General Question

silverfly's avatar

I watched Food Inc... Now what?

Asked by silverfly (4027 points ) April 12th, 2010

I watched Food, Inc. over the weekend. I was wondering the best ways to shop for good food and I just have a couple of questions:

1. Should I trust food that is labeled “organic”?
2. How can I trust that the ingredients are accurate?
3. If I’m curious to know how a food company is operating, how can I find that information? (For example: how does Sanderson Farms raise and process chicken?)
4. With so many companies “running” to make money from organic food, how can I be sure that they won’t half ass the organic food too?

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10 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Here’s one good source that keeps it simple and is dirt cheap to boot.

philosopher's avatar

You want minimally processed or organic chicken and beef. Look for Bell and Evans they are very good.
I recommend that you read Ultra Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman; he explains better than I can.
LOL he is not perfect. He should not be worshiped. Proper diet does not cure all diseases. That is a lie.
@silverfly I am happy to answer your questions; you can PR me anytime.
I fellow a low glyermic index for many years.

Tink's avatar

I read the ingredient labels carefully. If you have a question on said product you can go to the brand website, if they have one, and read about it. If you’re still curious you may even request a visit to that place and see for yourself.

simpleD's avatar

Find your nearest food co-op that places importance on natural foods. You’ll find many others who have done some of that research for you.

You can usually trust products that contain the USDA Organic label, but their standards are lower than the previously accepted standard, Oregon Tilth Certification. USDA keeps trying to lower the standards, like including human sewage as acceptable fertilizer. They need to be watched.

Organic certification is not enough, though. Many corporations have painted themselves green by buying small, ethically operated businesses, but they maintain abhorrent labor and agricultural practices in other areas.

You might find these links helpful:
http://www.safe-food.org/
http://nofany.org/index.html
http://www.organicconsumers.org/
http://www.ota.com/index.html
http://www.purefood.org/

alive's avatar

look for the green and white USDA Organic sticker

You could also give vegetarianism a shot. Or perhaps something like “Meatless Mondays”.

silverfly's avatar

@simpleD Thanks! It’s a damn shame that wanting to eat healthy is such a hassle. Our country is so backwards in so many facets.

lilikoi's avatar

@simpleD is right on.

I was wondering the best ways to shop for good food and I just have a couple of questions:

Buy local produce before organic, and pressure farmers to adopt organic or “beyond organic” methods.

1. Should I trust food that is labeled “organic”?

I’m not sure there is any convenient alternative.

2. How can I trust that the ingredients are accurate?

Legally, I am sure ingredient lists are accurate. However, labeling laws like any other law contain loopholes that are exploited (in my experience, usually in the use of increasingly ambiguous terminology). If you have a question about something on a label, you should try to make time to research it. The one currently burning on my mind is the use of the phrase “natural flavors”.

3. If I’m curious to know how a food company is operating, how can I find that information? (For example: how does Sanderson Farms raise and process chicken?)

You can contact them directly. If they are unresponsive, that is not a good sign. You’ll have to weed through the BS though. I’m sure some companies will use descriptive words that sound positive but are not meaningful.

4. With so many companies “running” to make money from organic food, how can I be sure that they won’t half ass the organic food too?

You can’t be sure. It happens. That’s one reason why buying local is better – easier to hold people in your “backyard” accountable than some black box in China or on the other side of the country.

zophu's avatar

Control the food, control the people.

phoebusg's avatar

The Vegan MD who turned me vegan in one well researched move: http://drgreger.com – watch his clinical nutrition research reviews. And follow them up with research to back it up. Or do both at the same time, worked for me.

Seek's avatar

Invest in a local farm. Look into a farm co-op or “Farmshare”. This is where you pay a certain amount of money every month, and you get a share of the bounty from that farm. The benefits are you never know just what you’ll get (if you like surprises), and you’ll have the freedom to visit the farm you sponsor and know exactly what’s going into your salad.

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