Food Industry

Time Magazine Contradicts Itself Over Organic Food

The most recent issue of Time magazine features a basketful of articles on organic food -- an overview of the pros and cons. Except if one were to read the headline shown in photo, the assumption would be that in taste tests to be described, the panelist's conclusions would illustrate that organic products didn't perform that well against those from supermarkets. The article argues exactly the opposite.

The "blue-ribbon panel" of nine chefs performed taste comparisons of seven types of food. The final scorecard:

Chicken: Winner - organic.

White nectarines: Winner - organic.

Tomatoes: Winner - organic.

Pork: Winner - organic.

Eggs: Winner - organic.

Carrots: A draw.

Goat cheese: A draw.

So the totals are five wins for organic, two draws, and zero wins for supermarket food -- and the taste differences described between organic and supermarket foods were huge. In the introductory paragraph, writer Josh Ozersky touts some benefits of organic foods, adding "But sometimes Goliath -- in the form of plain, proletariat, grocery-store food -- can win." Um, no Josh, if you read your article you would see that apparently they cannot.

Wouldn't a more accurate hed have been "Our panel of experts says supermarket products are never better"?

Of course then the "surprise!" would be gone, and any editor can tell

you how much readers are drawn to surprises. And more pertinently, a

conclusion that supermarket foods simply aren't as tasty as organic

foods probably wouldn't thrill Time Warner's considerable portfolio of mainstream food advertisers.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein