A dozen or so organic farmers drive their electric tractors to a wood-beamed meeting house. There, they consider what counts as organic, the processes and additives that should and shouldn’t carry that label. They consider the evidence and talk to the experts, running late into the day as the dusky light outside begins to grow red. After all, the integrity of the label is at stake. Finally, they agree. A few quick handshakes and it’s off into the dusk, the scent of rich soil their companion on the long, slow drive back to the solar panel-topped farmhouse.

This advertisement for organic farming has been brought to you by Kraft.

The reality of industrial consolidation in organic food, as an article in the Times over the weekend made clear, is a familiar — if not yet well-known — tale. A lucrative industry is rapidly embraced and consumed by existing titans, its boundaries stretched and flexed to wring the most money out of the tiniest adjustments. Washington is enlisted as a partner leveraging the tried and true tools of lobbyists and relationships.

The humble headquarters of your local organic food provider. (Photo by David Neubert.)

The story of Big Ag is the story of Big Organic.

Bear Naked, Wholesome & Hearty, Kashi: all three and more actually belong to the cereals giant Kellogg. Naked Juice? That would be PepsiCo, of Pepsi and Fritos fame. And behind the pastoral-sounding Walnut Acres, Healthy Valley and Spectrum Organics is none other than Hain Celestial, once affiliated with Heinz, the grand old name in ketchup.