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Old 04-09-2016, 07:38 AM   #1
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Isn't some of this stuff a big rip-off?

I have a feeling I'm about to get slammed here... but, maybe not. And, I'm new here, so if this has been discussed before, my apologies.

Living off-grid, way back in the woods (2 miles from the closest house or road) I grow, raise, hunt and fish for, the vast majority of my food. (I do buy orange juice, HP Sauce and toilet paper!!) And, I do like the local farmer's markets here in Nova Scotia. A little pricey at times, but usually reasonable for what you get.

But - I really think that the whole "local, organic, free-range, fare trade, artisan, gluten free" thing has gotten out of hand. I would never pay an extra 30 - 100% just because a label has "organic" or "free range" on it. I think many companies are milking this whole thing and sadly, many people buy into it.

It's just so easy to add a few buzz words to the label these days and ... "hmmm... let's jack the price a bit" too. I think that many people, who truly have faith in these products would be shocked to learn just how "organic" or "free range" their food products really are.

I know a guy who makes bread and sells it at markets around Nova Scotia. His bread, (which is killer bread) used to sell for about $4.00 a loaf... since he put the words "local" and "artisan" on the packaging he started selling it for $7.00 a loaf. He was shocked to see that people bought right into it... on every outing he sells out.

It's bread, for crying out loud.

And, just the other day, I actually saw "Organic - Artisan" potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! "Oh, look Honey, let's buy these chips. They're healthy for us so now we can eat the while bag!"

It's like beer... "Craft Beer" or "Micro Brewery" ... jack the price.

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Old 04-09-2016, 07:52 AM   #2
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I have a feeling I'm about to get slammed here... but, maybe not. And, I'm new here, so if this has been discussed before, my apologies.

Living off-grid, way back in the woods (2 miles from the closest house or road) I grow, raise, hunt and fish for, the vast majority of my food. (I do buy orange juice, HP Sauce and toilet paper!!) And, I do like the local farmer's markets here in Nova Scotia. A little pricey at times, but usually reasonable for what you get.

But - I really think that the whole "local, organic, free-range, fare trade, artisan, gluten free" thing has gotten out of hand. I would never pay an extra 30 - 100% just because a label has "organic" or "free range" on it. I think many companies are milking this whole thing and sadly, many people buy into it.

It's just so easy to add a few buzz words to the label these days and ... "hmmm... let's jack the price a bit" too. I think that many people, who truly have faith in these products would be shocked to learn just how "organic" or "free range" their food products really are.

I know a guy who makes bread and sells it at markets around Nova Scotia. His bread, (which is killer bread) used to sell for about $4.00 a loaf... since he put the words "local" and "artisan" on the packaging he started selling it for $7.00 a loaf. He was shocked to see that people bought right into it... on every outing he sells out.

It's bread, for crying out loud.

And, just the other day, I actually saw "Organic - Artisan" potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! "Oh, look Honey, let's buy these chips. They're healthy for us so now we can eat the while bag!"

It's like beer... "Craft Beer" or "Micro Brewery" ... jack the price.
What food group does TP belong to?

In the US, advertising seems to be very liberal. I completely disregard any of it.
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:12 AM   #3
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If people can make a buck off something, they will. More power to them, as long as it doesn't hurt me or mine. I applaud the guy who makes the "killer bread" and the fact he can sell it for $7 a loaf. I'm sure he works hard for his money, and in all fairness, prices on everything have gone up in the past few years.

That said, I do buy a lot of local, 100% grass-fed beef myself. I do this mainly because 1.) it's local (I know the guy who raises the cattle) and 2.) I just prefer the taste of grass-fed beef. You give me grass-fed and corn fed side-by-side on a plate, and I can absolutely tell the difference. Although I know that all cows make the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to have beef on the table, I'd like to think that the small mom & pop farms around here do a better job of caring for the animals than some far away meat factory.

But yeah, when you start to see big corporations pushing organic products, then it's pretty much a given they're bending the rules just as far as they can to meet any labeling requirements (where they exist).
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:13 AM   #4
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What food group does TP belong to?

In the US, advertising seems to be very liberal. I completely disregard any of it.
TP belongs the meat / protein food group. You have heard of a butt roast, haven't you?

HA!! Good luck in trying to out smart-ass me!!
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:30 AM   #5
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I agree with Steve, when the big companies become involved it is just a marketing term similar to farm fresh, gourmet, etc...

