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Government certified organic turkey

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My daughter has gone organic so I bought an organic turkey for Thanksgiving. It cost twice as much as a regular turkey and tastes no better, but got her home for Thanksgiving.

The young lady was obviously steeped in the government Kool Aid about organics being more ‘healthy.’ The mother kowtowed to the request and bought a GCO turkey instead of paying the mortgage that month.

I refrained from asking what makes a turkey organic. Accolades about the daughter feeling better and healthier suggested that the answer would be more about feelings than it would be about facts. So off I went to research organic turkey. Here’s what I found.

Regular turkey costs $2.79 per pound, compared to $3.99 per pound for free-range, and $5.49 per pound for organic. Okay, you pay double the price of a regular turkey for the two qualities of ‘free-range’ and ‘organic.’ So, what extraordinary aspects do they impart on a turkey?

Free-range refers to the turkeys that have access to outdoor spaces to graze or forage for food. This means that the gobblers are on their own for food whenever and wherever they can get it, including pecking around junk-filled back yards or the desert in a dry spell, trespassing on private property, traversing public lands while tourists feed them federal Wonderbread crumbs in national parks, or worse, getting to be road-kill while seeking greener pastures on the other side.

The keyword here is ‘free.’ Perhaps the free-range farms aren’t feeding the turkeys at all, but setting them free at birth to fend for themselves and calling them back to the farm for slaughter in November.

Besides, might not a wild turkey might be better for those really desiring ‘free-range?’ The same folks who want free-range turkeys forbid us from shooting wild ones for our Thanksgiving table. Come on, they can’t have it both ways!

Organic, unlike free-range, is an official government-granted certification with all of the endless rules, regulations, procedures, inspections, approvals, and an official certified USDA Organic Seal displayed on a product resume. There are two of them: Certified Organic Seal means that the organic products must be made with at least 95% organic ingredients; 100% USDA Organic Seal shows products are made with 100% organic ingredients. This brings us to the question of what an organic ingredient is, after employing thousands of USDA agents to work up these enlightening definitions.

An organic ingredient is one noted less for its goodness than one that has endured intensive government review. Organics are made without synthetic substances such as pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, or from natural substances such as ionizing radiation, sewage sludge. Hey, I’m for farming without sewage sludge, but the rest of the list excludes pretty much everything that makes things grow better. Besides, organic eaters must prefer their small, dirty, limp vegetables with bugs, fungus, mold, or mildew, and turkeys carrying some untreated fowl disease.

The regulations go on to inform us that certified organic farming systems benefit by the following:

  • They lower input costs. So, why should organics cost more in the store?
  • They decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources. So, no harvesting with diesel-fueled tractors?
  • They capture high-value markets and premium prices. Maybe the elite like paying more for less, but most folks like paying more when they get more.
  • They boost farm income. More ordinary income to tax on April 15.

‘Organic’ is more about wealth than it is about health. Nowhere do the regulations speak of the benefits to people for eating organic. Like the young lady who was primed with the hype of ‘healthy,’ the health benefits of organic are in the bellies of the beholder. The power of marketing has folks orgasmic with ‘organic’ despite that edibles are pretty much as they were before. We pay more and get less with organics, with the perception of benefits more in our beliefs than in our bodies.

Check out the turkeys in the video who bought the better-with-organics bit.

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