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Keeping Up With Maury
Organic Or Conventional
by Maury Feren

I'm at a dilemma. Here is the problem. I have been a conventional consumer since day one when I first began to consume large amounts of fruit and vegetables.

In that interim there has been a big trend to organic foods nationwide. However, in recent years I would turn to some specific choices in organic foods because of studies that have come forth.

It began with romaine lettuce. I have also come to believe that the organic lettuce tasted better. It went on to organic brown eggs and other items. I would occasionally pick up some of the other fresh items as well. I never had specific choices. I stuck to the basics and never wavered to change my ways. Organic is good. I don't question it. However, the cost factor drives me away. I can not see paying double and triple for the various produce items that I think I might like to change. There is another factor that comes into play.

I don't know the numbers but this is approximate. Today organic numbers would be about 10-15 percent to date and growth running about 5% at this time. That may not seem like much but it has become a big factor. There are other foods besides produce where growth is even much higher.

Here is the dilemma. Whole Food's is a prime example of what is going on. Up to the present moment Whole Foods were the winner in most of this growth. Success looks so good to all of its competition who were also doing a terrific job became a strong factor as well. They brought organic foods to where they are now. They led the way along with Whole Foods attaching themselves to many growers all over the country whom they depended apond for product.

Seeing all of this happening more competition jumped in creating even more growth. Fresh Market, Giant Eagle, Dave's, Miles Market, and Trader Joe's competed in this area as well. Everywhere you looked all of these markets had an organic section. So we have come to believe that organic was it. That was the road that would bring us more safety in food.

There was another problem that we don't talk much about. Only a limited amount of people can afford the luxury of organic foods. Growing it is a much more costly factor. The water shortage in California will play an important role in production for conventional and organic foods. Water is an essential factor in producing organic foods. Worldwide population is growing by leaps and bounds. We could never produce enough food to feed even our present population with future growth not even a consideration.

Whole Foods has changed. Their philosophy has made a complete turn around. They are planning to open a number of small markets instead of these large major supermarkets. We have yet to see any of them so we cant describe them in anyway or form.

Here is the rub. Grading the various of shipments of conventional produce and organic there is a switch. Fruit and vegetables will be graded and recommended as Best and Good. What has happened? We were lead to believe that organic choices are the best. Sure you can find a certain percentage of conventional foods in the Whole Foods market. Now they will be featuring conventional foods and measuring them with their organic brothers. On occasion the conventional purchase could be graded "Better" than the organic. How is that going to work?

That is the question. It doesn't follow through with want we were taught by the same authority. Many of these growers and shippers are disturbed by this. They have devoted their life purpose to be a part of the organic food position. The company has insured them that they wont be left out. But in all probability they will lose a considerable amount of production.

It may be impossible to produce enough organic food to fill past needs because of the water shortage in California who are the dominate producers of organic foods in the USA. This can be as high as 50% in some items in the truck garden market.

Back to GMO. What will be the future of those foods? GMO has enabled us to feed the world as it is and where it might go. It is a major factor in its ability to expand its horizon as needed. For those people who consider it to be unsafe they may change their minds when push comes to shove. GMO enables us to be more productive, because it only uses the best of the needs of the growing product.

The negative parts of the produce is eliminated and substituted with positive growth assets. I'm going to add that I am a GMO advocate. However, that still don't insure you of its positive or negative marks that is yet to be determined scientifically.

*GMO- Genetically Modified Organism

You have the story. You have the facts. See what you can make of it and go from there I'm still thinking about it.

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