…In other words, despite 20 years of effort by Big Food to make organic friendly to GMOs, monocrops, dodgy fertilizers like sewage sludge, and more, the organic label remains the single most accessible way for consumers to avoid supporting the worst ecological practices of industrial agriculture. And consumers should know this, and not get the idea that the organic label has been drained of all meaning. (Consumers can also seek out nearby farmers and learn directly about their practices, but not everyone has the time or resources to do that.)…
…the world already produces 22 trillion calories annually via agriculture, enough to provide more than 3,000 calories to every person on the planet. The food problem is one of distribution and waste—whether the latter is food spoilage during harvest, in storage or even after purchase. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, in the U.S. alone, 215 meals per person go to waste annually.
“Since the world already produces more than enough food to feed everyone well, there are other important considerations” besides yield, argues ecologist Catherine Badgley of the University of Michigan, who also compared yields from organic and conventional methods in a 2006 study (pdf) that found similar results. Those range from environmental impacts of various practices to the number of people employed in farming. As it stands, conventional agriculture relies on cheap energy, cheap labor and other unsustainable practices….
Hmmmm. I’m all for raw milk _if_ its production is more stringently hygienic than the pasteurized stuff. This, however, is pretty horrific:
…Sanitary deficiencies were noted in the dairy’s milk bottling room, milk storage rooms, bottle labeler room, “kefir” room and common areas, according to the letter. Among those cited:- Failure to maintain equipment in good repair and in sanitary conditions so as to protect products from potential contamination;- Failure to effectively exclude pests from the facility so as to protect products from potential contamination;- Failure to maintain milk storage areas in good repair and in a sanitary condition so as to protect products from potential contamination.Some of the specific observations made by the Food and Drug Branch inspectors:- Rodent droppings in the Milk Storage Room 2;- Chipping paint and an accumulation of mold/mildew in the “kefir” room;- Buckets used to handle/store colostrum inverted on cardboard lying directly on the floor;- Milk storage area infested with large number of flies;- A main drain uncovered with an accumulation of standing sewage water….…Organic Pastures Dairy Company has been the subject of other recalls and outbreaks. Most notably, the dairy was quarantined in 2006 after six children became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections from consumer raw dairy products, according to the CDC report from 2006.In 2007, 50 strains of Campylobacter jejuni plus Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter fetus, Campylobacter hyointetinalis, and Campylobacter lari were cultured from OPDC dairy cow feces.