People spend a lot of money on food. I mean, A LOT! According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, for rural and suburban consumers it’s their third highest expense after housing and transportation. Wow!
And for a family like ours, the quality of that food is very important. Today, a lot of our food comes straight from the farm, so we know where the quality is. But, let me take you back 10 years. 10 years ago, my family lived on 2 acres in a nice little part of the neighborhood. While we may have had big dreams to have a homestead or a farm that just wasn’t our reality at the time. I’m thankful for my mama, who understood even then how important our diet was.
What’s in the snack cabinet?
You see, we used to have what was called “the snack cabinet”. While most kids may have had chips, cookies and candies, our snack cabinet…well it was empty most of the time (even though we might find a bag of potato chips in there once in a while)! Our snacks were raw and healthy foods, like apples, carrots, bananas, and yogurt.
So like any good mom, she did her best to feed us the food she thought was best for us. Organic fruits and vegetables and grass fed meats was a big part of that. I can even remember when we bought our first quarter of beef. But you see, if you are going to be eating healthy, don’t you want that healthy food to be free from neurotoxic chemicals, antibiotics, added hormones (and the list goes on)? And so at the time, even though it was a financial stretch to do so, my mom shelled out the extra money for the organic fruits, veggies and meats.
So organic is better, right?
So buying organic, grass fed, hormone free chicken breast at the grocery store is better than the conventional chicken breasts, right? I mean, when you spend your hard earned money on that organic non-GMO welfare certified cage free something or another, you are making the right choice, right? Or do all those labels just feel like a big jumbled up ball above your head?
I’m a member of the Cornucopia Institute, an organization dedicated to supporting local farmers, and unearthing the dark and dirty little secrets of industrial organics. They do an excellent job at helping folks to realize where their organic food in the grocery store is really coming from. And let me tell you, they really do their research! I recently received in the mail from them a structure chart, showing who owns who in the industrial organics realm. Wow, is it eye opening! You can view the chart by clicking here.
So that organic chicken breast we used to buy from Coleman Natural, well they are owned by Perdue Farms, who by the way is the poster child for the unethical raising of unhealthy chicken. Not to mention, organic only dictates what these chickens eat. It has nothing to do with sanitary conditions, living conditions, slaughter practices, or whether the animal ever got a ray of sunshine or a blade of grass in their life time.
How about Naked Juice, anybody enjoy their product? They are owned by Pepsi. Or perhaps you have had Annie’s Homegrown mac and cheese? They are owned by General Mills, who by the way endorses the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in their foods (a whole other discussion). But kind of strange don’t you think, that this organic pasta company is owned and operated by a bigger company that endorses the use of GMO’s.
And the list goes on and on, quite literally! You should check it out for yourself here.
So now what?
So is organic a hoax? I think the answer is all about your source. You simply can not rely on labels and inspection agencies to ensure the quality of the food you and your family consumes. You can buy “organic” milk off the shelf at the super market, but more than likely that milk came from a factory farm where they milk 15,000 cows on a confinement lot in the middle of the Arizona dessert. And no, I’m not making that up either. Do you really think there is any quality to that supposed “organic” milk? Not a chance. It may be more work on your end to seek out that small family run dairy farm, but in the end you will have a rock solid confidence knowing where that milk came from, and the quality it holds.
Big companies are spending more and more time trying to get a slice of the organic and non-GMO pie. And a lot of the time with big companies, it’s all about how they can do it faster for less. Inevitably, corners get cut. This is why we believe it is so important to know where your food is coming from. You can’t go to Coleman Naturals and say you want to see how they raise their chicken. You would quickly be escorted off the premises.
But you can go you your local farmers, and see how they treat their animals, or how they plant and raise their crops. That’s why we have an open door policy at the farm. We don’t hide behind no trespassing signs. We invite folks out to see how we raise our animals, because we are proud of what we are doing here.
The old saying of knowledge is power is so true here. When you know the truth, you have the power to feed your family nutrient dense food that was raised the right way. So folks, get to know your local farmers, and ask to see the operation. Ask to see how they are raising their animals or their veggies. If they don’t want to show you, you probably don’t want to eat whatever it is they are raising.