I do believe strongly in buying locally to the extent possible. In the United States we are moving in a dangerous way towards having developing nations become our food producers for meat, fish, vegetables, fruits etc... If a nation can't feed itself it can't survive and prosper.

It's time to wake up America!

I'm finished ranting, for now!
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:37 AM   #6
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TP belongs the meat / protein food group. You have heard of a butt roast, haven't you?

HA!! Good luck in trying to out smart-ass me!!
I have cooked many a butt roast! Butt, I reserve the the words "Butt" and "Wipe" for the most disgusting beers ever produced. Butt (Bud) and Butt Wipe (Bud Lite).
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Rugged Dude View Post
I have a feeling I'm about to get slammed here... but, maybe not. And, I'm new here, so if this has been discussed before, my apologies.

Living off-grid, way back in the woods (2 miles from the closest house or road) I grow, raise, hunt and fish for, the vast majority of my food. (I do buy orange juice, HP Sauce and toilet paper!!) And, I do like the local farmer's markets here in Nova Scotia. A little pricey at times, but usually reasonable for what you get.

But - I really think that the whole "local, organic, free-range, fare trade, artisan, gluten free" thing has gotten out of hand. I would never pay an extra 30 - 100% just because a label has "organic" or "free range" on it. I think many companies are milking this whole thing and sadly, many people buy into it.

It's just so easy to add a few buzz words to the label these days and ... "hmmm... let's jack the price a bit" too. I think that many people, who truly have faith in these products would be shocked to learn just how "organic" or "free range" their food products really are.

I know a guy who makes bread and sells it at markets around Nova Scotia. His bread, (which is killer bread) used to sell for about $4.00 a loaf... since he put the words "local" and "artisan" on the packaging he started selling it for $7.00 a loaf. He was shocked to see that people bought right into it... on every outing he sells out.

It's bread, for crying out loud.

And, just the other day, I actually saw "Organic - Artisan" potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! "Oh, look Honey, let's buy these chips. They're healthy for us so now we can eat the while bag!"

It's like beer... "Craft Beer" or "Micro Brewery" ... jack the price.


You're lumping together so many totally different things (organic, artisan, fair trade, free range, craft beer, etc)....

I'm not ripping you but you might want to read up on what these things mean.

Especially the importance of eating locally sourced foods. Michael Pollan's books are a good start.

For example, if you eat eggs .... If you know how chickens are treated to bring regular supermarket eggs to the store, then you might want to buy free range eggs instead. I do.

My partner manufactures artisanal Korean condiments and they are absolutely a thousand percent better than the mass produced competition.

Craft beer? Yum!
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:56 AM   #8
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There will always be con-artists/opportunists prepared to rip people off. Whether or not this is how it is generally is debatable.

Here, in UK, to call food organic = inspection and certification. There are labels on the products declaring this.

Artisan mostly means quality food made in a traditional method. So, if the potatoes were superior quality and hand cooked then to call it artisan is not so far fetched. I buy artisan bread (from a good bakery) and it is outstanding!
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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Especially during the growing season, I try to buy from local farmers or grow my own. Thats the closest I an get to knowing what Im actually eating. I also have my own chickens, so I know what goes into my eggs. During the non growing months, I just get whatever I can get in the store. I don't ay the extra money for organic or all that. Honestly, I don't trust, or I guess I should say, believe them %100. Everyone is looking for the extra buck, especially big business, and there is almost always a way to get around certain categories and labels.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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Especially during the growing season, I try to buy from local farmers or grow my own. Thats the closest I an get to knowing what Im actually eating. I also have my own chickens, so I know what goes into my eggs. During the non growing months, I just get whatever I can get in the store. I don't ay the extra money for organic or all that. Honestly, I don't trust, or I guess I should say, believe them %100. Everyone is looking for the extra buck, especially big business, and there is almost always a way to get around certain categories and labels.
Don't you have laws/regulations governing what may be called organic in US? If so, then this should safeguard against most fraudsters.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:54 AM   #11
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Don't you have laws/regulations governing what may be called organic in US? If so, then this should safeguard against most fraudsters.
Yes, we do. Most people don't realize, though, that "organic" food can be sprayed with pesticides and herbicides as long as they're "naturally derived." Natural does not necessarily equal safe, and they're usually less effective. While synthetic pesticides have been extensively tested, "natural" ones have not, and they're sometimes more dangerous than the synthetics that for the most part replaced them.

