Friday, July 17, 2009

Organic Panic

On the Alternet website, food writer Ari LeVaux complains that the Silk soymilk company has switched its supplies from American organic farmers to Chinese farmers. LeVaux argues that this move harms American organic farmers, while risking imports of reduced quality.

My Gut Reaction: Oh, boo-hoo.

Analysis: LeVaux seems to believe that the Silk company is a charity rather than a business. He whines that the decision to switch to Chinese supplies was taken by Dean Foods-a "megacorporation." He forgets that the objective of any business, no matter of what size, is to make a profit, not to fund its friends and neighbors.

His misunderstanding of basic economics extends to consumers. He expresses consternation that they buy supermarket garlic from China rather than domestically produced garlic from farmers' markets. Maybe that is because the supermarket garlic is generally cheaper. In case you haven't noticed, we are in a recession. People don't have huge amounts of money to spend on organic food.

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