Friday, May 6, 2011

How Organic is Organic?

In 1973, six farmers sat down around Barny Bricmont’s kitchen table in Santa Cruz, California to form the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

The idea was to give form and substance to the notion that small farmers, using biologically-intensive technologies, could produce food that was somehow better than farmers using chemical-intensive technologies.

The idea caught on with other small-scale farmers, who took pride in the notion of producing food that was somehow special, and with the consumers of organic foods, who were happy to pay more for that food. The organic industry grew, and grew.

Then organic farmers got the notion their word should be protected, and so petitioned the government to become their official appellation controllee. When the government took control, the organic food industry blossomed into a multi-billion dollar international industry.

Some say up to 80% of the organic food in the United States is now imported from Brazil, China, Mexico and others. This leads us to ask…

How organic is organic? (Food Chain Radio #725)
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