And it's not more environmentally friendly because organic farming requires a lot more acreage due higher losses from crop damage.

So I think the entire "organic" industry is a big rip-off.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:56 AM   #12
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Sure there are laws, but there are also creative marketing and packaging that can sometimes hint towards the truth. I don't have the patience to decipher all that. There are some brands, products or stores I do feel comfortable with, and I try to keep with them. It does require a little effort and homework though.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:03 PM   #13
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I do often buy fruits and vegetables from the farmers market because it's fresher than grocery store produce. They pick it the day before they bring it to the market. I know this because the farmer's wife posts it on Facebook

Artisan is different. Foods made by hand in the traditional way can be better than store-bought, but that isn't always true. It's worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I wouldn't pay $7 for a loaf of bread, but I have paid $5.

I once bought a grass-fed steak from the farmers market and cooked it side by side with a conventional one from the grocery store. We preferred the one from the store Go figure.

However, I'm not about to pay $17 for a free-range chicken when I can get a conventional one for $5-6.

Gluten-free is definitely a fad and has become a huge marketing term. Surveys have shown that many people don't know what gluten is. They also don't know what GMO means or how it works. They just have a vague impression that it's bad for you somehow.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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I once bought a grass-fed steak from the farmers market and cooked it side by side with a conventional one from the grocery store. We preferred the one from the store Go figure.

However, I'm not about to pay $17 for a free-range chicken when I can get a conventional one for $5-6.
I wouldn't expect a purely grass fed beef to taste as good, because it's hard for a critter to put on any fat on a grass diet. When we used to buy our beef on the hoof out here, we bought from a farmer that my wife went to school with. They were essentially raised "organically", in that they were pastured for most of their first year, only given antibiotics if needed, and since he only raised 25 head per year, he could afford to give them direct attention. Then 2-3 weeks before going to the packer, they were put on feed in a small pasture to help fatten them up - the smaller enclosure kept them from walking off the added calories.

That's what the big feed lots do out here, take pasture fed cattle and feed them on a high calorie diet for a few weeks before slaughter. The difference is that they also usually add other stuff to the feed, in part because the cattle are crammed so close together that they have to prevent any possibility of infection, rather than medicating on an as needed basis.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:26 PM   #15
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Natural does not necessarily equal safe...
Remember, smallpox is natural, vaccine isn't.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:02 PM   #16
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Remember, smallpox is natural, vaccine isn't.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:21 PM   #17
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Yes, we do. Most people don't realize, though, that "organic" food can be sprayed with pesticides and herbicides as long as they're "naturally derived." Natural does not necessarily equal safe, and they're usually less effective. While synthetic pesticides have been extensively tested, "natural" ones have not, and they're sometimes more dangerous than the synthetics that for the most part replaced them.

And it's not more environmentally friendly because organic farming requires a lot more acreage due higher losses from crop damage.

So I think the entire "organic" industry is a big rip-off.
Yes there is a reason that naturally derived pesticides are less effective, i.e. they are less toxic! This makes a nonsense of your claim that they are 'sometimes more dangerous'. It's a question of minimising harmful pesticide spraying. Furthermore many inorganic pesticides have no long term studies.

Of course nature doesn't always equal safe but naturally produced food is preferable to that synthetically produced for many people.

Organic farming IS much more environmentally friendly e.g. for the wildlife. Yes it is less efficient - it's about quality of food rather than fast profit and I would rather bite into an organic apple anyday.

The organic industry may be different in US but stringent regulations are in place in UK and so here it is very far from being a 'big rip off'. Maybe you are speaking about US?
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:39 PM   #18
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I wouldn't expect a purely grass fed beef to taste as good, because it's hard for a critter to put on any fat on a grass diet. When we used to buy our beef on the hoof out here, we bought from a farmer that my wife went to school with. They were essentially raised "organically", in that they were pastured for most of their first year, only given antibiotics if needed, and since he only raised 25 head per year, he could afford to give them direct attention. Then 2-3 weeks before going to the packer, they were put on feed in a small pasture to help fatten them up - the smaller enclosure kept them from walking off the added calories.

