Viewpoint: How ‘Big Food’ co-opted the organic movement

| | February 28, 2018

I was recently dispatched to a Target to buy some Goldfish, which was a more daunting task than you might imagine.

I played it safe, settling on regular Cheddar Goldfish ($2.99 for 10 ounces) and another Cheddar variety emblazoned prominently with the words “Made With Organic Wheat” ($3.99 for eight ounces).

That’s right, even Goldfish have gone organic. Sort of. Had I not recently sat on my reading glasses, I might’ve noticed a line at the bottom of the organic wheat Goldfish that said, “These crackers are 70% organic.”

Seventy percent organic?

The organic movement started out in the last century as an alternative to industrial agriculture, a vision of family farms, green fields and co-ops, and has now led us to 70 percent organic Goldfish. Along the way, it became largely co-opted by giant agribusinesses. Stalwart organic brands like Cascadian Farm and Kashi were taken over by General Mills and Kellogg respectively.

For the big food manufacturers, organic simply fills another market niche. I asked [Chris Foley, chief marketing officer at Pepperidge Farm] if Goldfish with organic wheat was any healthier than the regular kind, a tricky question for an executive at a large food company to answer.

“It’s an alternative,” he said.

Read full, original post: These Goldfish Are 70 Percent Organic

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2 thoughts on “Viewpoint: How ‘Big Food’ co-opted the organic movement”

  1. It’s good business in a snarky, cynical way, to sell “organic” BS to the uber-affluent customers who harbor airy fairy ideas about food production, yet don’t actually know a whit about it. The grocery marketeers are some of our worst enemies when it comes to educating the general public about food. They will sell their very souls to make money.

    • I’d normally say go for it, if they have the money to be stupid. But the problem is when they start going around telling poor people who harbor airy fairy ideas on food production that anything less than organic is poison.

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