Rampant paranoia about what we eat is just the latest outgrowth of Americans’ fear of food, says on-line columnist Duane Freese. As we rush ahead to buy more and more foods that are “certified” as healthy, Freese confirms what we’ve been saying for years: that it’s probably a good thing to take a look at who’s providing the pricey certification, and whether or not they’re the same people who scared us into buying it in the first place.

“The explosion in popularity of organic food is largely attributable to the barrage of headlines about Mad Cow, growth hormones, foot-and-mouth disease, and other threats to food safety,” offers the CEO of Walnut Acres, an organic-only food industry leader. Freese asks: “Why are Walnut Acres and Greenpeace so interested in stirring up a climate of fear about food?” His answer: because they need something to divert our attention away from them – so we won’t notice that they’re “the real fat cats in the food fight.”