Hi, Diana The USDA maintains an "approved" list of food items. And most any food with an eco-label, is on the list. The concern here is that the food costs more, when I investigated the issue with the USDA several years ago. Grazing Fields ran into this when we first started up. Jane
Mount Hope Hwy
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824
For information on organic agriculture production please visit: http://www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu/
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From: MI organic growers seeking and offering info and ideas [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diana Jancek
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 2:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: WIC and NO ORGANIC?
Thanks to everyone who replied. I do understand the difference in the
WIC food program, WIC Project Fresh, and the Food Stamp Bridge Program.
I was surprised to see a plastic Bridge Card with WIC stamped on it as I
had not heard that WIC was plastic too. And then when the customer, who
was confused about whether she had a Bridge Card, a WIC card, or both,
told me about the "no organic" rule for the WIC food program I decided
to look into it.
Thanks also to all who sent the link below to the Michigan.gov document
that clearly says "NO ORGANIC" under every allowed food item. Kix,
Frosted Mini-Wheats, and other corn syrup sweetened cereals are allowed,
while organic cereals are not. White eggs only. No organic, cage-free,
free-range Omega 3 or Low Chloresterol eggs allowed. No "organic" tuna?
There is no such thing anyway. Breastmilk is preferred, but no organic
baby formula allowed.
The link again:
I took a trip to the nearest Meijers store with this list. Here are just
a few of the "price differences":
Allowed: Frosted Mini-Wheats (first three ingredients Whole Grain Wheat,
Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup) Price: $3.63/18oz
Not Allowed: Meijer Organic Raisin Brain (all organic, no corn syrup)
Price: 17 oz. $2.99
Allowed: Jif Peanut Butter 18 oz $2.18
Not Allowed: Meijer Organic Peanut Butter 18 oz $2.59
Allowed: Fresh Conventional Carrots 1# $1.30
Not Allowed: Fresh Organic Carrots 1# $.99
Allowed: Conventional White Eggs $1.69
Not allowed: Conventional Brown Eggs $1.89
Allowed: V8 Tomato Juice 46 oz $2.79
Not allowed: Organic Tomato Juice 46 oz. $2.99
In my opinion the price difference is not enough to stop a low-income
mom from being able to purchase what she thinks is a healthier option,
which is what I thought this program was supposed to be about. It almost
seems punitive on the face of it; these are after all the most at-risk
children in our population and we want to restrict their access to foods
free of chemicals in their formative years?
Whatever the reason is, I don't think it's defensible and I certainly
hope enough of us will write to the director and ask that it be changed,
as Michigan is allowed by law to determine which organic items these WIC
eligible moms will be allowed to buy.
Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Please write to:
Alethia Carr, Director, WIC Division
MI Dept of Community Health
2150 Apollo Drive, P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, MI 48909
phone: (517) 335-8951
fax: (517) 335-9444
Toll-free number: 1-800-942-1636
Email: [log in to unmask]
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