a very good article in the NYTimes about how BIG FOOD coopted organic. what transpires from the piece, written by stephanie strom, is the corporative process of coopting. democracy is fair game for all.
bottom line: organic is BIG ORGANIC. shhh, you shouldn't believe it.
The industry’s image — contented cows grazing on the green hills of family-owned farms — is mostly pure fantasy. Or rather, pure marketing. Big Food, it turns out, has spawned what might be called Big Organic.how do BIG corporations
BIG's coopting is not a sudden taking over (i.e., a revolution). instead, it reigns over a period of confusion. then, BIG takes the appearance of demand-for. in other words, BIG provides "a way out," a "much needed solution."
Over the last decade, since federal organic standards have come to the fore, giant agri-food corporations like these and others — Coca-Cola, Cargill, ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and M&M Mars among them — have gobbled up most of the nation’s organic food industry. Pure, locally produced ingredients from small family farms? Not so much anymore.
democracy is a tool.
politics is a function of access: getting-at and what-you-want.power is an incremental proce$$ of ownership.
BIG FOOD has also assumed a powerful role in setting the standards for organic foods. Major corporations have come to dominate the board that sets these standards. As corporate membership on the board has increased, so, too, has the number of nonorganic materials approved for organic foods on what is called the National List. At first, the list was largely made up of things like baking soda, which is nonorganic but essential to making things like organic bread. Today, more than 250 nonorganic substances are on the list, up from 77 in 2002.power consists in testing )(flexible)(
The board has 15 members, and a two-thirds majority is required to add a substance to the list. More and more, votes on adding substances break down along corporate-independent lines, with one swing vote. Six board members, for instance, voted in favor of adding ammonium nonanoate, a herbicide, to the accepted organic list in December. Those votes came from General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, Organic Valley, Whole Foods Market and Earthbound Farms, which had two votes at the time.
it's all in the label, or better, a label is not a label
now that ORGANIC rules, what can we do as consumers?
1- be informed. suspect the label (all).
2- when it comes to food, follow the freshness of farm.
3- keep it tough. stop playing the victim. things will get worse.
4- adopt the minimalist credo: less is more.
are the waning of organic & democracy related?