Friday, December 19, 2003

As a carrot grower, I wish I could tell you that eating my own carrots allows me to see into the future. I wish I could say that I grow the one root vegetable that can fight fascism. Alas, these claims would be a hyperbole even I am not comfortable trumpeting. But there are a few looming dots on my carrot-enhanced radar vision I feel compelled to comment on. Did you know that 90 percent of all the carrots consumed in California are produced by just two farms, Grimmway and Bolthouse? Furthermore Grimmway now owns Cal-Organics, once the single largest independent organic vegetable producer. Is consolidation of the farming sector into a few mega producers concern you, the consumer, at all? Have you ever thought about how consolidation on the production side affects your choices on the retail side of the food equation? Or how about seed production? What do you think it means for a small number of seed buyers to have disproportionate buying power with seed producers? Could consolidation on the production front pushing consolidation among seed producers, thus helping pave the way for a few gigantic corporations to own and control the agricultural germ plasm supply that feeds us all? Given that the fastest growing sector in carrot sales are the goofy little dip delivery carrot plugs marketed by Grimmway through chain stores, school cafeterias, and prisons ought it be of interest to psychiatry that so many of us are too lazy to peel a carrot? Is dip the lubricant for unbridled corporate domination of fresh vegetable production?
Copyright 2003 Andy Griffin

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