Organic farming grows industrial edge
Bad food Britain: Why are we scared of real food?
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
The Food of the Gods
Thirty years or so ago, the organic movement in the United States was largely confined to a few locales long known for their independent spirit and open-mindedness, including Berkeley and Madison, Wisconsin. These days, it would seem that the once small chain retailers, such as Whole Foods, are popping up amidst both the urban and rural landscape almost like clockwork. Many commentators have noted that this change seems to be reflective of a general shift among consumers towards having a more enlightened sense of knowing what they are consuming, how it is produced, and so on. In recent weeks, news items have reported that Wal-Mart, a company that attracts attention at the drop of a hat, will be firmly entering the organic foodstuffs market. As with most projects Wal-Mart embarks on, they have made no small plans, and many fervent advocates of organic farming say that this development does not bode well for such endeavors. As the noted author and journalist Michael Pollan recently observed, “Wal-Mart will buy its organic food from whichever producers can produce it most cheaply, and these will not be the sort of farmers you picture when you hear the word ‘organic’”. The debate about this subject is certainly not a new one, but it is one that is worth watching closely.
The first link will take users to a piece from this week’s online U.S. News & World Report that discusses various definitions of what exactly constitutes “organic” food products. The second link leads to a story from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette by Terence Chea that offers some reporting on how organic agriculture is changing as demand for produce grown under such requirements has grown exponentially. The third link will take users to a very insightful piece by Michael Pollan on Wal-Mart’s entry into the organic food business, and how such a move will affect the future of organic agriculture. The fourth link leads to piece by Joanna Blythman on the nature of food production (and the general public’s ignorance of such things) in Britain, which appeared in this Tuesday’s Daily Mail. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. Here visitors can learn about the organization’s work throughout the world and also comb through their materials on organic standards. Those who are on the lookout for a local farmers’ market will delight in the offerings on the LocalHarvest website, which is the sixth link offered here. On their site, visitors can locate organic farms, markets, and also read their newsletter. The final link leads to a complete online version of H.G. Wells’ noted novel “The Food of the Gods”, which was one of the first works to address the possible dangers of what some today like to call “Frankenfoods”.