Because it's becoming meaningless.
The New York Times article yesterday was a real shocker for me, disappointing but not entirely unexpected. So many of the organic brands I usually buy, the ones that I imagine as being run by tree hugging, granola munching, tie-dye wearing pony-tailed hippie environmentalists are actually owned by the likes of some of the largest food compaines around.
And the National Organic Standards Board, the gatekeepers of what counts as organic?
They voted on whether to count an herbicide as an acceptable substance to put into our organic food. Six of the 15 members of the board voted that this was acceptable.
Almost half of these people thought it was okay for food to have actual plant killer in it and still count as organic.
I get that some compounds are natural but not organic, like baking soda, and shouldn't count against organic producers.
I also get that not all natural or organic compounds are good. Poison ivy launches agressive chemical warfare on me every time I get within a 5-foot radius.
Doesn't mean I ever want to eat it. That would be bloody awful.
I can't even spell these, let alone pronounce them. I have no idea what they are, and they sound more than a little scary. And while they may be natural, and even very effective supplements, I want to be the one to choose if I take them or not. Take them - as a drug, or supplement - not eat them. Right now, they may be hanging out in my food, and it's still labelled organic.
Instead of focusing on a word on the label, let's shift our requirements.
Read the ingredients list. It should sound like stuff you want to eat.
Even better, buy food that doesn't have an ingredient list. Or a label.
Fruit doesn't grow with a label. What's in fruit?
I can handle that. Even better, I can spell that.
Buy food from the person who made that food for you.
Shake their hand, look them in they eye and ask them how they did it.
(You can't shake hands with a multi-national corporation.)
It sucks that we have to watch our backs, and our mouths. It sucks that every time I think I've found a target (organic is good!), someone moves it on me (organic can have crazy crap in it and still be organic!).
[Speaking of which, crap is organic, too, actually... Double bleh.]
It sucks that it's complicated. It sucks that it requires work. It sucks that we've got to pay attention all the time. Like we have extra time.
The problem is, unfortunately, no one's going to do the work for me. And frankly, I'd rather not eat all that weird shit if I don't have to. Food should be food, not chemicals from a manufacturing plant.
I grew up in New Jersey, I have enough chemicals already, thanks.