When "organic" means inferiorOne day I'll eat fish again. Probably. So, this morning's NYTimes article on wild vs. organic fish caught my eye.
Wild fish that swim in pristine waters cannot be certified organic because their environment isn't controlled. Farmed fish, swimming in small pens but eating organic pellets (made from other organic fish, often harvested non-sustainably), can be certified organic. Gourmands recognize the vast difference between wild and farmed King Salmon, so in this case, "organic" means inferior. (Superior only to non-organic farmed fish.)
The article completely omits the social connotations of organic certification. Many people buy organic because it means that the harvesting process has lower impact on the environment, and usually the food just tastes better. We're guilty of trucking food long distance, especially fish (thanks to Josh for the link). But even organic-minded consumers often prefer local produce, even if it's not organic.
So, calling farmed fish organic is just another example of our country's weird reliance on misleading labels. WalMart is now the world's #1 buyer of organic cotton. Perhaps it will soon be the #1 seller of organic seahorses, too.