Believe what you read (and see?)

Do you believe what you read and see? (Labels, news, stuff)

I’ve become more interested in “labels” as of late.

Depends what your take on what a “label” is. It could be a political label (i.e., republican, democrat, left-wing, right wing, conservative, liberal, etc.) or anything else – “free spirited,” “tin-foil hat wearing,” “old school.” There are millions of “labels” people attach to things, persons, ideologies and more. For the sake of “compartmentalizing” the things they feel worthy of dealing with to some extent.

But this post is more towards to FOOD labeling that we’re now supposed to “trust” when we shop for products of all kinds – from food, to tools, equipment, apparatus, dishes, and more. The point of this article is:

Just because it “says it’s so” does that make it TRUE? How do you sort out the fluff? How do you determine what is up-front and what is total bullshit?

“ORGANIC.” Who monitors that? Who QC’s them?

certified organicIn a perfect world – if a product says “Organic,” it should be organic. Same holds true to an honest world.

We all want to believe the labels that are plastered on the (mass produced) products we buy.

But when people solely judge their options based on what a LABEL says – where are you putting your faith exactly?

  • That they’re telling the truth?
  • That they have some kind of “mechanism” that would punish them if they were lying?
  • That “word would get out” if they circumvented the “official” system? (that had no effect on Horizon organic milk apparently…)

What gets me suspicious (almost all the time) is that almost anyone can be “bought” for a price.

Say the EPA (or whatever official “inspector” is in charge for whatever commodity it may be) is offered a nice payday to “approve” what is essentially a polluted, chemically-laden group of produce for human consumption – to get that “official” USDA ORGANIC certification? How do YOU the consumer know what really happened to that red pepper? How do you know it wasn’t produced “outside of the standards?”

Without personally inspecting each and every “processing facility” that these “organic” producers claim to have – all you have is “trust” that it is INDEED done on the “up and up,” right?

Why should I be worried. Or you?

all naturalI only bring this up – because of a fascinating phenomenon. Most humans “believe” what these stupid fucking labels say. Like it’s a religion.

That scares me. Because the phenomenon (or movement) has gotten so strong. If I held up a USDA certified organic zucchini and said to a group of zealous followers: “HOW DO YOU KNOW?”

The best answer they will EVER come up with is: BECAUSE THE LABEL SAYS SO!

What does that tell you? When they don’t know where it came from. Didn’t personally witness the lifespan of that Zucchini, yet they blindly accept what they are told (and at 400% the price of) a “pesticide-laden” piece of produce!

Is it mind or body?

I’ll be fair. Most people do NOT want to introduce artificial ingredients in their bodies. Especially pesticides, hormones, and other dastardly compounds.

But the organic movement has significant power. Have you seen how many (previously WGAF) companies now have a “healthy” line of products?

There has definitely been a huge swing in how people determine what is “good” or “bad.” You can see that by the decline of fast-food stocks.

But what worries me the most is that despite what they call “regulation,” by whatever governing entities – No one can be sure those standards are being met.

50 years ago, sure, we’d say the “big boys in Washington” were doing the right thing.Today – no fucking way. I don’t see any morality in “official decisions” anymore.

Jeez, what do we do now, 411?

USDA ORGANICThat is a fascinating question.

I asked a New Jersey farmer earlier this year about his opinions about that much-sought-after “USDA ORGANIC” label. You know what he said?

It’s exorbitantly expensive. A true hidden tax. And it does not necessarily improve quality – in fact, gives you an opportunity to REDUCE quality! Did you know that “organic eggs” can come from chickens raised in tightly cramped quarters? Or that “free range” doesn’t necessarily mean “good conditions?”

The fact that it costs a pretty penny to obtain that “USDA ORGANIC” label, makes it very hard for otherwise clean & healthy farmers to reach that status before they suffer due to increased costs or less sales. At the Amish market we visit once or twice a month – one of the fellows said to me that the conditions for the chickens in the “organic” area are FAR WORSE than those in the (truly) free-range area. But people feel the need to produce those “labeled” organic eggs nonetheless. Me? I can’t tell the fucking difference. They all taste similar.

Best bet is to find a farm or farmer somewhere where you can actually WITNESS the process at hand. And form your opinion based on observation and experience – instead of just relying on a label.

Because labels are not always what they proclaim to be.

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