There’s a new organic foods player in town, and it knows how to play the game. First, come up with a cute name—like the Green Polka Dot Box. Next, get big players in the organics field—trusted names—to promote you. That’s not so hard to do, if you give them a cut of the profits. And that’s just what the Green Polka Dot Box has done. So Natural News, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Institute for Responsible Technology are on board—and the first two have written of the Green Polka Dot Box with high praise, strongly urging their readers to do business there.
After that, you can do what you want. And that’s just what the Green Polka Dot Box is doing. They say that they won’t sell any GMOs or nonorganics. As I’ll show you, that simply is not true. They say that they’re out to promote the little guy—but don’t try to find any evidence of it. Just say that black is white and up is down. When you have the money behind you in a corporate world, then you can get away with it.
There is one simple fact that must be understood about organic foods. They cannot be grown on a grand scale. Yet, that is precisely what the Green Polka Dot Box would have you believe is happening. Here are their stated objectives:
It sounds good, until you examine them closely. This is obviously not a small operation, and their focus on low prices is a clue. They’re saying that they intend to bring the same sort of pressure into the organic world that Walmart already does. We’re already seeing the destruction of real organics when the term is applied on a large scale. The USDA’s rules for organic food production twist the term into something unrecognizable.
So what do they really mean by a ‘”grass roots” approach’? Are they trying to create a movement to change public policy? Are they leading a movement to improve the world? Or are they using the term to do exactly what Walmart has done: bring masses of people into their business and use that clout to bully producers into selling for lower and lower prices at ever lower standards of quality?
Real organic food is not mass produced. It’s grown lovingly in fields small enough for a family—a real family, not a bunch of corporate hacks—to manage. It isn’t grown to corporate pressure’s demands. When it is, then the quality is destroyed. As the Cornucopia Institute documents, Horizon, the so-called organic milk producer, gives their cattle very little access to pasture and sell all their calves—a distinctly non-organic approach that results in lack of control over their welfare, health, and ultimately, the quality of milk. However, they meet the watered-down standards of the USDA, so they get away with it.
And it all happens because of the power of big buying groups, just like the Green Polka Dot Box plans to become.
The most significant point to note is that nearly all of the Green Polka Dot Box’s products are from multinational corporations. I took a look at a few of them, and it was shocking. For example:
Most of the corporations represented are not small, though there are a few little guys in the mix. Bob’s Red Mill, an employee-owned company in Oregon, is a nice standout example. But one must wonder how long they will be able to produce quality products for mass production.
A lot of the Green Polka Dot Box’s products are organic—if you consider the USDA organics label meaningful. (See above for what passes as organic milk under the USDA regime.) But much of what they sell is not, as I’ll demonstrate shortly. But first, let’s take a look at their claim about GMOs:
“Clean food” means certified organic foods of all varieties that are 3rd party-verified to be free of GMO. We want to protect all consumers by insuring that food production in America is designed to exclude derivates from GMO food crops and from dairy products injected with genetically modified growth hormone. In addition, we want to exclude meat from animals fed from GMO feed. As far as meats and fish are concerned, we will only accept certified organic animal proteins or 100 percent wild caught or grass fed animals. That is our definition of clean food.
We will never knowingly offer products that contain GMO. We will inform you, however, if manufacturers’ and producers’ products we carry are “self-claimed” GMO free and are working towards third party verification; ideally, in qualification with the NON-GMO PROJECT. We endeavor to work with all manufacturers and growers that produce certified organic foods. At first, we will allow self-verification of NON-GMO products, but,as we grow in membership and consumer clout we will insist on third party verification.
Our objective pertaining to clean organic food is intended to protect not only consumers but also food providers. If we can help insure that providers produce clean food we will protect the labors and dollars they have invested to become “organic.” After all, organic is only good if it is GMO Free. We want organic to mean something.
That sounds just plain wonderful! If only they actually did what they claim. Sadly, it took only a minute to see that there’s little truth behind it. Go to their page of Spectrum brand oils and shortenings. There are seven products:
Notice that they don’t include the entire product name under the pictures. There’s a reason for that. They’re hoping you won’t notice that two of the seven products are not organic, the Toasted Sesame Oil and the Walnut Oil. If you go to the Spectrum company’s own page listing all their cooking oils. Scroll down to the Toasted Sesame Oils, and you’ll see that they have two offerings: one organic and one nonorganic.
Self-verification? Spectrum clearly distinguishes between organic and nonorganic in their products. If a product of theirs isn’t labeled organic, then it isn’t organic.
It begs credulity to believe that the folk at Green Polka Dot Box don’t know the difference. This company that claims to always sell only organic products is already breaking that promise during the first weeks of operation!
But it gets even worse. Walnuts and sesame seeds are being genetically modified. If a walnut or sesame oil is not organic, then it can be a GMO—and there’s no way you can possibly know if it is. Therefore, there is no way to know if the walnut or sesame oil that the Green Polka Dot Box is selling is genetically modified!
And that was all found by looking at a single page of the Green Polka Dot Box’s products!
Why would these trusted outfits push the Green Polka Dot Box on us? They certainly must know the truth. But it all comes down to money. They get a cut of every sale.
The Green Polka Dot Box is an astroturf outfit, trying to make people believe that they’re just folk, like you and me, and that all they want to do is get good organic non-GMO food to the people. They want us to believe that buying from them makes you part of a grassroots movement. The reality, though, is that all of this is nothing more than a veneer, put together to appeal to people who want quality food from honest earth-renewing producers.
I would like to give special credit to Barbara H. Peterson and her blog, Farm Wars, for alerting me to this issue. Please, read her articles on it and other related topics—truly eye-opening stuff.