Organic, My Ass

I’m going to admit something openly here that normally I wouldn’t share unless it was about midnight and there were at least two empty pitchers of mojitos in front of us and the remains of half-eaten limes scattered about. Make sure to exhale so the collective gasp will be all that much more fulfilling.

I’m sick of hearing about “organic” products.

Suddenly, it’s a big freakin deal to eat organic eggs and organic meat and to wear organic clothes. By the most current definition, organic simply means crop or livestock that’s been raised without synthetic fertilizers or hormones.

Newsflash: that refers to almost every small, family-run farm out there, including my parents’. The problem is that very few of these farms exist independently anymore. You know why? Because back then, our dairy farm of 40 cows giving us four to six gallons of milk a day produced literally a drop in the bucket. Steers going to market at 1,000 lbs were puny and equated to puny pennies a pound.

Little income meant no money for the fancy fertilizers and hormone injections. It was enough to inoculate and dip and to purchase seed (which may have been “coated” for a bit of an herbicidal affect) for the crops, which were NOT fertilized or irrigated (irrigated?? Irrigated…by God, by god) and weren’t sold through the grain markets, but used as SUPPLEMENTAL feed to grass-raised cattle. You know? The puny cattle.

See, I get my panties in a twist over this because if my parents were still young and strong enough to be doing today what they were doing 20, 30, 40 years ago, they’d be making a killing with all the organic milk, chickens, beef, pork, and lamb we took care of every damn day.

So yeah, now I have a certain level of derision for that “organic” farmer, who more than likely a large corporation who ran the original organic farms under with their hormone-drunk cattle and weed-free bean and corn fields. The same producers who sell their organic products for twice as much while paying organic farmers from 20 years ago HALF.

So yeah. REAL sick of hearing about organic products like it’s some new and fabulous idea. I grew up organically and maybe that’s not a resounding testimonial for an organic diet, but I’m not going to jump on a bandwagon that I was on for 30 years before getting off. Too many slivers from the buckboard and fleas in the straw.

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9 thoughts on “Organic, My Ass”

  1. Being a cynic, I typically raise an eyebrow when I read organic on a label. I always think, how can the consumer really know?? A few years ago my neighbor and I decided to put in a garden together. I thought we were coming at it from the same angle, but she insisted on dumping loads of chemicals all over because she didn’t want to take the time to weed. Kinda defeated my purpose of having a garden.

    In the summer, we have a farmers market in our town. I love going there because it helps my local farmers. But, I never know if they are feeding me a line of crap about not using pesticides, because I know that bugs etc, can destroy their livelihood.

    Now, don’t get me on the subject of meat. I swear to god the reason that 11 year old girls have bigger boobs than me is because of the hormones given to the cows they eat and gets into the milk they drink. Nobody can convince me otherwise.

    When I was growing up, my mom’s life long BFF ran a dairy farm. We had fresh everything all the time. It was wonderful.

  2. I eat organic…but I eat local. As much as I can afford to, anyway. But for the most part, the majority of the produce I eat comes from farms I can actually drive to, if I so wanted. When it comes to the meats, well, I wish I could afford to buy the local, grass-fed stuff, but it’s beyond my purse. Most of the meat I buy has no antibiotics and is from Canada, or “grass-fed” (grain-finished) from Uruguay at the bargain store.

    I do believe in organic – I think a lot of people simply see the label and think Oh, this is GOOD, when the reality is that the labeling is crafty, and you’re not always getting what you think you’re getting.

  3. Sorry, I buy organic dairy and eggs because I have severe antibiotic allergies and don’t want to eat food from animals routinely fed antibiotics. I try to buy local whenever I can but I live in Central Texas and it’s not prime farming land so our farmer’s markets don’t have nearly the same selection that I got in Nebraska. Heather’s comment about the mom preaching “hormone free” is pretty funny because while you can buy milk without ADDED hormones, it inherently has naturally occurring hormones in it – it’s coming from a lactating animal. Humans aren’t the only hormone producing lactating animals!

  4. Funny that you write about this now. I went to lunch with some girlfriends yesterday and one of them is on the “organic” kick. I asked her why and she said, “Because it is healthier”. I didn’t tell her that I have read several articles that mention how many of the evil, chemical using brands are making up an Organic line selling the same stuff but at twice the price. But people fall for the “organic” label. You are better off if you really want to make sure what you are eating is “organic” to just plant a garden and raise it yourself. I am thinking that we will be expanding our garden this year. To clarify why I have a garden, I love home grown tomatoes and store bought can’t compare to that flavor. Plus I really need to learn how to do the whole garden from start to finish and even learn how to can stuff before my mom isn’t around to help me anymore.
    I also don’t get the vegetarians who have leather shoes, jackets nad purses. 😉

  5. I can’t believe the fascination with organic. What I don’t understand is why people will pay twice as much for stuff labelled organic at their grocery store on a Saturday morning, when they could be at a local farmer’s market buying actual organically grown stuff for half the price! Also, we all live in the same freaking ecosystem, so how organic is the stuff, really?

    And, the large farm corporations have made it virtually impossible for family farms to survive and prosper. That’s why my FIL’s parents sold their farm.

    Don’t get me started about how my uncle and his family have always worked full time and farmed full time…

  6. To me, organic means abusing semantics (because stuff with fertilizer isn’t somehow inorganic all of a sudden) to describe choosing lower yield products made without the benefits of modern technology and paying suitably.

    The theoretical discussions about the relative goodness and badness of one approach over the other I aint going to get into, but I am always wary of the trendy,

    g

  7. Ok, that is REALLY weird. I had those exact thoughts last night. I was raised on a dairy farm in the Northeast. Strictly cows though, none of the other fun stuff. And I had that exact train of thought that had “Organic” existed then in the way it used now our family would have been really successful.

  8. There is a woman in an online group with me that is all preaching “hormone free” “organic” or your child will grow up and become a serial killer and it will be your fault – ok, I added that last bit…anyways, I can barely afford to keep milk in the house much less all the hormone free specialty shit in the grocery store that is out of season.

    I DO like to buy stuff from the local farmers and go pick stuff when it is in season – it does taste better to get it local. But what is with the guilt associated with it?

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