With the exception of cruel practices, I do believe confinement farming to be cruel, I do not give a donkeys butt how you raise your animals. You chose to feed GMO feed? That's your choice. You choose to feed dumpster leftovers instead of grain and hay? Again, your choice. You collect a load of corn dumped on the road from a conventional farmer? You guessed it: your choice.
But, what irks me, what really angers me, WHAT SETS MY HAIR ON FIRE..*.is when that same farmer, the one who is feeding all sorts of non-organic feed to their animals, labels his meat or produce or milk or lip balm or chicken feet or whatever as "organic."
In doing so Mr/Ms. Farmer you are saying so much more.
You are saying that your word is untrustworthy. If you can call your product organic when it is not what else are fibbing about? The housing your animal has ? The amount of time on pasture? I wonder if your are even aware that the NOP (National Organic Program) has a minimum number of days cattle must be on pasture.? The answer is 120 days.
You are saying you believe in price gauging. Why else would you charge organic prices when you haven't bothered to pay the price yourself as in organic feed, organic pastures, organic processing, organic certification.?
You are saying you believe in lying to customers. Why else would you label your product something it is not? How would you feel if you bought a bag of grain labeled ground corn and discovered it was ground glass? Or purchased a bottle of 100% Fruit Juice for your child and discovered it had less than 10% real Fruit Juice? Or even worse, grabbed a box of Good 'N Plenty fully expecting it to be full of teeth rotting sugar and instead it was now being made with Saccharine? When you knowingly misrepresent what you grow on your farm...
You are saying you believe your own product is not good enough, not tasty enough, not healthy enough. Why else would you call it something it isn't? Being certified organic is a choice. If you choose not to pursue this shouldn't you be proud of your choice? Proud enough to honestly label your products using phrases such as "Antibiotic Free" or "Hormone Free."?
You are saying that the relationship you have with your customers need not be based on trust or truth. I must wonder then... what is it based on?
You are saying that our work here on South Pork Ranch is easy, as easy as writing the word "organic" on our labels. Never mind the hours and hours of hard work in learning the organic regulations, following the organic regulations, keeping records on how we keep the regulations, PAYING over $1000 a year just for the organic inspection let alone paying for the certified organic feed, packaging and labels (did you know we have to pay 12 cents per meat package just for the USDA Organic Symbol?)
You might also want to take note: some of the fees we pay for being certified are used to pay the salaries of state inspectors who investigate folks who label; their products "organic" when they have not been certified as such. In fact, it is illegal to mislabel your products and you can face heavy fines if you are caught.
But in the end, what really gets me is this, If you think the certified organic program is such a farce, such a meaningless, bureaucratic, farce then why do you keep putting the name organic on your products?
I'll tell you why . You are saying that you believe organic is good. Why else are you labeling your products as such if you don't think organic is the way to go? If you really had pride in the way your animals were raised, the way your produce was grown then why aren't you promoting it that way? Such as "Chemical Free" or "GMO free seed" or " Raised without antibiotics or hormones"
So please keep your labels honest. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
And now on the lighter and sweeter side, Keith harvested our first big bucket full of honey for the 2012 season. He and the bees did a fabulous job. Me? I ordered the honeycomb bottles. We all have to do our share around here.
* The saying "Set my hair on fire" must be credited to friend DS,
a very bright nursing student with a wicked sense of humor.