Recently, we came across an article pointing to some huge changes to the organic foods industry. Takeovers and rules changes that have crept into the marketplace without hardly anyone noticing. Contrary to the image of struggling mom and pop farms doing it the natural way, organic produce is now largely in the hands of the same industrial food producers that organic farming originally defined itself against.
It's not that big farms can't grow our produce according to safe, organic practices. It's that they don't necessarily want to go to all that bother. They just want the extra profit that comes with an organic label!
Organic produce is an area of agricultural commerce with a big quality markup built into its prices, which gives the grower a bigger profit margin on each unit of organic peppers, chickens, etc. sold. The big food conglomerates wanted in on that -- a $30 billion a year global market -- for sure!
So you might say, "Well alright, big fella, as long as you agree to abide by the rules of organic farming we'll see if we can't all get along." The trouble is that while the US Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 governs the industry, it's the industry members that largely govern the Act, and the food conglomerates who have gotten into the game have been bending those organic practices rules--sometimes to the point of genuine concern.
So now things like carrageenan, synthetic inositol, and docosahexaenoic acid algae oil (DHA) are considered acceptable food additives because "Big Food" got them onto the approved list.
If you would prefer that your own organic foods were genuinely organic, it's going to take a bit of extra effort but a few tips can set you on the right path.
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