Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pomegranate Molasses, Whole Foods and the Organic Dillema

I've got a recipe for asparagus that calls for pomagranate molasses that I haven't tried for two reasons: 1 - I dont know where to buy pomogranate molasses and 2 - Pomogranate molasses is probably as expensive as it sounds.

Since asparagas is finally in season and thus cheap - I decided i'd start the pomogranate molasses hunt. WINCO does not carry it. neither does albertsons, nor fred myers. Next stop: whole foods.

yup they carry it - and yup it's expensive. But so is everything else in that stinking store. 3 bucks for an organic lollipop? really? How do you make a lollipop organic anyways? What part of corn syrup and sugar and food dye is organic? I'm really not sure - and I'm not so sure that organic sugar is any better for you than the real kind.

But I think that if you are concerned about saving the planet - maybe you should save your money and simply eat less. Think of all the waste produced from overeating. Buying organic produce that is packaged on a styrofoam plate with shrink wrap is not the most effective way to stop global warming.

I know that capitolism is the reason that we are blessed with such a comfortable life - but I don't think that "being green" is something that can be obtained with money. Buying organic laundry detergent doesn't make you more green - it comes in a plastic container doesn't it - and you are still using a machine that consumes alot of water and electricity to wash your clothes that probably aren't even that dirty (I wear my clothes at least 3 times before washing them). We live in a society stuck on buying our way out of things. You can't just pay off your carbon footprint. Being green is a way of living. A way of living that requires alot of planning, education and physical energy.

Whatever - I don't even recycle because I'm too lazy to take the labels off my cans and rinse out my milk carton. The greenest people around are probably the homeless panhandlers. They do more recycling than anyone I know..... Does living green need be an all or nothing approach? I care about the planet - just not enough to spend $5.00 a pound for organic apples. Maybe I don't really care about the planet but am actually just a tight wad. People just think I'm a granola becuase I wear a bandana to keep my hair out of my face...... Afterall, I did drive to 4 stores to look for 1 ingredient that was shipped from Lebanon and probably processed in some diesel driven manufacturing plant.......

I dont know. What do you think?


Isaac said...

The people I know who buy organic don't really do it to "save the planet", they do it because they have to have the best of everything and since organic cost so much it must be better. Although I do see benefits to organic foods (its a way for some small farms to compete with mega-farms, no pesticides or herbicides, and it may encourage plant diversification) I think it is much better either buy local or grow a garden.
Just my two cents.

Richard and Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard and Nicole said...

I agree zic. Buying local and growing a garden is often a much more effective way to do things. i worked on this community supported agriculture farm last summer - it wasn't organic because it costs so much to be certified and you have to EVERYTHING so organic - but the farmer didn't use pesticides, herbicides or any chemicals for that matter - i think alot of small scale farms are mostly organic even if they are not labeled as such.

Oblad girl said...

I know exactly what recipe you are talking about! I couldn't find pomegranate molasses, so I used pomegranate juice.... wasn't a good substitute. Lame, random, stupidly expensive ingredients.

Bryan said...

you must have had a lot of time to think about this organic situation as you drove from store to store. I don't buy into the organic thing. In my opinion its a marketing scheme to make somebody rich on other peoples ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nicole,
You can make your own pomegranate molasses:
Of course, 4 cups of pomegrante juice is also not cheap.
I could comment on the organic/whole food/what to eat dilemma, but, oh well. It boils down to "Eat more less processed food". It is an individual choice. LV MOM

Richard and Nicole said...

mom - good point. I like that. It's an individual choice. i think that is kind of what I was trying to get to....that recipe isn't worth it the POM molasses anyways - I like just garlic sauted asparagus the best (sounds like that is what you were thinking too jenn huh?)

I didn't think you would buy into it bryan....what does the breeeaa think?

Anonymous said...

My dad has thought about raising an organic cow herd. amongst not fertilizing his hay field. he also is not allowed to give any medicin to his sickly cows and just let them die. Therefore it stands in reason that a person living an organic life should therefor forgo any medicine and medical treatment themselves. Oh what a happy day this would be.


Anonymous said...

Look I'll be honest. I think you don't know as much as you should about organic food to be making statements about it.

Some organic food producers are really not as green as they attempt to lead on, but that is only because they are controlled by companies such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, etc...The fact is organic food from legitimate companies i.e. Stonyfield are better for the environment because they are not polluting the atmosphere and the environments around them by spraying pesticides and herbicides into the surrounding areas. Organic food is not necessarily more expensive if purchased from local farm markets and is easily worth it due to the quality difference. Organically raised livestock is also 50x better than conventional. Conventional livestock are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones and fed nothing but grain to fatten them. If they get sick they get slaughtered(why waste medicine on something that will not bring you as much profit). The majority of organically raised livestock however is quite different. They are grass fed and allowed to roam free instead of being caged up. I could go on for much longer but I need some sleep. In short, look into the food you buy, some organic food is just an attempt to make money, but the majority of it, especially from local small family owned farms are much different. I think you should all spent a few minutes out of your day, and try to look into organic food a little deeper. Also if you have the chance go see the film Food Inc. It will shed some more light on the matter.

On the matter of the pomegranate molasses, if you dont want to spend the money on the molasses itself, you can always just reduce some pomegranate juice with some sugar or agave and get similar, (although not quite as good) results.


Richard and Nicole said...


good points. however - i do know alot more about organics than you think. i have read a few books on the subject and have been keeping on the current literature in the area. for the most part i agree with organic food - but usually not the store bought kind.

i did mention that i shop at farmers markets and it IS alot more expensive to buy the certified organic kind. it takes ALOT for a farm to be certified organic and alot of farms that grow organic fruits and veggies are NOT certified organic and thus cannot advertise their foods that way. i know that because i worked on a CSA that is that way. i have also met a few farmers who farm that way. just because its not labeled organic doesn't mean it isnt. buying locally grown produce is the best way to go. Even better is to grow your own food.

i agree that organic food is better for the environment - but lets be honest, how many people buy it for that reason - most people buy it because they think it is better for THEM and because they are of a higher social status and can afford it. if organic food is going to save the planet - we need to change our habits. there is no way we can produce enough organic food to feed the entire US - people would have to eat alot less.

as for meat - i think the best kind is the kind my father in law grows in his back yard and the kind my husband hunts and fishes. i dont like meat anyways - if you are worried about treatment of animals or the effects that livestock production has on the environment you probably should be a vegetarian - or just eat less meat. If we didn't eat as much meat as we do, there wouldn't as much of a demand (simple economics), therefore less would have to be produced - which would limit the need for CAFOs - which would limit the amount of corn needed to be produced - which would limit all this worry about organics. just because it says the chickens are free range does not mean they actually go outside. Many times beef labeled as organic is fed organic feed - its not let outside to roam - and if it does get organic privileges, chances are that lasts only for a few months while it's a baby. The books food politics and the omnivores dilemma have good coverage of this subject.

so basically im back to where i started. we need to eat less. we need to get back to growing our own food. we need to pay attention to what we are eating instead of paying more money to the grocery store so we can feed better about ourselves by buying organic food.

Thanks for your comment! hope you come back to made in oregon soon.