At a traffic light today, I found myself behind a car with a bumper sticker that my casual glance read as Eat Organic. Just as the light went green, my brain clicked on to inform me that it actually said Eat Origami. Now, the health benefits of consuming only folded paper figures aside, I wondered if the organic food movement had spread to the blogosphere. The answer is a resounding Yes.
Today I realised—with a glass of orange juice, a bar of Green & Black’s dark organic chocolate and a bag of champagne truffles on my desk—that I had sort of fallen off the sugar wagon. Well, less fallen off, more jumped off. Enthusiastically. This probably explains why I spent much of this afternoon either asleep or very nearly asleep.
At her Organic Baby Farm, Utah blogger Wacky Hermit is “growing the World’s Cutest Free-Range Milk-Fed Kids… and feeding them nothing but crap.” Her recent post “Today At GotMilk Prison Camp” makes the point that “with enough rhetoric you can make anything sound like torture.” (Plus, it’s both satiric and cute!)
At Milk Is Milk, on the other hand, a reprint of the Oct. 2004 treatise by The Scientist editor Richard Gallagher exposes the Organic Food Placebo. Gallagher quotes British peer Dick Taverne, “…the craze for organic food is built on myth. It starts with a scientific howler, has rules with neither rhyme nor reason. None of the claims made for it have ever been substantiated, and if it grows it will damage the nation’s health.” Taverne’s complete remarks are available at another organic-debunking blog, Foreign Dispatches, in the post “You have to be green to swallow the organic food myth.”
Perhaps in response, the Accidental Hedonist chronicles the questionable organic nature of some organic dairies. The blog notes that “it’s not surprising that once it had been determined that there was a market for such products, some corporate farms sought to get a piece of the pie.” Unfortunately, they charge, at least one group of dairies operating in California, Idaho, and Colorado, is violating two of the standards that would make the milk organic.
“According to reports, both the Idaho and California operations differ little from conventional confinement dairies other than having their high-producing cows fed certified organic feed,” says Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst, at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.
Even if you’re sick of Star Wars, you have to check out… the Organic Trade Association['s] “Store Wars.” Starring Cuke Skywalker, Obi Wan Cannoli, Ham Solo and Darth Tater, it tells the tale of food adulteration and how to combat it. Spot-on parody of the earliest Star Wars chapters, obviously done by people who appreciate a good pun (Hey! Watch out for the Thai fighters!).
Greg Tate of Ready Made gives us the detailed instructions to create the only appropriate sofa for all organic couch potatoes. The brain-child of Bruce Main, this grass-upholstered lawn chair is the perfect back-yard accessory.
Meanwhile, the Treehugger touts organic catsup as a condiment preventive of cancer. The actual agent tested was “Lycopene, an antioxidant that for years has been known to have protective effects against breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers… found in cooked tomato products like tomato sauce and, yes, ketchup.”
In May 2005, The Politic commented on a National Review item that posited organic farming is “simply not sustainable.” The blogger used the item to drive the opinion: “There is way too much hype over how bad genetically modified (GM) food is. How small minded can these people be? The truth is that this propaganda was created simply to sell products in the over priced organic food industry.” If the choice were limited to GMO vs. organic, we might agree with him that you can “Eat Organic If You Want People To Starve.”
Or you could eat organ meats, although as Roast Beef warns us from his GREP blog, this can have disturbing consequences. He and his buddies went for lunch at a Korean Barbeque, but wound up eating more than they had bargained for. CAUTION: Not for the queasy.
This is the reason there is a market for organic food. We want control over what we eat, to know that no alien genes, pesticides or strange stress hormones will spice that dish. And even if it is fleeting or false, we seek to know whereof we eat.