I’m not a hard-core organic consumer. Like many, because going all organic can be cost-prohibitive, I pick and choose. I concentrate on the most important foods (aka the dirty dozen), like apples, strawberries and spinach. I try to eat mainly whole foods, but sometimes a girl just needs a slice of pizza.
Still, I also look for organic milk as well as soy products, because my kids drink the former and there’s just so much controversy surrounding the latter.
Speaking of controversy, Rodale’s Organic Life published an article that expounds on a recent Washington Post exposé, in which a major organic milk supplier – one that supplies the likes of Costco and Walmart – failed to adhere to USDA standards.
In order for dairy to be certified organic, cows are supposed to graze daily throughout the growing season. But when reporters visited Aurora’s enormous High Plains dairy complex in Colorado (home to 15,000 cows) on eight separate occasions, “signs of grazing were sparse, at best.” Reporters cited seeing only a few hundred cows on pasture, and a satellite photo taken in mid-July—peak grazing time—backed up their claim.
You can read the full article here.
According to Rodale’s and the WP, we also need to be vigilant when purchasing imported organics, “especially corn and soy.” The gist is that, with imports, there is greater room for regulatory error and, as Rodale’s points out and I heartily emphasize, with every error comes a potential for an increase in profit margin. Just sayin’.
Okay, this doesn’t look great for organic consumers, but all is not lost. There are many organic farmers and suppliers who pour their hearts and souls into this organic thing. And until all this get sorted out, Rodale’s offers some tips to keep us from being duped when buying milk, corn, soy and meats (paraphrased):
- Milk – choose name brand vs. store brand or, better yet, buy local.
- Corn and soy – avoid processed, embrace whole foods. Buy produce grown in the U.S.
- Meats, eggs – grass fed is good, grass-fed local is better.
What do you think about all this? Will/do you do anything differently to avoid “fake organics?”My favorite solution for eggs is to start a backyard flock. Says the not-at-all biased owner of ten lovely hens. More on that later, though 🙂
Photo via Visualhunt.com