I eat a lot of food. Tons of it. Probably more in a sitting than sumo wrestlers eat when they “bulk load”. But when I eat or devour food like a rabid hyena, I try to make sure I consume organic foods as often as I can.
I know this can increase the cost of my meals exponentially (your eyes might fall out of your head if you ever saw my Whole Foods grocery receipt) but I feel the benefits of organic foods are worth the extra expense.
I am definitely not a vegan (however I am dairy-free due to allergies) and if you thought I was, you clearly do not follow me on Instagram (or anywhere for that matter because I tend to always have meat in my mouth)… So consuming organic livestock is extremely important to me because they’re not given antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products. Instead, they are fed only organic feed and allowed some time outdoors (to soak up those rays, you know… Cows look sexy with a tan?).
As for agricultural products in the U.S., they must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMO) or petroleum/sewage sludge-based fertilizers. No dirty, franken-veggies for me, please!
Organic farming is also known to be better for the environment… It’s like you’re hugging a tree when you eat organically.
So you see… Organic standards are strict and both producers and ranchers have to abide by these rules in order to get that pretty (yet sometimes pesky) REGAL white ORGANIC STICKER on their products. It is for all these reasons that I am in favor for and INSANELY PUMPED about a new Organic Trade Association campaign highlighting the importance of their new Check-Off Program (plus, I myself, love checking things off lists so… Fate?).
This is a program where producers and handlers of organic produce and livestock would pay one-tenth of one percent of their net organic sales into an industry-governed board under the auspices by the US Secretary of Agriculture.
Whoa. Wait. Say what now?
Did I just confuse the crap out of you because that sentence was a bit too “serious” and there were no sexual innuendos? Yeah…. Things just got a bit technical for GiGi Eats Celebrities… But let me clear up the confusion with an example of what I meant with the above statement (and warn you that the rest of this post is going to be vulgar-free): If organic sales were $90,000/year, then a $90.00 fee/year would go to this industry-governed board.
Just shoving an organic chicken sausage in my face hole… Not vulgar AT ALL people.
This board would then allocate some of these funds into research (about 75% from what I have read… Yep, I read people, I READ!), which would encourage more farmers to go organic and help those farmers that are already organic to become more successful. For example, these funds would supply services to solve problems such as invasive pest and weed control for these farmers so that they could adopt organic practices at a faster rate. At the same time… Some of the funds would be allocated to education and the promotion of the benefits of organic foods.
I am not the type of person to sugar coat anything… Or keep things to myself (clearly)… So of course, I think it’s INSANELY important to spread accurate and fact-based information about organic foods to everyone so more people can benefit from them.
The one thing I learned (okay, I learned MORE than one thing…) when studying nutrition from Tufts University Friedman School was the astounding number of unregulated labels in the grocery stores!
Here’s a fun little “game”… Whip out your phone (oh wait, you’re on it reading this? Open a new tab after you leave a comment, or get to a computer)… And GOOGLE the meaning of the word “natural” (you know, what you see on so many food labels these days) and you will find it to be utterly meaningless.
Total BALONEY. But sadly, people love said “baloney” (and then devour it?) and have been brainwashed into believing that the word NATURAL on food labels actually means something good. That being said, some of the funds from the Check-Off Program will actually confirm the science behind the environmental and public health benefits of buying organic… So as to help you all consider doing that ORGANIC THANG!
Do I feel a new hashtag coming on? #ORGANICTHANG…
To be completely honest, though… My first thought when I read about this program was…
I wanna THROWBACK A JUICY organic, grass-fed/finished beef burger…
But my second, third and fourth thoughts were: why do we need ANOTHER governmental oversight board basically taxing all the organic producers? Will that mean that the smaller farmers will suffer more and have pay more? And most importantly will that mean I have to pay EVENmore for organic food? GAH!
As far as more governmental control, the program delineates a tight maximum cap of 15% of assessments for administrative expenses and the funds can never be used for lobbying and influencing policy and if the members feel it is not working they can cancel the program after 7 years. Sounds like a long time, I know, but time flies when… You eat organic?
From what I have read, roughly 1,200 organic operators already publically support this Check-Off program and more are JUMPING ON THE TRACTOR (farm humor… You understand?).
And I honestly think outsourcing the research and promotion of the organic brand will ultimately make things easier for the smaller producer. The good news is that this program will also not hurt the smaller farmers and ranchers in the short term because those with and organic food revenue of less than $250,000/year, payment would be purely voluntary.
OH AND TO ANSWER THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL…
NOPE… This will NOT increase the cost of organic food. In theory, this Check-Off program should increase the supply of organic products to us creating more choices at potentially a better price.
Think “more affordable, more attainable”.
Head on over to GROORGANIC.NET so you can get your #ORGANICTHANG on… Okay fine, #GROorganic is a WAY better hashtag.
Some immaturity… Because, well, you know I cannot be too serious for too long.
SO TELL ME…
- What are your thoughts on ORGANIC food?
- Do you try and eat as much organic food as you possibly can?
- What was the last thing you ate? Was it organic?
- How much did you spend the last time you went to Whole Foods?
- QUIZ TIME: What 12 foods are on the DIRTY DOZEN list? NO CHEATING!!
- Will you be supporting GROORGANIC!? Why or why not?
This post contains content sponsored by the Organic Trade Association. However, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
PS: I promise… A NEW VIDEO, in my NEW KITCHEN, will be coming NEXT WEEK!