A Note From Andy: I think you’ll like today’s essay. It’s from a friend of ours who thinks much the same as we do. Tom Kerr is the editor of Truth & Plenty, a popular e-letter from Walden Publishing. You can learn more by clicking here.
You go out of your way – and deeper into your wallet – to buy wholesome, healthy food.
But you can still get scammed.
Thirty-six million pounds of imported food marked USDA Organic – but sprayed with pesticides – were shipped to California last year. To add insult to injury, branding it as “organic” allowed the liars and cheats who sprayed it with toxic chemicals to charge about twice as much for it.
Half of what is sold in America as “organic” is sourced from at least 100 different countries around the world… and many of those governments have lower health and safety standards than the U.S. does.
That’s a disturbingly low bar, because the USDA is notoriously lax when it comes to enforcing agricultural standards.
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, for instance, you know how health inspectors make surprise visits to catch you off guard. That’s the only way they can get an accurate, realistic picture of how you’re conducting your operation.
But USDA inspections are often scheduled with commercial farms weeks ahead of time. That gives Big Agriculture time to set the stage any misleading way it wants… and conceal the truth. Not only that, but the inspectors very rarely check for the presence of pesticides.
According to USDA rules, Big Ag can even hire its own farm inspectors… so a wily fox may be on its payroll, watching over the henhouse.
A “DIRTY” LOOPHOLE
If you want to import organic products, the USDA will require you to confirm that it came from a supplier who is USDA Organic certified.
Sounds good to me.
Ah, but there’s a loophole as big as the side of a barn…
Those suppliers are not responsible for tracking what they sell back to the source – the farm that produced it – to prove it’s organic.
Once again, nobody is held accountable because nobody is held responsible.
They just keeping passing the buck.
And lots of bucks change hands to fatten the bank accounts of Big Ag and government.
At your expense.
You and your family will likely wind up paying with your health.
The good news is that you do have the power to take back control and know exactly who produced what you eat, and what their methods are.
Never before has it been easier or more convenient to buy a wide variety of delicious foods, while still buying locally or regionally.
THE FARMER IN THE MIRROR
Where I live, for instance, you can tour the farm where much of the beef sold locally through grocery stores and restaurants is sourced. You can buy from dozens of small farms and homesteads, and they’ll even let you come and visit. If fruits are your thing, you can pick them yourself to ensure you get that perfect apple, peach, plum or strawberry.
Purchase your wine, cheese and marmalade, if you like, from folks who live just commuting distance from your kitchen.
I started doing that, with baby steps, when I lived in the city. I bought milk from a farmer who let me pick it up at his dairy… where I not only met him but got to know the cow who made my milk.
I began driving past the mega-sized corporate America grocery stores that sold produce shipped thousands of miles, to shop at the farmers market or a tailgate market.
I met my farmers face-to-face, and so can you.
Before long I had a garden, so some of my food was not only grown within commuting distance, but within view of my dining table.
Nowadays I’m careful where I buy the starter plants or seeds, too, which ensures that even my homegrown groceries are the highest quality and healthiest I can find. I’ve shaken hands with the folks who grew those plants.
You worry whether your food will be carefully inspected by the USDA or Food and Drug Administration. You know the government has a long track record of screwups.
I used to worry a whole lot more about that than I do today… when I wasn’t so sure who to hold accountable.
But now I see my food inspector every morning… in the bathroom mirror.
Editor, Truth & Plenty