Yesterday, I had a “spirited” conversation about food with a colleague -specifically organic food. There were some glaring problems with our mutual understanding of some main points that were key to our conversation. My discussion opponent was under the impression that the organic food they buy supports “small farms and local growers.” My response to that was “Anything you buy from Wal-Mart is not from a small batch producer.” This was met with anger and disdain. I then posed the question “What is organic food?” This innocient question was answered with “anything grown or raised without pesticides or herbicides.” (fertilizer omitted from their answer) I countered with “What about GMO (genetically modified organism) plants, are they organic if you don’t spray they with anything?” Again, my query was met with anger and frustration. That is when it hit me. THEY DON’T KNOW! THEY SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW! So, as a public service I am going to post some things to pull some of you from your “too cool for school poser status” into “informed consumer” status. Pay attention!
First of all lets define organic food (please note the RED areas):
A term that has acquired the meaning of foods grown under natural conditions (without the use of inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides; and either not processed, or processed without the use of additives). The term, when used on food labels, has no legal meaning.
PLEASE NOTE THE LAST SENTENCE OF THIS DEFINITION
USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) definition, from April 1995
“Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
“‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
“Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
“Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.”
So, looking at that info, it is not a valid argument to say that “Organic Food” is free from pesticides, herbicides, and man made fertilizers. I agree it may have less contaminants than “non-organic” foods, but not ZERO.
GMO Seeds: Organic or Not?
I will yield to The Organic Center on this one.
We are frequently asked are GMO foods organic? The short answer, no. If a food is created from a GMO (genetically modified organism) seed it is not organic. Why? Because genetically modified seeds have been engineered to produce their own insecticide or resist weed-killing herbicides. In addition, according to the Non-GMO Project “GMOs are organisms that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This relatively new science allows DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.” However, please note that not all non-GMO seeds are actually grown organically. A farmer can use a non-GMO seed and spray it with all kinds of pesticides, herbicides and use synthetic fertilizers and the seed will still be non-GMO, but it will no longer be considered organic due to how it was grown.
Next Issue: “Organic food purchases support small farms and local towns folk.”
You decide for yourself who is profiting here. This is a chart showing which BRANDS own what ORGANIC LABELS. Any look familiar? Print this out and take it to your local supermarket and compare labels.
This started out as a co/op project with a fellow blogger, but for reasons unbeknown to me, that doesn’t look like it is going to happen. So, without further adieu. Just in time for Christmas I give you, dear reader, A letter from Wal-Mart to Target.
First of all let me say that we hope this letter finds you in Jesus’ arms and in the warm healing rays of the Holy Spirit, so help you Sam Walton. That being said, We are about to fuck you up! We don’t know who you think you are trying to muscle in on our turf, but We think there are some things you need to know before you get your self in a battle you are ill equipped to handle. Let us explain to you how unprepared you really are.
First off…Red? You chose red as your trademark color…you idiot, what are you thinking? Were you thinking red was the opposite of Wal-Mart blue? You fool, everyone knows grey is the opposite of blue. Not to mention that every one knows we are the reddest company in the world. With 70% of goods on our shelves coming from China and 32 billion in imports from China alone, We are much redder than you will ever be. Hey, Want to know a secret? 80% of our suppliers are based in China and many of our “American” companies use Chinese labor to manufacture their products because we won’t buy them to sell to the devout Waltonian’s unless they are manufactured as cheaply as possible by people who we really don’t care anything about. It is not cool or anything that 100%of your factory inspections are unannounced. NEWS FLASH: YOU AREN’T SPECIAL! How can you possibly hide health code violations, human rights abuses, and unsafe work conditions when the factory managers don’t know inspectors are coming…IDIOTS! We allow time for the managers to hide infractions and correct things before our “inspectors” arrive. We only allow 26% of our factories to be “surprise” inspected. That seemed like a good number. If I may quote another powerhouse in the retail world, and some one you could take a lesson from “That’s what I call good business.” To hell with a living wage and human rights, I mean really! If Jesus and Sam wanted you to make more money he and Sam, in their divine holiness would have named you Walton. We won’t even let our workers unionize and people think we care about human rights? We provide our managers a “toolbox” that is used to watch for “Union Threats.” Shit, We don’t even pay our Waltonian workers a wage that is above the “poverty line,” not to mention that we encourage our slaves, er…employees to utilize government health care so we do not have to pay for it. Something funny, we are largely devout republicans and right wing advocates AND AND AND we promote welfare to our employees while complaining about a more liberal government. Chew on that Mr. Conflict of Interest! Hang on now don’t get your little panties in a wad, We do offer health care, but it would take 20% of the average employee’s check to pay their share every month there by making it unaffordable to most of our slaves, er…employees. Not to mention that 700,000 slaves, er…employees cant even get coverage under our Health Care Plan. Beat that Mr. Target! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND SAM WALTON! Call it welfare reliance or forced poverty or what ever you lefties want to if you will. We call it DOLLA DOLLA BILLS YA’LL…I apologize, I didn’t mean to quote a minority, excuse my breach of Wal-Mart etiquette. Please hold…I HEREBY DISAVOW ANY AND ALL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ANYONE BUT WHITE SOUTHERN PEOPLE. SO HELP ME, SAM!
I feel better now. I just had to chant away my indiscretions. You know we sing every morning don’t you? Moving on…
Do you have any idea how good we are to the communities the Wal-Mart Gospel reaches? Well, Mr. Upscale, let me tell you. For the luxury and convenience of our presence in your community we will only cost you $420,000 American dollars per year (on average). Not to mention that we have nearly 1.2 billion in subsidies from local and federal governments to spread the Wal-Mart message. Who is handing you money, Mr. Fancy Pants? Opening one of our compounds or Super Compounds in any area lowers the average wage of all employed persons in that whole county by 1%. We make every one poorer just by being there. Amazing? We know! Something else that is cool is that 94 cents out of every dollar we make goes back to Wal-Mart. 6 cents goes to the community in the form of salaries and local promotions. See, we do give back to the community just as the Bible tells us to. While we are on the subject of the Good News, we also follow the good book by keeping women subservient to men. Our women managers earn $14,000 a year less than their male “equals.” Sorry, that word “equal” makes me laugh. They always point to that Dukes v. Wal-Mart case that showed we actively discriminate against women…its not discrimination, It is God’s law. HELLO!
Look Mr. Target, we import more goods than YOU, COSTCO, and SEARS combined. We generated 22 billion in operating revenue this year alone, Praise Sam. Do you really think you can compete with that? You actually think you can penetrate the customer base of low income, uneducated, and ignorant followers that swear by the Holy Trinity of The Father, Sam, and the Holy Spirit? You blasphemous devil! You must be French owned! We will stick our Chinese made Freedom Fries right up your metrosexual ass, you arrogant prick. Just who do you think you are with your “sleek” looking furniture? EVERYONE LOVES BEAN BAG CHAIRS! Get it through your head! You really expect people to visit a store, and I use that term loosly, that doesn’t sell guns? COME ON! This is America! You FRENCH PIG! You know nothing about selling to real Americans. The leftist, bourgeoisie you do sell to are unwanted by WAL-MART and do not deserve to be counted among the loyal, so sayeth the Sam!
On a positive note, you got your logo correct. That big red “target” is nice and big. Hard for us to miss it with the guns we purchased at Compounds around the world, you Frenchy Pig. Stay out of our way!
May Sam’s LOVE rain down over you,
P.S. Could you please show us how to have a more fair corporate structure? JUST KIDDING, YOU FRENCH ASSHOLES and be sure to Vote Palin in 2012, assuming you are actually allowed to vote in this country.