business news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of changing organic standards, MNB user Bill Knudsen wrote:

To quote a former President “There you go again”. Maintaining organic standards does not mean lowing the standards and repeating the misstatements of the Berkshire Eagle doesn’t make them true.

For instance, the congressional amendment does not “allow cows raised on conventional farms - fed with genetically-modified food and injected by hormones - to move to an organic farm where their milk can be called organic”. What the amendment actually says is “Crops and forage from land included in the organic system of a dairy farm that is in its third year of organic management may be consumed by the dairy animals of the farm during the 12 – month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk & milk products. The Eagle editorial seems to be an example of lazy journalism where they would prefer to print the press releases of self appointed “activists” rather than doing some confirming research.

And regarding the recent study that Americans eat fewer organics than people in many other countries, MNB user Andy Gromen wrote:

I am pleased to see that there is SOME discourse leaking through showing another point of view concerning “Organically Produced Food”.

Having reached the age of 52, I am far more skeptical about every fad-de-jour or hot-button issue that comes along than I was as younger lad. I will believe that there are actually ET’s flying UFO’s when someone drags an alien crash victim before a TV camera and airs it on FOX News. (Not CBS) I don’t believe in the existence of the Yeti / Sasquatch. Elvis was NOT sighted last week shopping an organic section of a Trader Joe’s.

Why do I hold these opinions? Because there is no credible evidence to convince me otherwise. I COULD get all warm and fuzzy over the thought of a small civilization of almost-human creatures sharing our planet peacefully on the fringe of our civilization. Or Elvis just about to resurface, after decades of self-exile, and share that special voice with us again. I would then be eligible to join the ranks of the hard core “Organic” proponents. (see warm and fuzzy above)

There are a huge number of less vocal people out there that just don’t buy into the “Organic-is-Better” hype that is implied in almost everything written on the subject. It adds excitement to a category to describe it as “Fast Growing”. But when it starts out as nothing and grows to the size of a pimple on a Yeti’s butt, it’s still a … well you know.

Earlier, Philip Herr wrote: “There is no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious. Organic foods tend to look less uniform and attractive.”

I will add that they do not taste any better either. In fact, at times the opposite is true. I must admit that my experience has been limited to some fresh vegetables and free-range chicken though.

In general, we utilize the best systems available for producing, growing, storing, packaging, & distributing food. We mortals routinely take antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, vitamins etc. Properly administered, they IMPROVE our lives. (See polio, small pox, and yes … per-capita cancer rates have actually fallen if you research the data.) We aren’t killing ourselves because our food is produced using the most scientific, modern, efficient & safe techniques known to man. The yields are so high and the prices so relatively cheap that we’re EATING WAY TOO MUCH OF IT!

But I can be convinced that organically produced food is more than just a Zen thing for its proponents. Just show me the hard, believable, credible evidence to support what is always implied about the superiority of organic food. I’ll be the guy standing next to Elvis in the “Organics” aisle ... paying a premium … getting less.

On a somewhat less serious subject, we got the following email from an MNB user about seasonal beers:

Not sure if all of these are available in your area but here are some excellent holiday beers to try:

• Avery Old Jubilation - Boulder, Colorado
• Anderson Valley Winter Solstice - Boonville, California
• Three Floyds Alpha Clause Christmas Porter - Munster, Indiana
• Allagash Brewing Grand Cru - Portland, Maine - you should be able to find this one
• Lost Coast Winterbraun - Eureka, California
• Troegs Mad Elf Holiday Ale - Harrisburg, Pa.
• Weyerbacher Brewing Heresy ( Imperial Stout aged in Oak Bourbon barrels..YUMMY! ) - Easton, Pa.
• North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - Mendocino, Ca - I just brought home a sixtel ( 5 gallon keg ) of this for my keg meister at home. It's like liquid happiness. Stoke up a fire, kick your feet up and fall in love!

If you’re hop lovers:

• Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Chico, Ca.
• Clipper City Brewing Company Heavy Seas Winter Storm - Baltimore, Md
• Stone Brewing Company Double Arrogant Bastard - San Diego, Ca.

I love and celebrate good beer and food hopefully you'll get the chance to discover some new favorites from this list…Enjoy.

Thanks. We will.
KC's View: