Food safety is also part of the sales package. These consumers are told that organic food is better for the environment as fewer pesticides and fertilizer is used. All of this is deception. Whole Foods continues to add new stores to spread the myths.
Time magazine compared a list of supermarket foods including peanut butter, honey, mustard, tuna, dark chocolate, olive oil, eggs and milk and the best they could do comparing the supermarket products to the foodie foods was two ties when the benefits of taste, nutrition and cost were compared. The foodie foods typically cost twice as much or more than the supermarket products and there is no value to consumers from the higher cost. It is all marketing and consumers are gullible to the sales pitch.
Time Magazine told the truth. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz show says, "The rise of foodie culture over the past decade has venerated all things small-batch, local-farm and organic-all with premium price tags. But let's be clear: You don't need to eat like the 1 percent to eat healthily. After several years of research and experience, I have come to an encouraging conclusion: The American food supply is abundant, nutritionally sound, and affordable and, with a few simple considerations, comparable to the most elite organic diets. Save the cash: the 99 percent diet can be good for you. This advice will be serious buzz kill for specialty brands and high-end food companies marketing the exclusive hyper-healthy nature of their more expensive products. But I consider it a public-health service to the consumer who has to feed a family of five or the person who wants to make all the right choices and instead is alienated and dejected because the marketing of healthy foods too often blurs into elitism, with all the expense and culinary affectation that implies."
The health foods organic hype is built on the false pretext that typical supermarket fare is unhealthy, yet the studies done can't prove it. There has been an entire food movement built on the hype that there is some inherent threat in GMOs, while Dr. Norman Borlaug pointed out that genes are genes. The late Nobel scientist said how they were put together didn't change the outcome. The FDA has found in studies that there is no difference between GMO and non-GMO corn yet organic producers reject the science genetics like they believe the world is flat. California organic producers were giddy over the prospect of a GMO food labeling proposition being enacted, looking to expand their organic commercial production on the prospect of a surge in demand from labeling.
To their chagrin when the public was well informed on the issue the GMO food labels were defeated. They had intended to profit from spreading lies about GMO food. A Stanford University study found that "Organic produce and meat typically isn't any better for you than conventional varieties when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content, according to a new review of the evidence."
"The study also showed a rate of 65 percent E. coli contamination in pork from organically raised pigs versus 49 percent for conventionally raised hogs. There was a slight increase in the level of pesticides found in the urine of children consuming conventional versus organic foods, but the level was well below that determined to be safe, and there was no difference in levels in urine, blood, semen or breast milk in adults. In poultry, there was a slightly higher rate of campylobacter contamination in organic versus conventional product -- 67 percent compared to 64 percent -- and similar differences but lower contamination rates with salmonella."
If fruits and vegetables are washed, any difference in pesticide residue goes down the drain. I don't want to lump local foods in with the foodie deceptions. Local foods make some sense. Farmer's Markets make sense. The savings on transportation cost of moving food from the farm or garden to consumers and the value that I would put on garden freshness makes local foods attractive. Local food is not going to feed the world however, as when shipped it is no longer local or fresh.
Show me the value. Show me something real that paying more for organic, natural, free range, grass fed justifies the cost. Otherwise this type of food production undermines the entire purpose and mission of agricultural development.
Our purpose is to produce bountiful low cost food within sustainable production systems that take the least amount of disposable income from consumers to leave more wealth for the development of the human race. The foodie movement, in my opinion, does the exact opposite, taking advantage of consumer fears and vulnerabilities, adding unnecessary cost needed to sustain itself.
That mother should not worry that supermarket food is not healthful enough for her toddler. Too often the media has played into the myths and deceptions but this time, Time Magazine called foodie food what it is, a food snob diet that takes advantage of some consumers who can least afford it.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments, Inc. author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet. CommStock Investments is a registered CTA, as well as an introducing brokerage.