Part food narrative, part investigation, part adventure story, Organic is an eye-opening and entertaining look into the anything goes world behind the organic label. It is also a wakeup call about the dubious origins of food labeled organic. After eating some suspect organic walnuts that supposedly were produced in Kazakhstan, veteran journalist Peter Laufer chooses a few items from his home pantry and traces their origins back to their source. Along the way he learns how easily we are tricked into taking "organic" claims at face value.With organic foods readily available at supermarket chains, confusion and outright deception about labels have become commonplace. Globalization has allowed food from highly corrupt governments and businesses overseas to pollute the organic market with food that is anything but. The organic environment is like the Wild West: oversight is virtually nonexistent, and deception runs amok. Laufer investigates so-called organic farms in Europe and South America as well as in his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest.The book examines what constitutes organic and by whom the definitions are made. The answers will stun readers, who have been sold a questionable, highly suspect, and even false bill of goods for years. View the book trailer for Organic at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owiACnN69rY.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 32 g
Dimensions: 233 x 160 x 25 mm
It's a testament to Laufer's skill as a writer and reporter that he can make an interesting and edifying book out of idle musings on the origins of some organic walnuts and black beans he bought at Trader Joe's and a local health food store. The question of whether the walnuts from Kazakhstan or the beans grown in Bolivia came to Laufer's table in Oregon without a boost from pesticides and chemical fertilizers becomes an examination of the $27 billion organic food business. His investigative zeal is spurred by the 'obsessive secrecy' of Trader Joe's PR response to his inquiries about the identity of the Kazakh farmer whose spoiled walnuts got him thinking about the compromises that 'make every package of food certified organic suspect.' * Publishers Weekly *
"A lively, highly informative expose" -Kirkus Reviews"Ever wonder if that 'organic' sticker on your produce is legit? Peter Laufer did the work to find out, and the answers are equal parts fascinating and disturbing." -Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home"It's tempting to stick your head in the sand on this topic, but Laufer is right-where there's money there's (unfortunately) corruption. His international quest to trace the origin of his organic food is both intriguing and enlightening."-Lisa Leake, author of 100 Days of Real Food Praise for The Dangerous World of Butterflies:"Absorbing and far-reaching...." --NPR Science Desk"Compelling. . . . Laufer delivers an absorbing science lesson for fans of the colorful bugs." --Publishers Weekly"Like The Orchid Thief, The Dangerous World of Butterflies takes us deep into the dark heart of obsessed collectors and the passionate activism ... Laufer, a veteran reporter on cultural and political borders, understands how these worlds cross and collide. His book is a Venn diagram of the beautiful and bizarre." --Los Angeles Times"[Laufer's] book is charming and his attention to detail, combined with a real gift for describing these fascinating characters...made me want to read everything else he has written." --Washington Post