Sunday, June 10, 2007

The organics industry eats itself

Canadian blog, Tempest takes a sobering look at how the popularity and uptake of organic produce by the mainstream has added food miles to the carbon bill. :::[Back to the land: returning organic agriculture to its roots]

Once upon a time, “going organic” was synonymous with eating locally grown produce while it was in season. The distance from field to plate was negligible, the ecological footprint small. But as organic caught on as a consumer trend, local farms couldn’t keep up with the demand from a growing base of consumers who wanted their organic strawberry-rhubarb pie in January, their hothouse tomatoes shipped by refrigerated truck in November. Then a funny thing happened: the philosophical underpinnings of the organic food industry collapsed underneath the weight of its own success. The agribusinesses gobbled up the smaller outfits, outsourcing production to gigantic overseas farms. In the past five years companies such as Nestle, Kellogg, Heinz, Dole and Chiquita have all bought or created organic brands. And now, Kraft, the multinational that brought you shrink-wrapped processed cheese and macaroni in a box, has thrown its hat into the organic ring.

The result? Organically labelled yoghurt and bananas fly off supermarket shelves and into the shopping carts of environmentally conscious consumers, even though such products travel the same number of kilometres in refrigerated trucks, spewing the same amount of fossil fuels from their exhaust pipes as their “non-organic” counterparts - - sometimes even more, if they’ve been grown in gas-powered greenhouses. Bill McKibben was one of the first authors to sound the alarm about global warming when he wrote The End of Nature back in 1989. In his newest book, Deep Economy, he writes that the average bite of organic food travels even farther than the average bite of non-organic food. Geneva Rae, a policy analyst for the Canada West Foundation, has pegged the average number of food miles for one kilogram of organic chocolate at 8,598 kilometres. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.

South African blog, Urbansprout, isn't letting that bother them. :::[10 reasons to go organic]

Tags Technorati Tags , ,


Sam Clifford said...

Supermarket organics clearly suffer from the same problem as regular supermarket produce: that it hasn't come from local growers.

(Organic) Farmers markets are a fantastic solution to the problems of transport emissions and pesticide use. We buy from an organic market that is ten bus stops away from our house in the inner suburbs where the produce is grown within about 200km of the city.

Food should be organic and local when possible. If faced with a choice between the two I'll usually take Australian grown over foreign organics.

Anonymous said...


Organic sustainability is only possible when people live in small communities. Organic sustainability is only possible in non-industrial society. Today 50% of people are living in cities. Most of these people are doing unnecessary and destructive work - they are engaged in making, buying and selling of consumer goods.

Two things that have destroyed all ecosystems are - Overpopulation and Overconsumerism.

Science, Technology and Industrialization are responsible for both. World population was only 1 billion in the year 1800. Nature had its way of controlling population through disease and death caused by bacteria and virus. When man made medicines/ antibiotics he created disaster. In the absence of Science, Technology, Industrialization/ Industrial Revolution the problems of overpopulation and overconsumerism would not exist.

The human race has been destroying/ killing animals, trees, air, water, land and people from the very beginning of civilization. Science and Technology has increased this destructive capacity millions of times.

Every man is a serial-killer. The per-capita destruction of Environment - per capita destruction of Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land in Industrial Society is thousands of times greater than what it was 1000 years ago - 500 years ago - 200 years ago.

Before Industrialization humans killed Environment primarily for Food. After industrialization humans are killing environment for Food and [unnecessary]Consumer Goods.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things[Consumer Goods].

In this context I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of Speed, Overstimulation, Consumerism and Industrialization on our Minds and environment. Please read.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links :


Anonymous said...

Organic Food cannot be mass produced. If it is produced on a large scale society will farm and sell it just like any other consumer good - it will no longer be different from Industrial Farming.

Wadard said...

I think it works if we source our food locally - once consumers pass this message back up to the supermarket chains they will respond and support local industry. Consumers need to assert themselves. It's worked so far - simply get into the habit of asking your local supplier where the item is sourced from, and if enough people ask, they will hear.