. I don’t believe you anymore. It’s all just propaganda. We poor, trusting souls who desperately want to believe that there’s an organic industry out there caring about what we care about–? No way. They are all just a bunch of money-grubbers using the organic angle to hook us and deliver money from our pockets to theirs.
When the National Organic Standards Board was first established, it was an accurate representation of real organic farmers. But over the years, the weasels in Big Ag have wormed their way into the board and turned it to their program—just visit the Cornucopia Institute’s website (www.cornucopia.org) and read “The Organic Watergate” to corroborate that for yourself.
So what are we to do?
Well, here’s the thing. The organic method of gardening and farming works and it works really well. So if it’s at all possible, the very best thing you can do is grow as much food as you can. Then you’ll be sure it’s organic.
But if you can’t?
Then you need to make contact with local farmers, through farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, googling on the internet, through friends, or however you can. Buy from them if you trust them. And how can you trust them? Used to be, organic farms were certified by certification agencies like CCOF, Tilth, NOFA, and QAI. But given the despicable takeover of the National Organic Standards Board by false fronts for Big Ag, who can even trust the certifiers anymore? Chemical agriculture has co-opted the organic movement and ruined it for everyone. Thanks a lot.
The more I look around our culture these days, the more convinced I am that it is all propaganda. Everyone is out to spin us, delude us, disinform us, misinform us—do you trust what you hear from political ads? Neither do I.
We have friends who have chickens. These chickens have free run of the property during the day and are locked up safe from the fox at night. We buy two dozen eggs from them every Sunday at a little farmers market in Glen Ellen. They are the best eggs I’ve ever encountered. The yolks are deep orange and the whites have sturdy integrity.
I once lived in the Pennsylvania Dutch farm country and bought a pound of butter from our farmer friends every couple of weeks. The butter was so good that my friend, an Englishman, enthused over it so intensely that I bought a pound for him from time to time. I also bought bacon from a farm couple who raised their own pigs and smoked the bacon in their own, century-old smokehouse. I’d rather take my chances with a mom and pop farming couple than eat “organic” food whose profits go to General Mills.
You are most likely to find real producers of organic food at farmers markets these days. Certainly not from the big corporate agricultural firms at Whole Foods. I encourage you to go to these markets, get to know your farmers, establish relationships, visit the farms, and proceed from there. And grow your own organic food whenever and however you can.
The modern world is marvelous in many ways, but not in the amount of propaganda and sheer lies that marketers are telling us. Let’s get back to basics on our own.