This is why I generally stick to completely unprocessed foods: Highly processed “organic” foods are still likely to be chalk full of crap.The so-called health food industry does not care about us…they care about making money so they will do what they can to sucker us into buying all manner of additives and ingredients that are no good for us.
Two articles in the Washington Post today–the first here:
100 Percent Organic” products must show an ingredient list, the name and address of the handler (bottler, distributor, importer, manufacturer, packer, processor) of the finished product, and the name and seal of the organic certifier. These products should contain no chemicals, additives, synthetics, pesticides or genetically engineered substances.
“USDA Organic” products must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients. The five percent non-organic ingredients could include additives or synthetics if they are on an approved list. The label must contain a list that identifies the organic, as well as the non-organic, ingredients in the product, and the name of the organic certifier. (read rest here)
Three years ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees determined that synthetic additives in organic baby formula violated federal standards and should be banned from a product carrying the federal organic label. Today the same additives, purported to boost brainpower and vision, can be found in 90 percent of organic baby formula.
The government’s turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff. That decision and others by a handful of USDA employees, along with an advisory board’s approval of a growing list of non-organic ingredients, have helped numerous companies win a coveted green-and-white “USDA Organic” seal on an array of products.
Grated organic cheese, for example, contains wood starch to prevent clumping. Organic beer can be made from non-organic hops. Organic mock duck contains a synthetic ingredient that gives it an authentic, stringy texture.
Relaxation of the federal standards, and an explosion of consumer demand, have helped push the organics market into a $23 billion-a-year business, the fastest growing segment of the food industry. Half of the country’s adults say they buy organic food often or sometimes, according to a survey last year by the Harvard School of Public Health. (this is a long and detailed article you can read here)
And again, it’s really not hard to know what you’re eating if you just stick to stuff made primarily by nature. I’m also now in the process of finding local farms to buy as much as possible from farmers who I can talk to and see the animals and plants they raise. This includes frequenting farmers markets. Granted not everyone lives somewhere this is possible but if you do it’s very wonderful. I’d say we do about 50 to 75% of our shopping this way now. I’d love to get even more this way. Slowly it’s happening.
We also now grow most of our veggies for about 6 months out of the year…this again is not an option for everyone but there are ways to grow veggies in small spaces. There are some great blogs now about apartment and small yard growing of veggies.