Everytime I sit down to write a post about the issues related to "local versus organic" or my thoughts on why Whole Foods or Trader Joes might not be the best thing for those commited to eating local, another news item is brought to my attention. So get yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, settle in, and read up.
Check out this piece just sent to me (thanks Jim!) about Walmart's new commitment to organics. Having just read the article a few minutes ago I'm going to refrain from commenting. But here are a couple of excerpts worth noting:
Organic products are one lure for the more affluent shoppers Wal-Mart is trying to woo away from rivals like Target Corp., said Alice Peterson, president of Chicago-based consultancy Syrus Global.
Stephen Quinn, vice president of marketing, told an analysts' conference this month that Wal-Mart would have 400 organic food items in stores this summer "at the Wal-Mart price."
Read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, organic giant Whole Food Market, had a bit of its integrity questioned in this article posted on the online magazine Slate. But this wasn't just about the organic issue--but about Whole Food's touting its use of local producers. Check it out here. Thanks to Heather and Tom for the heads up.
Why is any of this a big deal? The Cornucopia Institute just released its rating system to judge the integrity of organic dairy farms. As you might imagine, not everyone is happy about it. Read the actual report from the source on the Cornucopia site.
I know this is a lot to sift through but the reality is that things are shifting very quickly on the literal landscape of organic food. With big business, food industry lobbyists, and giant retailers all dictating what may or not be on your store shelves (or what may or may not find its way to your plate) it is necessary not only to be discerning eaters but savvy shoppers as well. The hard truth of it is this: not everyone is acting in your best interest. When it comes to gaining access to truly healthy and sustainable food, knowledge is power.