Already depressed over the Wal-Martization of organic food, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford sees portends of doom in a new industrial-scale organic cereal line:
Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies. It’s sort of like saying ‘Lockheed Martin Granola Bars’ or ‘Exxon Bottled Spring Water.’
As he elaborates later in the piece, these Krispies are “industrial to the hilt.” That is, they are:
not the slightest bit locally grown, not the slightest bit sustainable, from the same company that poisons your kid with Pop-Tarts and Froot Loops and Scooby-Doo Berry Bones and cares about as much for the health of the planet as Dick Cheney cares about pheasants. And of course, they ship the crap all over the country in planes and trucks that burn enough oil to make Bush leer and the oil CEOs grin and it’s all just one big happy joke. On you.
Morford also raises the excellent point that the modern “organics” movement has become fixated on just one part of what the philosophy was originally about: “local, sustainable, ethical, connected to source, pesticide- and hormone-free.” These days, he writes, “the vast majority of organic product now flooding the market only gloms on to that last aspect,” the pesticide- and hormone-free part.
It’s interesting to think about it in those terms; big companies took the part of the organic concept that was easiest to commodify and ran with it. What if, instead, they had focused on the ethics and the connection to the source? Might we now have fresh local produce and minimally processed foods in Wal-Marts and cheap supermarkets nationwide, with a unique set of products at every store—and would that be a good thing, if big chain stores were still involved?