A major Canadian supermarket has had to recall some of its organic baby food. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a warning that some President’s Choice Organics baby food might be rancid. As a result, President’s Choice has voluntary recalled some if its PC Organic Infant Cereals.

Considering the little ones eating this food and their still developing immune systems, this is a serious concern. But parents, people – all of us – should always give food a good smell before eating it.

A woman I know in Montreal lost her sense of smell after giving birth. It was just one of those weird body-things that happen. It took years for it to return. In the meantime, her one greatest concern was not being able to smell foods before she gave it to her (by then) toddler.

Unless you’ve lost your sense of smell, check food first. Always. And especially if you didn’t make it yourself.

Food goes off. Packaging can be compromised. No one wants it, but it happens.

From the comments that follow the article that I read on CBC.ca, people are worked up and swearing off organics. In my view this is both ridiculous and reactionary.

Organic food goes off faster than processed foods precisely because it is not filled with chemical preservatives that artificially extend shelf life. If you choose to eat organic, it is likely because you want to avoid these preservatives.

We’ve become so accustomed to assuming food is always safe that we have forgotten (or are too busy, distracted, what have you) to simply use common sense.

Check the expiry dates, check the packaging, and give food a good sniff before you heat and before you eat. And let’s hope no one is seriously hurt by this.

Walmart goes organic. This has been so in the States for a few years now and in Canada for about one year. The articles are out there, but what does it mean to the organic movement?

This was brought up at the Canadian Organic Growers conference closing panel discussion this past weekend.

You might be forgiven if your first reaction to Walmart and organic is one of cynicism. But step back for a moment and consider the following.

If the organic movement is entering the mainstream, it will reach more people, some of whom may never have eaten an organic anything before.

This could be a first step for many new eaters.

It also means more fields will be devoted to chemical-free farming, and more square kilometres of our country’s soil will be able to heal.

Will this change the organic movement? Only time will tell. It may well weaken the movement. After all, Walmart’s reputation of low-balling businesses out of business is unlikely to change. Could this then put organic farms out of business?

I say that if we want to heal out systemically ailing (and failing) food supply chain, we need to start somewhere. I’m choosing to see this as a sign of the organic movement’s success.

The new agriculture is growing ecologically, socially and financially. If organics goes mainstream, really mainstream, and therefore becomes more affordable (and attracts even more followers), then perhaps the hard(er) core grassroots folks among us could then turn our attention to the embattled fight against GMOs, which our current organic standards do not even consider.

Just a thought.