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February 14, 2006



Interesting comment from the Cascadian Farm rep. A few years ago there was an article about the new, corporate organic trend. I think the article discussed Cascadian or another corporate organic concern.

When asked about the ethics of muscling the little guys out of business, the representative said, "They just need to find their niche."

To which a small, organic producer replied, "We did find our niche...and they took it!"


I've always thought that the idea of an "organic corporation" is sort of an oxymoron. I'm glad to see big corps getting more into the idea of sustainable foods (like Starbucks and their shade grown), but it makes me sad to see the little guys being muscled out. I would love to see more corporate ethics and responsibility, but at what cost to small producers?

The big corps seem like they are in it for the money, and they understand the cachet (and clang of the cash register) when something is labeled "sustainable." Hence a growing number of corporate sponsored organizations "certifying" products as sustainable, which is deeply troubling to me.

I was recently talking with a friend who gave up his organic certification because of the expense involved--now he only gets to label his produce "all natural," even though it's really "organic." I feel like people shouldn't be having to pay thousands of dollars to prove their "organic" status. Especially when the "organic" label is being corrupted by the actions of large corps who also want to be "organic."

And amen to seasonal produce and food products. Jeffrey Steingarten wrote a great essay about how the demand for fruits and vegetables out of season is destroying the quality of our produce. Even when foods are in season, the grocery store versions are often quite perilous. We are demanding overbred produce and getting it, alas.

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