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Truth or Click Bait: Did you Read “The Organic Industry is Lying to You”?

By Melody Meyer
Used by permission; (c) Organic Matters Blog

A recent opinion article published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) raised the provocative notion that the organic industry may be lying to us all. Henry Millers’ article,  “The Organic Industry Is Lying to You,”  claims that organic is “…manipulating consumer ignorance, confusion and even fear to sell a product.” Yet, he couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Let’s take a moment to unravel some of his claims which appear to be based on his zeal advocating for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s).

He claims that “Organic farmers rely on synthetic and natural pesticides to grow their crops; just as conventional farmers do.”

Yes, that’s what farming is all about. Organic farming doesn’t mean you stand by and do nothing. You still have to fight the beetle and the pigweed. When it rains, leaves curl and mildew marches forth.

If Organic farmers stood by and did nothing, we wouldn’t see our grocery shelves and refrigerators brimming with organic food.

Organic farmers use pesticides and herbicides—it’s true—but they are applied when holistic farming practices and preventative measures fail. These methods include crop rotations, integrated pest management and building healthy soils that ward off disease and pestilence by balancing the natural environment.

The National Organic Program (NOP) allows 25 synthetic materials in organic production that have been proven to pose little risk to human health or the environment.

Conventional farmers use about 900.

He goes on with his litany that: “Pesticides are by definition toxic, and many organic pesticides pose significant environmental and human health risks.”

 Yes, pesticides are meant to be toxic to pests, weeds and disease. Once again, that IS agriculture.

Our dear friend, Merriam-Webster, defines agriculture as “The science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation.”

Organic farming is a science and an art whose practices tread lightly on the planet.

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The Path is a monthly newsletter produced by FreshXperts. This is an extra, pre-PMA edition.

Watch for the November issue that will debut a new monthly column by FreshXpert and well-respected retail expert, Ron Pelger.

Xpert Update

This month's spotlight is on Paul Grothe, our new FreshXpert. Paul's area of expertise is in Foodservice procurement.
Born and raised in the “Salad Bowl of the World” (Salinas), He grew up in the industry and credits his passion to his mentor and father Gary Razenberger. Paul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agribusiness from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Paul has over 25 years of expertise and experience in the industry. He owns Del Sur Services based in San Diego California. Before starting his own company, Paul worked for the industries most respected Foodservice companies to include, Markon, US Foodservice and Subway’s procurement arm. Del Sur Services works directly with some of the largest Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) in North America, consulting, purchasing and distributing fresh produce. In addition, Paul has helped to orchestrate several sizeable import programs to ensure year around supply for his QSR clients.

Upcoming events

FreshXperts Anthony Totta, Eric Bosveld, and Paul Grothe will be at the PMA Fresh Summit convention in Orlando in October. 
Contact Anthony, Eric, or Paul to schedule a time to meet up or email and they will contact you.

FreshXperts is a consortium of consultants in the fresh industry. 
Experts in all aspects of the fresh industry–from Farm to Fork
Growers - Retailers - Distributors
Logistics - Foodservice -
Start Ups & New Ventures

For more information about our members, visit our team page
Anthony Totta: CEO; Business and Brand Development Specialist
Tim Vaux: Executive Leadership Specialist
Andrew Southwood: Project Management Specialist
Eric Bosveld: M&A; Agro-Economics Specialist
Nick Pasculli: PR & Marketing Specialist
Ron Pelger: Retail Operations Specialist
Jennifer Lawson: Administration, Information Design
Dean Fahselt: New Product Development Specialist
Paul Grothe: Foodservice Procurement Specialist

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