Organic Certification - Necessary but not Sufficient?

by Scott
(New Terra Farm)

There was a recent new story about the pet food industry that relates some real horror stories e.g. when 'natural' pet food from China was found to be contaminated with an industrial chemical. So the term 'natural' apparently didn't mean very much.

In my own experience, there is a local company that recently began selling certified organic farm animal feeds. I was interested because finding a source of organic grain can be a challenge for small organic farmers.

However, reading the 'fine print' - i.e. the actual nutritive composition of the feed - I found out they have supplemented the grain-based feed with amino acids, and that the feed 'may contain' up to 10% surplus pastry products. And apparently this is allowed under the certification rules.

So where does that leave us in the search for really natural food? Apparently the organic food industry is adept at finding the loopholes, and making maximum use of that phrase 'may contain'.

We started New Terra Farm partly because we ourselves were worried about the food we ate (we are still our own best customers, I have 5 freezers full of my own meats and veggies, plus preserves).

I think the answer is, we can't rely totally on industry,or government, or regulatory agencies to safeguard our food. We have to do our own research, and ask questions.

I always found it interesting that people seem to believe 'you get what you pay for', except apparently when it comes to food. I think the era of cheap food that actually has a high hidden price tag will come to an end, one way or another.

Hopefully it will end because people finally come to an understanding that few things are more important than the integrity of their food. Let's hope it doesn't take a major incident to make that happen.

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