Are Big Food Lobbyists Attempting To Stunt The Rise Of Organic?

The organic food industry has had a pretty drastic rise over recent years and a lot of this is down to people caring more and having more awareness about what exactly they are putting into their bodies. But it doesn’t all seem to be smooth sailing, with the U.S. organic market reportedly making over $81 billion in annual sales, big food conglomerates are now seeking to inhibit this growth by proposing a “check-off” program that would require all organic producers to pay fees for the promotion of organic food.

Why would they be doing this you ask? As surely everyone eating healthier is a good thing. Well not for them as the rise of organic is undoubtedly having an effect on their profits. In fact the farm policy analyst group Cornucopia Institute have suggested, “This corporate attempt and controlling organic agriculture is a malevolent scheme to siphon money away from organic family farmers while providing little or no benefit.”

Where the real issue arises is that schemes like these and ones such as “Got Milk?” can have a beneficial effect on independent farmers, it tends to benefit the large companies who have jumped on the organic bandwagon more. In fact organic farmers have had to pay into similar check-off programs for years and in no way do these programs emphasise the importance of organics. It’s like paying someone else’s rent on a home, it’ll help them but it doesn’t have any benefit on you.

Fortunately there have been new guidelines set out in the Farm Bill, allowing organic farmers to opt out of this program and cut their costs, which is great because this in turn helps to cut the cost for the consumer too. Of course this is if the large conglomerates don’t create their own mandatory program to replace it.

Unfortunately organic farmers appear to have little voice when it comes to expressing their views and industry observers recently found that after ‘Townhall’ listening sessions occurred around the country, these check-off programs received no support, yet it was reported to congressional staffers that there was unanimity of support in the organic community for their scheme.

Now this alone seems disgraceful and it has bee reported that these large groups have even been ”robo-calling” organic farmers in order to urge them to support an organic check-off program. It is a form of propaganda that we aren’t used to seeing anymore and is even more of an insult when these programs only benefit the corporate machines and not the individual organic farmers.

The fear is that organic farmers will be mislead with half-truths and sound bites that are already being used by the OTA to get their way. Already Ed Maltby, the executive director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Products Alliance, is referring to the robo-calling as “a one sided propaganda campaign”. Many feel the real reason this scheme is trying to be put in place is to disparage the idea that organic is better than conventionally produced food, what do you think?

A Recipe Guaranteed To Keep Your Man Happy

If there is one thing that has rung true through the ages it is that food really can be the way to a man’s heart. So if you are looking to impress a potential partner then you might want to consider sharpening up on your cooking skills.One of the more entertaining meals to make that your man is guaranteed to enjoy is of course pizza!

We aren’t talking about just popping a frozen one in the oven or ordering takeaway, but making it from scratch. Yes making it from scratch can seem like an intimidating affair but it doesn’t have to be and generally the results are pretty good too. It also allows you to control exactly what you are putting in and on your pizza, which is an ideal way to get your man away from the usual ‘meat feast’ that they go for.

Here is our perfect pizza recipe and feel free to add whatever toppings you like, we’re going for cherry tomatoes, rocket and prosciutto.

– For the crust combine yeast with water, salt and sugar. Let this combination rest for 10 minutes and it will allow the yeast to activate. Next up stir in the flour and olive oil. Mix until the dough is no longer sticky and place on a flat surface that you have covered with flour. This is where the work comes in as you have to knead the dough for 5 or so minutes. Set it to the side for 90 minutes in a bowl and cover with cling film, it should be allowed to reach room temperature.

– A simple way to make the sauce is puree the ingredients, be sure to keep some chunky texture with the tomatoes and this will add to the rustic look and feel of your pizza.

– Next up you should preheat the oven and if you are serious about making your own pizza then you might already have a pizza stone to put in the oven tray.

– Put the dough on a floured surface and roll it out with a pin, you should make around 2 pizzas which are roughly 12 inches in diameter.

– Once you have rolled the dough you will be ready to decorate your pizza with the sauce and any of the toppings you wish to use. Layer on either grated or slices of cheese such as mozzarella or goat’s cheese depending on your taste. Be sure not to add any salads that will wilt before you cook the pizza!

– Cook the pizza for 8 minutes on either a pizza stone or an over tray. Be wary of putting it on a smaller tray, as this will cause the pizza to hang over the edge and make it look less inviting.

– Once the pizza is golden brown take it from the oven and then add any toppings that you prefer to be fresher such as the prosciutto and Parmesan shavings.