Fake Organics... Did You Know?

greyfurball
greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

I religiously purchase almost all my grocery store supplies from a regional farmer who happens to be a free-range certified beef-goat-pork and poultry producer. He also confirms all his products are gmo-free, soy free, corn free and a true organic.

So that means he also has butter, ghee, many types of cheese, eggs and almost anything else you can think of from those four animal groups

Then in his family there is now 4 of the sons and daughters which got married and they pretty much do all the stuff Dad doesn't do. So fruits, vegetables, grains, kefir and kombucha, handmade cleaning supplies, toiletries and on and on.

And he happened to close out an email with something when he was introducing a few new products they now carry.

He mentioned the general consumer needs to watch out for all those "fake supermarket organics" if they truly are trying to clean up your diet and lifestyle.

So that statement got me to thinking just what his definition of that would be. I made my list and then I wrote him back to see if he ever did a blog post with the answer to that question.

The answer was no...there's just not enough hours in a day to get into that too, but he did send me a few links to court cases, previous published studies etc which he has been collecting for the day when he does get a few more hours to pursue just that question.

Interesting enough several of the scenarios I did have on my list also because being a former business owner in the food service industry I knew corners are constantly cut mostly to reduce expenses. The bigger the company it seems the more they bend the rules. And in our current society governmental rules and regulations are either ignored or re-wrote to appeal to the likes of big business.

So for just a few proven scenarios (I'm not going to name names here but if asked I can send the link(s) if wanted)

First, the #1 grocery store chain in this country sells cage free eggs at a higher price with a beautiful picture of green grass, rolling hills and happy chickens. The reality is great big long rows of chicken houses stuffed full of chickens crammed onto concrete slabs. But they are right...no cages. The only outdoor access these runs have is a small door with a 4X8 concrete slab outside. Picture this and you will know why thousands of chickens in those runs never see the light of day. The moral here, pretty pictures can and do sell stuff at a premium price every day.

The second scenario which occurs continuously, fake organic grains enter this country daily from several major sources. Farmers all over the country use them because the cost is lower than obtaining these goods from the USA. GMO corn, wheat, soy etc are used all over organic food processing plants. What the animal eats... you are eating too. It doesn't seem to matter if an animal is living cage free but is eating non-organic feeds. They still get to use the organic label.

Thirdly, animal abuse is rampant in large and small operations. I will not go into details here (even myself I was totally disgusted in what I was reading) but the only way any of this gets curtailed is usually by whistleblowers with videos or testimony. It is bad enough that inspections are waived or rules are bent and ignored but even with proof in hand it often takes many years to decades for programs to be enforced in local, state or federal levels.

Right now it has been documented that the only way the majority of these situations are being controlled is when the public steps up and shines the spotlight on these scenarios. False advertising cases are filling the courts instituted by the rage and disgust of just us general shoppers.

It's too bad though that most companies actually pay and enforce measures which control the public from ever seeing just how their company runs its daily business.

Comments

  • Ruth Reyes-Loiacano
    Ruth Reyes-Loiacano Posts: 12 ✭✭✭

    I feel much better purchasing from my local farmers and ranchers!

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Reyes-Loiacano , yes I agree with you Ruth. Being able to talk to them, inspect their operation by visiting the farm can make all the difference in the world when it comes to peace of mind.

    It's unfortunate though but we as consumers also have to know what are the right questions to ask when we get there.

  • Ruth Reyes-Loiacano
    Ruth Reyes-Loiacano Posts: 12 ✭✭✭

    Yeah, we live in a time where if you don't take the time to educate yourself...you're just getting indoctrinated by the powers that be...

  • wbt.affiliates
    wbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    Just so you know, Whole Foods is not as organic as they claim. They're buying food from all kinds of sources.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @wbt.affiliates yes you are right. But then you can add Trader Joes and Wegmans to that list also. I don't know of any others but then I also don't have any others around here to become familiar with.

    So whomever you buy from, if it's a grocery store type of operation, you've got to be prepared to ask lots of questions and 90% of them will never get an answer because employees just don't know. They aren't ever given that type of information.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    Reading all these comments I think just affirms our reasons for being here in this forum. Hopeful some of you got to watch Dr Jana Bogs who talked about growing beyond organic; great information!

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    @greyfurball I just keep wondering what your avatar photo is going to be once you put one up LOL

    😺 oops, that's not gray...

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    Hi @maimover Right on! I plan on doing a lot more work with Jana next year. I want to do some trials with identical garden beds using here testing and minearl recommendations versus my standard regime.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft #1 I hardly ever use an avatar so since you mentioned it I'll try to find something.

    But almost all my usernames are a derivation of one of my cats. Greyfurball just happened to be a long-haired gorgeous persian-like male which I had for about 24 years before he passed away. So when I pop up on almost every site I end up with a "nickname" for one of my animals and they get to be the star of that particular site.

    For me the animals are a member of the family so they have rights and privileges the same as us humans. So each has his voice somewhere on this internet.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin


    Hi @maimover Wow 24 years old for a cat is a long life.

    Ah! I see you did get a photo up - good good. I love cats... and I only had a gray kitten for a few weeks (taking care of him). Black and silver tabbies are my favorites, oh followed by yellow tabbies and calicos :).

    A girlfreind told me there is something very special about gray cats. And I have to say that gray kitten was extraordinary.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    Where is the kitty photo? I don't see it. I want to see the kitty!

    Regarding gray cats- we have a joke at my house about "Gray's Syndrome". We had three gray cats that were not very smart- I'd say well below average intelligence. Our most recent gray cat, Arabella(my avatar), is very smart. However, she's so curious that she does a lot of dumb things- like getting her head stuck in empty containers or the back of a chair.


