Local Trumps Organic... or do I have that backwards?

Part 1 of 2
by Glen Boudreaux
Jolie Vue Farms
Brenham, Texas

OK, so a bunch of Flower Children got together in their slightly herbaceous version of the smoke-filled room at Berkeley and decided that spraying chemicals all over our food was not such a bright idea. So they sent some words of support but no money to Jane Fonda, Che Gueverra and Ho Chi Minh, made a commune, threw out some vegetable seed, made love not war, despaired for a while, got exhausted, and mostly grew weed(s). They were pretty much ignored, except by J. Edgar Hoover, who soon gave them plenty of free time to work out their mistakes.

To call the inception of the organic era inauspicious might be an understatement.

Nonetheless, the FCs learned from their mistakes, got off of J. Edgar's dole (we called him Jedgar in Texas), and went on their merry organic way. Eventually, the more sober among them figured it out. Before you could say brussel sprouts and sushi-patushi, Whole Foods was raking in 5 billion dollars a year. (It must be in tribute to their ancestors that WF always sells flowers - daisies mostly.)

The 5 billion part of the story attracted a more traditional crowd, and pretty soon they got with some pals at the USDA. "It's not fair" they cried, "these darned love-making, pot-smoking, hippie-pinko whackos are growing a bunch of sissy food and killing our high-fructose corn syrup market, not to mention our DDT coated carrots. We told Jedgar he was letting them out too soon. Next thing you know they'll be spouting off about animal rights. For God's sake and the 'merican way, Nuke 'em!"

"Not to worry", said their friends at the USDA, "we are the protectors of the American Way - Jedgar told us so one night at The Princess' Ball. We'll just redefine a few words in the Merican Heritage Dictionary so true-blues can sell their food and call it organic too. We'll adulterate the standards so any idiot can grow it. We'll put our stamp on it and make those hippies get our approval before they can use that word again. Then we'll make the bookkeeping so burdensome only you true-blue'rs can comply." And they did.

So there was peace in the land, organic labels in Wal-Mart, melamine in Felix's bowl, and everyone prepared to begin living happily ever after.

They thought.

Yours in the local-but-not-necessarily-organic harvest,


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