India, and it’s now grown five times more than the next largest supplier — China.
Why is it getting so hot these days?
It’s not a coincidence.
According to the World Heath Organization, over 5,000 chemicals pollute the world’s air every single second.
And according to the Center for Food Safety, over 90 percent of the chemicals in our food are not safe. They are, however, safe in other ways too: They can also save you money.
The Environmental Working Group reports that the industry is responsible for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions generated in the U.S.
And yet, the USDA continues to promote their food products as the clean choice.
In fact, the USDA claims that the best way to buy food is to buy food that comes from “clean and sustainable farmers,” who aren’t allowed to use pesticides.
If you think this is all a bit far-fetched, ask the U.S. Department of Labor. In June, the USDA released new information about the benefits of food labeling on the backs of millions of blue-collar, retail workers.
The information shows that, on average, food costs retail workers nearly a quarter of a dollar more each month; nearly twice the average cost to them of food from a farmer.
The agency said nearly 90 percent of those benefits can be traced to the consumer. The remaining 10 percent is paid by the farmer. “The industry has used this tactic for most of our history, which has been to keep prices artificially low,” the agency wrote in a press release.
But just like the “clean choice” label, the USDA’s position has been refuted by the Food & Water Watch.
According to the organization, the “Clean Choice” label is simply “the first step to getting a good deal on your food.”
“They say it’s clean,” said Mark Bittman, senior campaigner for Food & Water Watch. “I’d say that it is at best not clean or at worst it’s dirty.” That is a conclusion backed by an expert panel convened by the USDA; in 2011, the panel said that the “clean” label on most food would be misleading to consumers, because we often do not know what we are buying.
What about all that extra calories? Well, according to scientists, “there is not reliable evidence that this is good for you,” says Bittman.
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