Monday, October 9, 2006

The industrial organic complex

Organic food is better, bucolic and just the right thing to do, right?

BusinessWeek begs to differ in its story: Exposing the organic myth.

(Stonyfield's) main facility is a state-of-the-art industrial plant just off the airport strip in Londonderry, N.H., where it handles milk from other farms. And consider this: Sometime soon a portion of the milk used to make that organic yogurt may be taken from a chemical-free cow in New Zealand, powdered, and then shipped to the U.S.

I feel somewhat sorry for the purveyors of organic food, because it seems they're the victims of their own success, with too much business and not enough organic food:
For some companies, it means keeping thousands of organic cows on industrial-scale feedlots. For others, the scarcity of organic ingredients means looking as far afield as China, Sierra Leone, and Brazil — places where standards may be hard to enforce, workers' wages and living conditions are a worry, and, say critics, increased farmland sometimes comes at a cost to the environment.

It seems the term "organic" is about to become even more slippery.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Not to mention, depending on where you live, the regulations around what you can call 'organic' differ. Sigh, I knew it was too good to be true...