Part food narrative, part investigation, part adventure story, Organic is an eye-opening and entertaining look into the anything goes world behind the organic label. It is also a wakeup call about the dubious origins of food labeled organic. After eating some suspect organic walnuts that supposedly were produced in Kazakhstan, veteran journalist Peter Laufer chooses a few items from his home pantry and traces their origins back to their source. Along the way he learns how easily we are tricked into taking “organic” claims at face value.With organic foods readily available at supermarket chains, confusion and outright deception about labels have become commonplace. Globalization has allowed food from highly corrupt governments and businesses overseas to pollute the organic market with food that is anything but. The organic environment is like the Wild West: oversight is virtually nonexistent, and deception runs amok. Laufer investigates so-called organic farms in Europe and South America as well as in his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest.The book examines what constitutes organic and by whom the definitions are made. The answers will stun readers, who have been sold a questionable, highly suspect, and even false bill of goods for years.
View the book trailer for Organic at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owiACnN69rY.
Peter Laufer, PhD, is the author of more than a dozen books that deal with social and political issues—from borders and identity to human relationships with other animals—including The Dangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists; The Elusive State of Jefferson: A Journey through the 51st State; Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq; Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border; and Slow News: A Manifesto for the Critical News Consumer. He is the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. More about his books, documentary films, and broadcasts, which have won the George Polk, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward R. Murrow, and other awards, can be found at peterlaufer.com.
"Absorbing and far-reaching...." --NPR Science Desk
“Compelling. . . . Laufer delivers an absorbing science lesson for fans of the colorful bugs.” --Publishers Weekly
"Like The Orchid Thief, The Dangerous World of Butterflies takes us deep into the dark heart of obsessed collectors and the passionate activism … Laufer, a veteran reporter on cultural and political borders, understands how these worlds cross and collide. His book is a Venn diagram of the beautiful and bizarre." --Los Angeles Times
"[Laufer's] book is charming and his attention to detail, combined with a real gift for describing these fascinating characters…made me want to read everything else he has written." --Washington Post