Lester Loam wrote:
> I shouldn't try to combine two threads in one message but I'll at least try
> to keep it short.
> Glenn suggests that we shamelessly promote organic. Why not? Even though
> (as Bart points out) some organic food may not be substantially different
> from conventional, does anyone realize how valuable the O word is?
> While the percentage of consumers who actually buy organic food isn't what
> we would like it to be, it is a lot higher than the percentage who would go
> out of their way to avoid organic food. That percentage is probably very,
> very small, Avery's arguments notwithstanding. Even he can't turn consumers
> off to organic food with E. coli scare tactics.
> Compare that with the biotech industry's problem trying to forestal gmo
> labelling. That's a no brainer. How many consumers would actually seek out
> gm labelled foods? About as many as would avoid organic. I don't even
> think Avery would refuse to eat one of Joel Salatin's chickens. (Not a
> great example, since Joel isn't certified organic.) How many would avoid gm
> food? Do the math and you'll see what they are up against. Try as they
> might, they don't have an O word that consumers trust and seek out.
> To see the lengths that the industry is going to, check out
> http://www.betterfoods.org/ the home page for The Alliance for Better Foods.
> Their motto, Improving Agriculture through Biotechnology sounds a lot like
> the old Better Living through Chemistry motto that somehow fell out of favor
> with consumers. How long will it take them to realize that "through
> Biotechnology" isn't a great selling slogan. Still, if I was teaching a
> class in PR, I would use the copy on their labelling page as a great example
> of spin.
> Ted may be right that the Groffs are the hybrid of the future. So who is up
> for the battle over what the green labels are going to mean? Who is going
> to try to keep gmo products from qualifying? That battle for the middle
> ground could be interesting when the "real" food companies start going for
> Ted also says it will be generations or centuries until we make any changes
> that come close to the organic vision. He's probably right. But the
> reasons are mostly human, like a lack of talented farmers and supportive
> social institutions. The inertia is great. Changing these things
> gracefully takes time.
> Unless the vision calls for an increase in livestock numbers (which isn't
> likely) and you have to live with the biological limits of livestock
> gestation periods, the pace of change isn't constrained much by biological
> or physical limits. A decade of good care can turn soil health around. How
> long does it take to string up some fencing to graze ruminants? What's the
> useful life of a hog or chicken house before it crumbles to the ground and
> needs replacing?
> Look at the changes that take place in an abandoned field in a decade or two
> and it's pretty obvious that Mother Nature can move a lot faster than we
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