Monday, November 14, 2005

Talking Turkey (And milk, and cheese, and beef, and butter, etc.)

We ordered our family’s Thanksgiving turkey today. We had to order it ahead of time because we wanted an organic turkey. Call me crazy, but I’m distrustful when a commercially raised turkey is genetically manipulated to become basically nothing more than just a giant walking poultry boob. Actually, that’s not true. Most of those big boob turkeys are so top heavy that they couldn’t walk, even if they tried. They can’t stand on their own legs, and instead spend their short existence squatting. So, ew.

I want a normal looking, normally proportioned turkey. That’s why we’re going organic, farm-raised, this year.

I’m already a big fan of organic foods, especially dairy products. When the bovine growth hormone (rBGH) was introduced in the 90s, the FDA swore up and down that it would not be harmful to humans. Which might be true, I don’t know. But I swear that milk started tasting funny. I’m a Wisconsinite, where all that dairy business hits pretty close to home, so maybe I overreacted. But I didn’t drink milk at all for a long time. I stayed off the white stuff, basically until organic milk became more readily available. It’s more expensive, yeah. But it tastes better. It really does. Plus, organic farming has basically saved the family farm dairy industry here. In a world where hormones and antibiotics and mass-producing factory farms reign supreme, many small farms were able to stay afloat by going through the lengthy and difficult process of being certified “organic.”

But, that may all come to a screeching halt, thanks to our friends in Congress. On October 26, they sneaked (snuck? dammit…that one always throws me) through a measure meant to drastically weaken the laws governing what can technically be labeled “organic.”

Previously, the courts had ruled that any food considered USDA Organic had to be made from 95% organic materials, and it had to be 100% natural. But, giving into pressure from food lobbies and major producers like Kraft and Smuckers (I could go on and on about the evilness of Kraft foods….but that’s for another time), Congress decided that organic foods should be allowed to contain synthetic materials too. And organic cows should be given antibiotics and genetically engineered feed. Lovely.

Consumer groups say the integrity of organic food is at stake and have generated more than 200,000 letters to Congress against the companies’ efforts. It’s a “sneak attack” on standards for organic food, said Ronnie Cummins, president of the Organic Consumers Association.

“People don’t expect food labeled ‘organic’ to contain artificial ingredients, said Urvashi Rangan, a scientist for Consumers Union. The industry wants to be able to use the organic seal without shouldering the burden of people’s expectations,” she said.

[Arthur] Harvey said money is at stake.

“As soon as you require a product to be manufactured from all-natural ingredients, it costs more. I don’t deny that,” he said. “They’re in business to make money. If it’s cheaper for them to get the rules changed than it is to use all-natural ingredients, well, that’s the way they’ll go.”

You gotta love it when we level the playing field for the Goliaths of the world, huh?

So, anyway. I’ll be enjoying my organic turkey this year, while I still can.


Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Looks like those testy Republicans have been reading the Onion for more than its presidential-seal mockery. Who knew they generated inspiration from, "Desperate vegetarians declare cows plants?" Their explanation of organic sounds a lot like something from the article.

Enjoy your organic turkey, Flamingo. People don't know what dat is around here.

November 14, 2005 11:40 AM  
Blogger R said...

Walking poultry boobs. Hahahahaha!


November 14, 2005 12:47 PM  
Blogger jenny said...

what is the point of having organic food if it's not organic? arrg. this sure pisses me off. i can't even express myself. damn money-before-anything people.

i'm so glad to hear you're eating organic. i do too, if i have a choice.

November 14, 2005 3:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home