The Selling of Organic
March 20, 2008
Organic farms have historically been small, family-run businesses producing for local markets. But as conventional agribusiness and the supermarkets move in, organic shops are expanding, being bought up, and increasingly resembling their non-organic counterparts.
Under pressure by Wal-Mart, many multinational food corporations have developed organic versions of their best-selling brands, including Heinz, General Mills, Kellogg‘s, Groupe Danone, Nestle, Unilever Bestfoods, RHM, Mars/Masterfoods, Kraft, Premier Foods, Northern Foods and Pepsi-Co.
You can now get “organic” ketchup, rice crispies, and ready meals -- what started out as a method of producing healthy and nutritious food is now turning out highly industrialized multi-ingredient products.
These industrial organic foods are being marketed along with vitamin-enriched products and functional foods; in the eyes of General Mills, “organic is not a revolution so much as a market niche.”