    In regard to fake organics- I do try to buy local/ grow myself. I'm blessed to have many farms around me, though most are not organic. One local farm is organic, and sells vegetables, dairy, and meat.

    I do still buy plenty from the grocery store, though. Sometimes in these discussions I want to put my fingers in my ears and say. "Naa-naa-naa, I can't hear you! My cheap organics from Aldi and Wally-world are just fine!" Oh well, we do the best we can.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    It might not necessarily be fake, but depending on the jurisdiction you live in, there are different regulations surrounding organic. In Canada it can be labelled organic as long as it is grown organically on a government certified organic farm. There are no regulations surrounding what happens to it after it is harvested;. You can import organic products that are labelled organic that may have come from a country where regulations are quite different. Also, many countries around the world have regulations on imported produce that require the use of sprays to protect local crops from insect or disease infestation. This kind of negates it being organic but it was grown organically so it can still be sold that way. There are a lot of regulations to get to know but there is the old saying of "Buyer beware" and that certainly applies to government regulations in any country. Whenever I am asked if I buy organic I always say that I buy local, organic first and if I can't get that, then I buy local. Local, non-certified organic hasn't come thousands of miles by refer truck or ship that uses bunker fuel, reducing the carbon footprint making it better for the planet (and therefor us) even if it is not certified organic and it is supporting local food security. Getting to know your local growers so that you can make your own decisions about your food quality, safety and security is always best.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey you made a comment about buying local non-certified organic.

    Maybe some of us didn't know but this why you have to ask questions. Many small scale farmers actually do grow or raise their food/animals with organic principles but they can not advertise it as such. They must pay a price to become a certified organic farm and they can't afford the exorbitant price to get that certificate. So just by asking a few select questions you can find out if your local farmer is what you consider to be in your safe zone.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @maimover Sorry but I can't give you a picture of the gray cat. I've never been into taking pictures, especially the kitties since I usually always have so many. Most people say they like pictures for the memories but I've never had that problem. Give me a name of one of my animals all the way back to my childhood and I can give a history, description etc.. So pictures were just never necessary. So yes I said I'd come up with an avatar but it won't be of me or my animals. There just is none. Sorry!

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Yes, I know this is true -- I've known farmers and ranchers who follow organic practices but who can't afford the process of becoming certified organic. My experience has been that the farmers and ranchers who put a lot of care into their practices are always happy to answer questions. I'd be suspicious of any farmer who didn't want to chat about their operation....

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Oh, and I meant to add, you are correct about the "cage-free" eggs. Here's an excerpt from a press release on the topic (https://certifiedhumane.org/free-range-and-pasture-raised-officially-defined-by-hfac-for-certified-humane-label/):

    "HFAC’s Certified Humane® “Free Range” requirement is 2 sq. ft. per bird. The hens must be outdoors, weather permitting (in some areas of the country, seasonal), and when they are outdoors they must be outdoors for at least 6 hours per day. All other standards must be met.

    HFAC’s Certified Humane® “Pasture Raised” requirement is 1000 birds per 2.5 acres (108 sq. ft. per bird) and the fields must be rotated. The hens must be outdoors year-round, with mobile or fixed housing where the hens can go inside at night to protect themselves from predators, or for up to two weeks out of the year, due only to very inclement weather. All additional standards must be met."


      

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    In Canada, the spacing between organic farms and non organic is 8 meters or 26.25 feet. In my experience, 8 meters will not stop over spray of chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Nor will it act as an effective buffer zone for water run off. So you have to ask questions about the neighbouring farms as well, even if the produce is certified organic. The "exorbitant" price that is charged by the certifying bodies is one of the reasons that organic produce is more expensive than non-certified.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball Sooo this is Mister... my daughters cat. I was never a cat person before this guy... he makes me laugh so hard despite the fact that he’s made hundreds of attempts on my life (101ways you know you cat is trying to kill you) anyways the second picture if u notice just how sweet he really is... because my grand baby has his tail in her clutches but he is not fazed ... she also rescued a Russian blue and named him toothless after the dragon and what a beautiful gentle giant he is!!

    It is so discouraging about the organic thing esp when you live in an area or property without space to grow a lot and I feel like the only thing I can trust is my own garden.. and a few of my regular ppl at farmers markets...

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert Hi, I love your cat pictures! I think you should repost them in the Life with Pets discussion so pet lovers won't miss them.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @Imrebert I love your kitty pics.

    I am a true cat lover and for me the other animals are OK but a cat is the top "dog" of the animal kingdom.

    It's also so funny to me how many people say they don't like cats but once they get around them, get used to them etc. they find out just how loveable cats can be. So I'm glad you had the chance to find out how adorable they can be.

    @shllnzl I didn't realize we had a pets section. Everyone could and would get sick and tired of me talking about cats if I'd start that section. They are the absolute best in my life!!!

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert I just sent you a comment and just now noticed it did not highlight so I must have typed an upper case I not a lower case l. So hopefully you'll get to see it because your kitty pics really were so cute.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball We don't have a pets section BUT I originated a discussion on the subject titled Life with Pets because pets are such a large part of my life. Pet lovers LOVE to hear stories about pets.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball my first letter is an “L” I think it confuses ppl a lot but I can’t change it😞👍🏻

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2019

    @shllnzl i never knew about the pet section👍🏻 I’ll look into that... my daughter and her fam are living with me to save for a home and she is the crazy cat lady for sure... she even has a special “cat” voice that she does (snicker snicker) anyway... I don’t currently have an animal of my own... waiting for retirement but I love piggies and I don’t eat animals so I will wander over... hijack my daughters pets and look at that section!! Thx!!

    as a matter of fact we were just gut laughing about how when we carry mister upstairs he paws spastically at the balls on top of the stair rails as we pass them🤣🤣🤣