Cheetos Sometimes Prosper
Here are two words you never thought you’d see next to each other: organic Cheetos. Yep, it’s true — snack-food maker Frito Lay is entering the organic food market, along with dozens of other huge food companies. Heinz now makes organic ketchup, and General Mills owns Cascadian Farms, an organic brand started in the Northwest in the 1970s. Such companies hope to make a buck off a new USDA logo that, as of next week, will indicate that food has been grown without genetically modified material or irradiation, and with little or no chemicals or antibiotics. Many long-time organics advocates are dismayed that mega-corporations have entered what had been a niche market; they imagine massive mono-cropped fields with their own environmental problems, and fear being driven out of business because larger producers will be able to offer organic food at lower prices. Others believe agribusiness simply isn’t compatible with the organic vision of food grown in a local and sustainable fashion. However, Warren Weber, a pioneer of organic farming in California, says the latest developments are a sign that the movement has succeeded “beyond its wildest dreams.”
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