This article examines the organic maple syrup industry in Canada, providing personal anecdote, a brief history of maple production and the underlying practice and philosophy of the organic movement as it applies to maple products. Often thought as inherently organic, modern, industrial maple syrup production includes a number of ways in which concerns may be raised for environment, sustainable farming practices or human health. Through interviews and research, the article presents some possible responses organic practices can make to such concerns, while also questioning whether organic maple production is everything it claims to be. The troubling and continued use of paraformaldehyde by the maple industry, though outlawed in both the U.S. and Canada, is raised, as are the accountability and inspection standards of regulatory bodies, both in conventional and organic maple production. The article concludes with the efforts at sustainability and diversity as practiced by an organic maple farm in New Brunswick and offers the author's personal views on the subject of sustainability and the merits of traditional methods of maple production.
- ©© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ARS, NY.