Walmart is “going organic.” Wow. Wal-mart is actually breaking into the organic food market. Good or bad? The kid’s organic vegan food is expensive, but Wal-mart is also the devil incarnate. The rub is that Wal-mart violates many of the principles of organic farming. People from the organic foods movement fear that Wal-mart will “greenwash” its products. Also, major food brands are working on developing their own organic products. This is one of those cases where a movement has successfully changed public consciousness, but at great cost to the movement’s principles. Is it a bad thing to want cheaper organic food?
From the New York Times:
Activist groups, as well as some organic food retailers and dairies, contend that the company where Wal-Mart and the other big retailers get their milk operates large factory farms that are diluting the principles of organic agriculture and delivering customers a substandard product. They argue that Aurora’s cows do not spend any significant time roaming pastures and eating fresh grass; instead they live on a diet high in grains.
The controversy turns on how closely Aurora adheres to the principles behind the organic food movement. Many organic farmers say grass feeding is essential for organic dairy production because it is part of a cow’s natural behavior. Milk from grass-fed cows, they say, is also higher in beneficial fatty acids than milk from cows fed grain, making it more nutritious.