Special to The Ethicurean, by Barry Foy
Agribusiness stocks rose sharply today, following the announcement this morning of a new process that transforms conventionally raised produce into organic, instantly and at almost no cost.
News of the discovery reached the Washington Post just after midnight, in a press release from a little-known group called Favoring the Right of Americans to a Wholesome Diet. The organization’s letterhead describes it as “A Spontaneous, Grassroots Coalition of Real Americans, Just Like You and Your Neighbors, with No Links to Food Industry Giants Such as Monsanto, Kraft, or Smithfield.”
President Bush reacted swiftly, issuing an executive order mandating application of the process to all of the country’s produce. Explaining his quick response, he said, “Being a no-brainer, I didn’t see the point of tying up the Congress in another divisive debate. Not that this would have been divisive.” There is some uncertainty as to what “no-brainer” referred to; reporters are awaiting clarification from the White House.
By lunchtime, a contract for nationwide implementation of the procedure had been awarded to yet another grassroots group, the Halliburton Corporation, following what officials described as “fiercely competitive” bidding that pitted Halliburton against an Elks Club Lodge in Akron, Ohio, and the employees of the Shine-Rite Car Detailing Center in Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, precise details of the new technology have been slow to emerge. One industry observer speculated that it might involve a novel use of ultraviolet light; another hinted at a previously undiscovered side-effect of shrink-wrapping.
As for potential safety concerns, a man interviewed in the White House Rose Garden urged citizens to give the matter as little thought as possible: “Believe me,” he said, “it’s really complicated and scientific—you couldn’t possibly understand.” Asked who he was, the man would say only that he “happened to be walking past the White House and ducked in to use the restroom. And by the way, I have no links to food industry giants such as Monsanto, Kraft, or Smithfield.”
The office of the Vice President has promised to disclose specific information very soon, assuming that none of it impinges on national security.
Seattle writer Barry Foy is the author of The Devil's Food Dictionary. Photo credit: iStockPhoto.