From: Anton Doroszenko (TL, Fld Crp) [mailto:A.DOROSZENKO@cabi.org]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 1999 5:00 AM
Subject: FW: Organic food book
> -----Original Message---- [Anton Doroszenko (TL, Fld Crp)] -
> ORGANIC FOOD A GROWING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
> June 4 /99
> Toronto Star
> Ellen Roseman
> According to Wayne Roberts, author of what this story calls a new book
> that makes a powerful case for eating locally grown, wholesome, pure,
> unadulterated, uncontaminated food, those looking for a business
> opportunity, an undeveloped market just waiting to be tapped, should think
> The story says that organic food accounts for less than 2 per cent of the
> market, but it's been doubling every year since 1990. And it will surge,
> according to Roberts, once Canadians realize how the government has
> allowed mega-food producers to tamper with their fruits, vegetables, meat,
> fish and grains.
> The book, Real Food For A Change, a $21.95 paperback from Random House of
> Canada, is, the story says, packed with fascinating facts and figures on a
> subject dear to all our hearts - what we put in our mouths. The story
> says that Roberts, who teaches green entrepreneurship at York University,
> spent three years writing it with wife Lori Stahlbrand, a former CBC Radio
> broadcaster, and Rod MacCrae, who co-ordinates Toronto's food policy
> Roseman says that thoufh she is fairly health-conscious and went
> vegetarian a few years ago, she was struck by the potential problems the
> authors unearthed about the foods we eat every day. Industrial food
> production, with its dependence on crowding and chemicals, can be a
> breeding ground for disease, they charge. Wheat, for example, when stored
> for long periods in grain elevators, can develop fungi and moulds that, in
> turn, produce poisons called mycotoxins. They can get into our bodies
> when we eat bread and pasta. The story says that cattle are hauled to
> giant meatpacking plants, where they stay for two or three months before
> slaughter. Lack of activity, crowding and high-protein diets turn these
> feedlots into "little more than sick bays."
> Crowding is also endemic in poultry barns, where antibiotic feeds are
> used to combat disease and promote growth.
> One-third of all antibiotics used in Canada are fed to farm animals, the
> book says. But overuse can lead to the evolution of "superbugs" that
> withstand drugs - in humans as well as chickens.
> Fish farms, too, are overcrowded and can induce disease.. So, fish are
> routinely fed antibiotics and washed with pesticides. Reading labels is
> no help. Labels only tell you about additives, which are put into the food
> during processing. They don't tell you what was done to the food before it
> gets to the processing plant.
> Take genetically engineered products. Some 36 altered foods are already
> approved by the Canadian government, including canola, soybeans, corn,
> squash and potatoes.
> Monsanto's New Leaf Potato, for example, which was approved in 1996, is
> spliced with a germ that kills predatory beetles. But the health impact is
> a real hot potato, they say.
> Buying organic is a way to avoid being subjected to gene-splicing or
> irradiation, the authors say. Many products have labels that guarantee
> they have been certified by an independent agency, separate from
> This is a profoundly optimistic book, despite the damning information on
> factory foods. It's full to brimming with stories of entrepreneurial food
> producers and retailers making a difference in their communities. Annex
> Organics, for example, operates from the roof of a warehouse on Eastern
> Ave. and is Toronto's only certified organic food producer. It supports
> three people in their 20s, who produce crunchy sprouts for 2,000
> customers, as well as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs and edible
> flowers. Annex Organics breaks every rule of conventional farming, the
> book says.
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