Is This Really “Organic”?

Today, I read that “organic” made it onto a list of over used words. This product called “The Batter Blaster” bills itself as organic, certified by the USDA. Packaged in an aerosol can that serves eight, this seems like the over packaging that is exactly opposite to the resource conserving spirit of the organic movement.batterblaster We are concerned about environmentally sound, production, distribution and packaging. It’s New Year’s Eve and as I think through the ways that I can be a greener gardener and cook, the new word “locavore” comes to mind. In our area several church groups adopted the hundred mile diet for a month. The grocery stores that offer local produce all year are favored by many shoppers. For me it means growing what we can, buying at the Farmers Market, and looking at the labels of what I purchase. I don’t expect to find everything locally grown, but when I do find it I can support it with my dollars. Making an effort is a good first step, growing more of our own fresh food has rich rewards.

Making pancakes was an early cooking activity for our children. They stirred the batter and learned the perfect consistency. It was fun to watch the bubbles form and a perfect flip was so satisfying. I enjoyed seeing their competency and confidence in the kitchen and they still make pancakes. A pressurized can may possibly be too cute and enticing for a young child and is it really cooking?

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6 Responses

  1. “Local” has become the new “organic.” Organic agriculture is great in many ways: better nutrition, better for the local environment, better for the planet. However, many environmental benefits disappear if the if the organic apples you buy in Oregon were shipped from New Zealand. Half the produce in the grocery store travels further than I do. And “organic” pancake batter in a spray can is one of those things you look at and think, “Someone actually thought this was a good idea?”

    Reminds me of when my son was in Scouts, and a group of younger boys entered the troop. The youngsters knew they had to cook their own breakfast at the next campout, so they decided on pancakes. Two mothers helped the patrol with their shopping — and the boys came to the campout with a box of frozen pancakes and other pre-made products. They got a stern lecture from the Senior Patrol Leader about staying within the patrol food budget and the importance of learning skills such as cooking. The mothers said they had no problem with covering the cost of the pre-made food that was outside the patrol budget. The troop leaders said that wasn’t the point. And the boys learned to make their own pancakes on a later campout.

    I’ve got a post on a local eating resolution that you might be interested in (with a link back to this post):

    http://readingdirt.blogspot.com/2008/01/locavore-baby-steps-resolution.html

  2. Hi Karen,
    I so agree, the average distance shipped of the foods we eat for dinner in this country is something over 1500 miles. Local is as much a virtue as organic to many of us. Part of the thinking is we know how it was produced and handled. An example. and I hate to mention brands, is I buy Nancy’s Yogurt from the Springfield Creamery. I choose the conventional instead of the organic because I know they have high standards for their products even though they offer organic.
    Thank you for your post.

  3. Good post, great Scout story!

    After 50 years of sneering at organic farming and claiming organic food was no better than conventional, this is Agribusiness deciding us hippies and little old ladies maybe had something after all, and hopping on the bandwagon! Is there a link? I would be interested to know what corporation is responsible for this product.

  4. Hi Nan,
    Yes, organics has long been in effect on a personal level, I’d hate to see it overtaken and distorted by the large corporations. I don’t wish to put up a link but it’s easy to google for Batter Blaster pancakes. In the end growing some of our own food and buying locally grown supports organics and local suppliers Thank you for commenting.

  5. I am researching organic foods and stumbled upon this page. I was looking for an answer to the following question: How do I know if produce and other items that are marked “organic” really are organic products? I frequent Kroger grocery store, and they have a section of “organic” produce and then a section of “regular” produce. How am I to know if the “organic” produce is really what it says it is?

    I am trying to start organic cooking at home and I am having trouble affording the prices at the local heath food stores. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    Anyone with any guidance please email me at salukilaw2006@yahoo.com

  6. This is a complicated issue but here are a few thoughts. Organic labeling does have legal requirements to follow which means labeling something as organic that is not should constitute fraud. When you shop at a store and have questions like this ask the people working there. I especially find produce workers are usually knowledgeable and communicative, so ask, ask, ask those questions!
    I shop and cook with an eye to economy, not everything is certified organic but I do grow an organic garden and try to have a mix of foods in it. This means I enjoy fresh tomatoes in summer and freeze dried and oven roasted for winter use. We grow a lot of winter squash and a few other favorites that store well, shallots, parsnips, celeriac, carrots, these all keep well. Kale keeps growing, gets cut down by frost and regrows. Even a small home garden provides a lot of food.
    Farmer’s markets have a lot of organic produce and if you talk to a vendor who isn’t organic ask them why and what to they use for pest and disease control…then decide what you want to buy. Supporting local and regional ag is important.
    For my own reasons, I don’t purchase mass marketed, salad mixes or spinach which will be served raw. I will however buy these items for salads from local market growers as a special treat. Mostly, though we grow our own greens…that’s partly why this blog is The Gardener’s Pantry.
    There have been some studies about which foods have the highest amount fo contaminates when non organic, I recall, celery, sweet peppers and peaches being high on the list. Asking questions in a respectful way keeps us informed and raises the awareness of our food suppliers as well.
    I hope this helps and would welcome additions to this discussion.

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