Posted by: hightides | February 10, 2014

That time of year

We signed up at a discount wholesale food biz this week and went on a tour of the shelves. I was appalled to find frozen broccoli from CHINA on the shelves, frozen vegetables from VIETNAM, frozen farmed catfish from TAIWAN. What the heck? Is there something about produce and fish from the U.S. that our best restaurants in OKC are buying this imported stuff? (Side note: never eating out again.)

Then, I got in another argument about using the phrase “organically grown” in talking about our produce. I’ve been growing organically since the back to the land movement of the ’60s. I am adamant about knowing what goes on my food– and the food I’m selling — as I eat the stuff raw, right in the garden. I’m not anxious to start little cancer cells growing any more than you are. The USDA does not have exclusive rights to the word organic — except on labels or direct marketing. I have every right and responsibility to tell my customers how my stuff is grown. It is grown organically– sometimes with more care than the USDA asks for.

So why isn’t our farm Certified Organic? I hate paperwork and I really hate telling the gummint anything about what I’m doing. I’m getting old, cratchedy, and I don’t like badges looking over my shoulder while I shovel worm castings into my raised beds.

Then, I had a thought about looking up “organic” produce that is grown outside of the U.S. Yes, really, they do that. Did you know you can buy “Certified Organic” produce from China??? Oh yeah, and feel good about it because it’s got the label on it. How about supporting local farms and saving all those fossil fuels being used for transport to heat a homeless shelter or two? We seriously ship broccoli from China in huge transport ships and then truck the stuff halfway across the country (OMG, the fumes are getting to me already….) so we can cheerfully announce that all we buy is ‘organic’ produce?

How about this? I’ll sell you a CSA in a new aeroponics facility where I promise to use certified organic chemicals to raise the produce. It’ll only cost you $100 for a head of lettuce, but I can guarantee it’ll be the best head of lettuce you’ve ever eaten.




  1. I wanted to use the tagline “so fresh and organic you can almost smell the manure” but got overruled. I understand those who go to the trouble and expense of being certified as organic wanting to protect the name. They did a good job of that until the USDA got involved. Now Certified Organic means very little.

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