The myth of "organic"

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Just as politicians hate voters, Corporate America hates its customers. Valid interests become trivialized, legitimate concerns minimized. Anheuser Busch, which has been selling an "organic" beer for the past year, would benefit from new Ag dept rules to allow a host of non-organic additives.


Here's the pitch Anheuser Busch is making on its website for Wild Hop Lager:

In today's world of artificial flavors, preservatives and factory farming, knowing what goes into what you eat and drink can just about drive you crazy. That's why we have decided to go back to basics and do things the way they were meant to be … naturally."

"Wild Hop Lager is made with 100% Organic Barley Malt, certified by the USDA for a rich, flavorful taste."

Except that it's not. The statement is a flat-out, baldfaced lie. The hops, essential to flavor, are not organic at all. In fact, USDA rules have been bent to allow beer companies to use fertilizers and pesticides on hops. Oh, and that "Green Valley Brewing Company," my foot. It's Budweiser, friends.

If you pay attention, you know that "organic" hasn't meant squat ever since the USDA got its hands on the term.

More than three dozen non-organic ingredients will be allowed under new rules taking effect Friday. Sure, there's a voice of outrage in the wilderness (Finland, Minnesota); the Organic Consumers Association is crying foul. But what's a few thousand ragged hippies compared to the financial and political muscle of Industrial Farm & Pharma?

What deep contempt those marketers must have for their customers! We've become a nation of zombies; we'll literally swallow anything.

Here's the full list of additives that would be allowed under the new rules.

Casings, from processed intestines; celery powder; chia (herb); chipotle chile peppers; dillweed oil; fish oil; frozen galangal (flavoring); frozen lemongrass; fructooligosaccharides (non-digestible carbohydrate); gelatin; hops; konjac flour; oligofructose-enriched inulin (fiber additive); orange shellac (coating agent); rice starch; sweet potato starch; Turkish bay leaves; wakame seaweed; whey protein concentrate.

Then there's the small matter of food colorings. Rememer the scandal over farmed salmon a couple of years back? Real salmon is pink, even red, because the fish go out to sea and ingest plenty of krill and shrimp filled with natural astanxanthin; farmed salmon is gray, unless you tint its feed.

Annatto extract; beet juice; beta-carotene derived from carrots; black currant juice; black/purple carrot juice; blueberry juice; carrot juice; cherry juice; chokeberry-aronia juice; elderberry juice; grape juice; grape skin extract; paprika; pumpkin juice; purple potato juice; red cabbage extract; red radish extract; saffron; turmeric

Wait, it's too much to grow carrots organically if you want to use carrot juice as a coloring? Too expensive? Well, go ahead then.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on June 10, 2007 10:29 AM.

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