That's what the big feed lots do out here, take pasture fed cattle and feed them on a high calorie diet for a few weeks before slaughter. The difference is that they also usually add other stuff to the feed, in part because the cattle are crammed so close together that they have to prevent any possibility of infection, rather than medicating on an as needed basis.
I don't remember all the details of this animal's life I just know I didn't feel that it was worth it.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:07 PM   #19
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Ha. I finally learned what British call English Muffins > Muffins it is. I saw it on an old movie so I know it's true. Guy goes, I thought I asked for crumpets. Woman goes, They didn't have crumpets so you're getting muffins. As she slid his plate towards him and the camera did a close up as he dribbled jam on them. Tasty.

I feel bad. We have a long history of organic food co-ops with many locations throughout the city. They have priced themselves beyond my food budget. And now with most grocery stores carrying organic foods, and one in particular, that only stocks organic produce if it comes that way, and at regular prices, I don't need to shop co-ops. I like farmer's markets in summer. And what little I grow in my own garden.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:57 AM   #20
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Don't you have laws/regulations governing what may be called organic in US? If so, then this should safeguard against most fraudsters.
From what I read ( I'm definitely not claiming to be any kind of expert on this), There are 'Certification Procedures) which a company, farm ..must abide by to be legally considered Organic ( which differ from country to country). And with these procedures comes 'Certification Costs' that the company / farms must pay to be allowed to advertise as being an Organizing Food Product. And with this Certification comes the involvement of government, and we all know how that works.

So are there laws and regulations? Absolutely. Does everyone follow these laws ? I would hope so, but I would be naive to think that people/ companies aren't greasing politicians to look the other way so they can pass whatever certifications they may need to get that " Organic' word on their label.

How often do we see on the news about recalls or fines to companies, who get caught with their pants down, after an independent study, by some 20/20 or 60 minutes type of journalists who run random tests and find out the product isn't what you think it is ?

Or lets take the politician in Michigan who ( Im not sure of the exact details, but was in the news recently) who said the water was safe, just to find out there were astronomical levels of lead in the water. We all know anything grown their, using such a high lead water base as irrigation, can't be all that healthy for you, yet up until a few months ago, no one knew.

So getting back to my original post on this thread. I try to stick with places I know , and hopefully I can trust, to get my produce and food products. And if I can grow it myself, I do ( at least for the months Mother Nature allows me to).

Sadly, the mighty dollar often over shadows peoples / companies values. If there is a way to maximize profits by cutting corners, greasing politicians, duping the public, just to get that ' table' on the product for advertising purposes, they will do it. Only one benefiting out of this are the Politicians who get greased, the companies who are benefiting from the increased mark-up by having those health ' tag words' on their packaging, and the lawyers who ultimately have to defend the companies after an independent study was performed ( sorry politicians and lawyers, nothing personal). And the only ones who get hurt, are the consumers who get charged in excess for this organic certifying process, and often don't get what they are paying for.

Marketing also has a field day with this as well. How often do you on the label, " Natural Fruit juice", then you read the fine print, and that only accounts for 5% of the juice. Or the terms Antioxidants, Organic, Whole Grain, Cleansing, 100% natural... Often products may technically fall in to the above category, but are loaded up with other things that may not be healthy for you, but still fit the qualifications to have a certain word on its label ( Notice how the unhealthy stuff isn't in big print). Gluten Free, is the latest health catch-word. Trust me, I'm in the medical profession, I know that there are many issues where a gluten free diet is mandatory for a persons health. But the marketing people are smart, and take these words and pound them into our brains to sell their products. 99% of the time, the consumer doesn't even know what these terms mean, they just know it is associated with good health, and therefore, worth the extra price.

The above is totally my option. May or may not be 100% factual, but Im kinda guessing Im not that far off base.

Sorry guys, this is what happens when I can't sleep, get up at 4am, and go on a rant.

Oh, and another thing, Im fully aware that you can't believe everything you find on the internet. For every article I find to back up my opinions, everyone else can find another that counteracts my thoughts. Guess the internet makes us all experts, and watching Dr. Oz makes us all physicians

One more disclaimer, as unfortunately people are starting to feel like they are being singled out or verbally attacked, My above response was written with no direct person or forum member or in fact, no country in mind. Its just my answer to the original post as to why, for the most part, I agree and feel that we are getting ripped off, and we should all be wise consumers as to what we buy , where we get it from, and how much we pay.
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