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Part II: The Industrial Organic meal
Transcript of Part II: The Industrial Organic meal
By: Adam Moeller and paul Autin
The Birth of Organic Food
At one point in time, all food was growing using what we call today, "organic" methods; this did not begin to change until the mid-twentieth century
Organic food did not begin to catch on until 1969, the year that marked the peak of the hippie counterculture of the1960s
The organic movement was focused on cleaning up the planet and providing a more local, sustainable, and responsible method of growing food
Organic food is healthier because it contains no pesticides or fertilizers that contain harmful poisons that can cause cancer, damage nerve cells, and disrupt the endocrine system, so the less we ingest the better, especially for children
Organically grown food also contains higher levels of vitamin C and a wider range of natural chemicals called polyphenols, which serve an important role in human health, some preventing cancer, others fighting infection
Organic food is as drenched in petroleum as regular industrial food, even though organic farmers use less fossil fuels to grow their crops, 80% of the petroleum in the industry is used in the processing and transporting of the food, which means that an organic meal has about the same carbon footprint as a regular meal
Forty years ago, the term "organic" did not exist; now it is a $20 billion+ business and the fastest-growing part of the food industry
The industrial-organic food chain is largely similar to the normal industrial food chain, the only major difference between the two is that "organic" food must be grown, raised, and processed to meet USDA organic standards
Is Organic Better for You?
More Big Organic
As the organic food industry has expanded, major industrial food producers such as ADM and ConAgra have acquired their own organic brands
Today, most companies treat organically produced food the same as regular industrial food; the only difference being that they must use alternative methods for pest control and fertilization to meet USDA guidelines
The USDA does not restrict the use of other labeling claims such as “no drugs or growth hormones”, “free range”, or “sustainably harvested”
Companies such as Cascadian Farms, Earthbound Farms, and Petaluma Poultry are all big companies that grow organic food on an industrial scale
Farms and CAFOs operate in the same fashion as regular industrial farms and feedlots, with the only major difference being that every acre of field or feedlot devoted to organic farming means that one less acre of land is being polluted or saturated with chemical nitrates, pesticides, and fertilizers
Despite the pollution caused by the fossil fuels used to refrigerate and transport organic produce, the industrial-organic food chain is still better for the environment because it means that less of our land and water are being saturated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides
A Different Kind of Food Chain
The original mission of the organic movement was to create a sustainable, responsible food chain, this goal has been forsaken in the name of continued expansion, convenience, and industrialization
However, hope for another, more local, sustainable, and responsible food chain does exist, enter Joel Salatin, the grass farmer