The organic food movement has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 5-10 years, and for that we should all be thankful. I know I am, because as more and more people have discovered the benefits of organic food and how much better it makes them feel, the price has gone down by as much as 10-25% in many cases.
Now that the foundation for a true movement for food freedom, quality and justice has been laid, we all must do our part to guard against the looming Big Food and Big Ag takeover attempts. We all must guard against becoming “organic zombies.”
I admit that I’ve reverted to this form a few times lately, stumbling into the local grocery store with my blinders on looking for anything and everything with that magic word stamped on the package to throw into my cart. But supporting organic and supporting ethical companies are two distinctly different actions, unfortunately.
The major players of the industry and their million dollar ad firms are working overtime, frantically trying to convince their customers in just a few words that what they’re selling provides health benefits and is somewhat “natural” or at “made with organic ingredients” to try and bilk them into buying something of inferior quality. They’ve been doing this for years actually, and are likely to redouble their efforts as customers continue to read ingredient labels instead of just the “nutrition facts,” and continue to realize what they’ve been buying is far from healthy.
The next trick up their sleeve? We don’t quite know yet, but I suspect they may try to combine an organic ingredient or two with their usual witch’s brew of chemical or cheap, unhealthy ingredients. This time around they’ll likely shift to lesser known alternatives such as “crystalline fructose,” a fancy name for a sweetener that’s just about as unhealthy as the dreaded high fructose corn syrup; “natural flavors” is another innocent-sounding ingredient that will likely get more play in the coming years as it can mean anything from MSG (the infamous excitotoxin) to flavors derived from animal byproducts you probably don’t even want to Google, if you have a weak stomach that is.
In this new, coming era of Neo-Foodie Feudalism, we have to do our best to shop according to which companies are the most ethical and have the best track records, rather than by what the package says on the front. Ingredients too can be a problem because of the new ways companies are finding to deceive shoppers.
A good rule of thumb for avoiding the deceptive companies is to not support any of them who donated to or are subsidiaries of the companies that voted “No” on Prop 37 to label GMO food in California, with millions of dollars in donations, that is. You can find those companies by clicking this link. In addition, do your best to support companies that gave money to Prop 37 for “Yes” on GMO labeling. You can view that list here.
It’s important to remember that Big Food and Big Ag are following our historic social media movement closely, however, and are doing their best to catch up using their vast resources. Using the Prop 37 money chart solution going forward will only work for so long; you can perhaps expect some Big Food-owned corporations to do the same as the “Organic Heroes” of Prop 37 the next time a similar campaign comes around to sow confusion. Also, the social media movement is 99.9% pro-organic and pro-freedom from GMOs right now, but Monsanto, the biggest GMO company, is currently launching a campaign to somehow balance the narrative on the Internet using paid help, as this article discussed. Currently the only pro-GMO voices seem to be scientists on the payroll of the Biotech industry. Monsanto is also going after mothers and blogs in an attempt to get them to lend a different voice to GMOs and other synthetically produced foods.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the USDA organic symbol doesn’t mean a product is entirely organic. You can brush up on all of the rules in this article from AltHealthWORKS. And then there’s the USDA itself, which has clearly been infiltrated by the Biotech industry. And of course the FDA, which is supposed to protect us but has also been infiltrated.
…And it goes on like that for quite a while, which explains why some people have no problem reverting back to zombie mode: Keeping track of all these developments can be tough on the mind.
Ultimately, the best advice we have is to keep supporting your favorite companies that truly deserve it, ask lots of questions, and do your best to stay informed on sites like this one. And while you’re at it, you may want to support, and stay in touch with, the watchdogs of our food supply like The Cornucopia Institute and the Environmental Working Group among others.
They are the ones providing the checks and balances that the everyday media has failed to provide lately, and they are the ones that will keep us in the loop so we can eat only the real food we deserve. Eating real food should be simple, but it with billions of dollars at stake, it’s going to take real effort to continue to be conscious consumer in the years to come.