Full Circle brand, and a little soapboxing from moi

My neighborhood fancy pants grocery store started carrying Full Circle products a few months back. And how did I live before that? Let’s see, I’ve bought Full Circle cappellini, soy milk, and dried pinto beans. All of these have been perfectly good quality (not just acceptable – but honestly good) at a very decent price – almost always lower than the other organic brands by weight.

Mind you, the Full Circle products are “organic” by U.S.D.A. standards, which farmers establish via a compliance or audit model – the USDA inspects them to see if they meet the standard. These are not as stringent as the California Certified Organic Farmers standard, which is used to establish a high level of quality in order to create a strong brand for certified farmers. The CCOF basically arm-wrestled the State of California into being the vanguard for the organic foods arena in the U.S.A. Hey, I can’t be the only one who thinks the CCOF’s history page is a fun read! The CCOF story touches me because it’s just some people with pie-in-the-sky ideals who made their dreams come true – about vegetables no less!!! The Consumer Reports people have put together a site if you want to learn more about the controversies around organic food standards.

Hey, I grew up in an agricultural town. I saw people working in fields and crops. I know that somebody picked each lettuce that went into my Caesar salad.I don’t always buy organic. But it feels great to support businesses that operate in a healthier way – beneficial for humans and other living things.

OK, jumping off the soapbox now!

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5 responses to “Full Circle brand, and a little soapboxing from moi

  1. I looked at the Topco website. Topco is a cooperative owned by “members” that was started as the Food Cooperative in 1944 by market chains trying to provide products during a time of wartime shortages. In 1950 they merged with Top Frost, another cooperative, to form Topco. At least some of the members’ logos are shown on http://www.topco.com/membr_ownr.htm and appear to be market chains like Piggly Wiggly, Shaws, IGA, Wild Oats and many others. Through the Topco cooperative they conceive brands like Top Crest, Food Club, Paws, Full Circle and others that seem similar to what I think of as generic brands. For instance here in New England we have Big Y which features the World Classics brand foods like olive oil, pastas and semi-gourmet-quality products at lower prices and comparable quality to the big name brands. Big Y also sells Top Care, Top Crest, Paws and Full Circle products. Full Circle appears to be the members’ attempt to capitalize on the organic food demand. In the process they are mainstreaming organic foods and increasing demand for organic farmers’ products. However, because their organic standard is USDA rather than the higher CA standard they are providing an affordable but less than optimum choice to the consumer. Personally, I like the FC products I’ve tried so far and wish the brand well. Being a child of the 60s it’s like something we dreamed of to see organics in the other carts at the supermarket checkout line.

  2. As a family living in a somewhat rural area, we’re just thrilled to see *any* organic food on the shelf, whether is USDA or CCOF. Full Circle is a welcome addition! Only one store here is interested in carrying organic and specialty foods — the other stores in the area could care less. We have kids with severe food allergies who need allergen-free foods, which are so hard to find. A Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods would be great, but they go for urban areas with larger populations. So thank goodness for this one store here that’s willing to carry alternative foods, both organic and specialty. And yes, all Full Circle foods we’ve tried have been good.

  3. Sorry to have such a loooong delay to my reply! I found Full Circle products at Food City, a regional grocery chain with stores in VA, TN, and NC.

  4. Keep it up, bookmarked and referred some mates.

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