Thursday, February 19, 2009

Organic Coke & 'retro-foods'

(Fair trade and naturally produced health drink)

Thanks to Marion Nestle for her blog post: Today's Giggle.

Hopefully people see the humor in this. If we can get organic high-fructose corn syrup, organic artificial coloring & flavoring and organic phenylalanine, we have a problem.

These were made by Koert Van Mensvoort. From the site Next Nature:

Thus, while engineering might make food healthier, it also makes food more abstract. And abstraction is not something people generally appreciate, whether it is in language, music, painting, or food. No surprise that people, who can afford it, move away from engineered food, packed with abstract chemicals and meta-substances, towards the so-called organic food, which can be more or less classified as ‘food produced in the way your grandparents produced their food’.

Historically, the organic farms have been relatively small family-run farms — which is why the retro-food was once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets. However, since the early 1990s organic food has had growth rates of around 20% a year, far ahead of the rest of the food industry. With the market share of organic food outpacing much of the food industry, many big corporations have moved into the market of retro-food production.
Van Mensvoort's concerned are not without warrant. The Cornucopia Institute has produced a white paper: Wal-Mart: The Nation’s Largest Grocer Rolls-out Organic Products — Market Expansion or Market Delusion, after their announcement to start offering more organic lines in the spring of 2006. You can read their letter to Walmart's CEO here.

In July 2007, Dr. Phil Howard, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State, created and updated the organic food business chart: Organic Industry Structure: Acquisitions by the Top 25 Food Processors in North America. There is also a new graphically animated version of consolidation occurring in the organic food sector between 1995 and 2007. Two other revealing presentations of organic business have also been prepared by Dr. Howard. There are also charts of major independent organic companies and a chart of private label organic brands, including supermarket chains, specialty chains and distributors.

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