With consumers rapidly getting savvy about food quality and food safety, the demand for organic beef has never been higher. So why aren’t more ranchers converting to the higher price-per-pound premium organic product?
Organic and natural ranchers typically face greater transparency costs.
These include paperwork and audits to demonstrate adherence to animal-welfare, sustainability and other standards required by beef buyers or federal labeling rules.
The demand for more transparency in our food system’s ‘chain-of-evidence’ is one more trend contributing to higher grocery prices.
Health and sustainability focused consumers love knowing the back story about the food they eat. They also are the first to pass along good information to friends and family.
There’s also that pesky side effect from global weirding we’re calling a drought. When you factor in the increased demand for antibiotic free meat by some of the large fast food and grocery chains, we can begin to see a trend in demand outstripping supply.
That won’t last forever. Healthy animals cost less to raise. Organic and natural beef is a major food trend that’s finally starting to see significant traction. The decades long educational trickle down from natural products stores has reached the mainstream consumer audience.
Now we have to cut through all the clutter and green washing in order to feel confident about the food purchases we make each day. Informed consumers will be the major factor influencing market supply and demand. Expect to pay what it costs to deliver a premium product. Expect to pay more for the non-premium product too.
In the name of a potato that won’t brown or bruise, as this is the reason being given for its genetic alteration, we are expected to eat another genetically modified crop, and like it.
Of course you are interested in the rhetoric provided by Simplot’s vice president of plant sciences, Haven Baker. He says:
“For historical reasons and current agriculture reasons, this is an important milestone. The Irish potato famine did change a lot of Western history. Even today – 160 years later – late blight is a $5 billion problem for the global potato industry.”
The potato modifications were made by silencing existing genes or adding genes from other types of potatoes, not from other plants or animals.
“It’s potato genes in the potato,” he said. “There are clear benefits for everybody, and it’s just a potato.”
One of the company’s oldest business partners – McDonald’s – has already said it does not plan to use the company’s first-generation Innate potato. McDonald’s did not immediately respond to calls for comment about the new potato, so the company will sell to grocery stores instead.
Doug Cole, the company’s director of marketing and communications, said about 400 acres’ worth of the company’s first genetically modified potatoes sold out last summer in grocery stores in 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast. The company plans to market about 2,000 acres of potatoes next summer.