Is your organic food really “organic?” Joining us by phone to talk about his ongoing investigations of organic agriculture is Washington Post reporter Peter Whoriskey. He works on projects in business, healthcare, and health.
Farmers hoping to benefit from the advantages of being USDA-organic certified go through a long, costly process to become a certified organic operation. Just a few years ago, it looked like making the switch from conventional dairy farming to producing milk for the organic market could be one way for smaller dairy farms to hang on, maybe even reach long-term viability.
Because the organic sector, once considered a niche, fringe market, has been discovered by a lot of companies looking for consumer and government dollars. Many people are willing to pay higher prices for organic foods for a range of reasons, but especially because organic foods carry an implicit promise. The implicit promise is that organic food meets USDA organic standards. The implicit promise is organic foods are healthier, more nutritious, and safer to eat than products that are not raised according to organic or sustainable principles. Today, Patty and Peter discuss what happens when that promise is compromised.