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Re: Compost Tea and Organics
Hello wytze & other saneters following this thread,
Friday, November 15, 2002 you said:
w> We may disagree less than at first thought,
w> it's just i have grown a little bit allergic to the word haccp.
Allergy's stem from hypersensitivity.
w> I do not claim to be a haccp expert either, but I came across
w> haccp since it was developed and introduced when my little
w> business was active and I saw trouble was coming with haccp for
w> small companies like mine.
w> I am not against the risk analysis part of haccp per se. My
w> biggest problems are with the solutions that are being prescribed
w> and by the way haccp is implemented. I'll try to explain:
w> to my understanding it was originally the WHO who asked for a
w> haccp system including the primary sector, so really from the
w> land to the plate of the consumer. Quite soon in the political
w> process the primary production phase was emitted, so haccp would
w> start as soon as the products came form the land. I agree with
w> what Allen said about this. It can lead to the situation that a
w> completely polluted piece of meat is being handled with all kind
w> of extreme hygiene measures.
That to me is very un-HACCP-like way of doing things.
w> One has to make sure that this piece of meat is stored and
w> transported at a certain temperature strictly etc. Also, certain
w> cleaning materials have to be used and one can't use organic
w> cleaning materials under haccp. Certain old ways of producing
w> foods like are no longer allowed under haccp.
In that case, we are going to adapt HACCP principles to our own
criteria. If HACCP can focus on toxic residues (which it can and
should), a better HACCP will be the result. As I understand it,
HACCP is not like ISO, that has to be administered or supervised by
someone in the ISO club; HACCP to me is a discipline that can be
applied by the people who use it.
w> Here you have to think for example about smoking foods on certain
w> types of wood. Some of these old practices (used safely for
w> hundreds, if not thousands of years) are just not allowed under
Who's HACCP? You are describing a very unenlightened HACCP
w> You can also think about food products that use raw ingredients.
w> So, in the sphere of solutions it is all based on a kind of
w> conventional chemical-scientific thinking.
We will do our own risk evaluation and set up a program based on our
w> Concerning the risk analysis procedure, I think one has to watch
w> out for similar faulty scientific thinking in defining what are
w> risks. I do agree with identifying risks and I do agree this
w> should start with the primary producers. If I get clean, healthy
w> seeds and foods, I do not need to take all kind of extra measures
w> in order to not produce contaminated foods.
That is true.
w> If the eggs I get are healthy, I need to worry less when I use
w> them raw.
w> And if they are not I can do what I want and still be not safe.
The same is true with milk. Pasteurizing fecal material along with
milk form tubercular cows is not the solution.
w> When my little seed company turned in a catering service I always
w> used 90- 95% organic ingredients. I never had one problem with
w> food poisining and I know cause I worked in an office where I saw
w> the people everyday. Only once there was a small incident and
w> that could be traced back to a non-organic cheese, which was
w> bought at the market in a week during summer when it was hot. The
w> person affected appeared to be in bad health also so all in all
w> it was a very minor incident.
w> I never did haccp but I did observe the advises given to
w> kitchen exploiters: be careful with meat (separate it) do not put
w> very hot and very cold foods to close next to each other and
w> things like that.
It's a rules based method that deals with known threats. It tries to
insure that good practices are developed, and good will mean what WE
intend it to mean.
w> Now, with haccp, I have a problem. If I would want to produce
w> foods for some company, most if not all will ask for haccp
w> For the price alone I could not afford it
You are talking about something administered from someone outside of
your operation. My impression was that HACCP is a discipline anyone
w> and besides, I refuse to be obliged to use chemical cleaning
w> material when I know organic ones are just fine.
If the organic ones do the job, that can be demonstrated and
included in your implementation.
w> Concerning compost teas, I learned from the information posted
w> here that only in specific cases there can be a problem. Also the
w> way of how to avoid the problem is known. What more do you need?
First of all, I'm focusing on the properties that compost tea is
said to possess. These properties are provided by microorganisms. I
want to know more about the microorganisms and the substances they
produce. Compost is simply a medium, an environment that's apt for
the growth of these organisms. There may be other ways to cultivate
them. So what I am interested in is cultivating these beneficial
microorganisms and applying them to my propagative material, crops
and the land itself, whether through compost, compost teas or an
inoculant production tank.
Beyond that, remember the melon growers problem I mentioned. Less
industrialized countries have a particular problem when shipping
food to the USA. At whatever point our market share begins to
threaten the major players (the ones with the well known brand
names), we will become potential targets for being smeared for
something that may not even be true.
Running a series of HACCP-like checks will allow us to demonstrate
that our products left our premises and arrived in a state free of
pathogens. This will help defend us against any unwarranted attacks
or intentionally planted contamination.
w> Learning more about how a certain process works, after you know
w> it is a safe process, is not really haccp but just more learning
w> about how something works. I hope I made a bit clear how I look
w> at it.
You had a run in with HACCP implementations that were simply
additional manifestations of the root of the problem.
In that case, if the acronym HACCP has been co-opted the way organic
and ISO have, if we can't adapt it to our own criteria, knowledge
and experience, we'll just call it something else.