Daily Archives: July 12, 2012

How the NY Times went too far…

From Tom Philpott, on Mother Jones:

“In a much-discussed feature that led the Sunday New York Times business section, Stephanie Strom reignites the long-simmering debate about whether the organic label has been essentially bought out and drained of meaning by gigantic corporations. She paraphrases Michael Potter, founder and CEO of one of the last independently owned organic companies, Eden Foods, like this: “He calls the certified-organic label a fraud and refuses to put it on Eden’s products.”

A fraud, huh? Strom’s story raises many important points that need to be thought through and debated. But it misses a key one: The organic label, for all the untoward influence of Big Food players like dairy giant Dean Foods, still means something. If you buy food labeled organic, you can be reasonably sure it was grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, without genetically modified seeds, without (in the case of dairy, meat, and eggs) antibiotics and other dodgy pharmaceuticals, and on farms required to have a plan for crop rotation and (quoting straight from federal organic code) to “manage plant and animal materials to maintain or improve soil organic matter content.” (For a primer on why I find the latter bit so impressive, go here.) Even the most processed certified-organic item on the supermarket shelf contains raw plant and/or animal material that was raised in ways fundamentally different than nonorganic fare. Continue reading


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The very model of a post-modern raw milk dairy farm

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“Sally Fallon has long been the whipping girl of raw milk opponents, portrayed as uncaring of victims of illness from raw dairy and an advocate of crazy safety ideas, like the one that the good bacteria in raw milk from grass-fed cows kills off pathogens.

When the head of the Weston A. Price Foundation had the temerity a couple years back to suggest that food safety investigators look into the possibility that tainted water rather than raw milk might have been responsible for a Pennsylvania  man’s serious illness from campylobacter, lawyer Bill Marler practically pushed for tarring and feathering. “Denying (illnesses) does not alter reality,” he proclaimed on his blog. “Ms. Fallon Morrell, have you no shame?”   Continue reading

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