Is Jordan Rubin’s Beyond Organic a Scam?

by Joanne on October 22, 2011

in Food and Nutrition


A stratagem for gain; a swindle.

Toxic Milk

One of the Yahoo Groups I belong to contained a link to an article on the Body Ecology website. The article is titled Is Milk Making You Sick? The Modern Dangers of Milk You Must Be Aware Of. Sounds ominous. The article explains that beta-casein A1 in milk from common dairy breeds is toxic. Whoa! Does that mean that any dairy I buy in America is poisoning me?

Amasi to the Rescue

But there’s hope! The goods news is that Amasi, a fermented “healing beverage” from ancient lines of African cattle is free of this poison. But there’s only one company in America that sells it. Thank goodness, there’s a link to that company, ’cause I wants me some o’ dat. (I note that the link includes the website owner’s “enroller” number.)

Sign Up to Be an “Independent Mission Marketer”

The link takes me directly to a signup page for Jordan Rubin’s multi-level marketing company Beyond Organic, and a video pops up explaining why I should join. (You’ll have to click on the video on the right, because I’m not an enroller and the video therefore won’t pop up). Here’s part of the video’s message along with my commentary.

You Can Change Your Life and Even Your World

What If you only ate wholesome, farm-fresh foods?

Sounds good so far. I’m into that.

Trading out your conventional products for foods that come straight from the farm and can contribute to a healthier life, not to mention the lasting impact it would have on our agriculture and our environment. One change in your diet can change your life and even your world. That’s the vision of Beyond Organic.

Wow! What a great vision. I bought half a cow, half a pig and a lamb from farmers no further than 50 miles from my home. The farmer 50 miles away was only 5 miles away from the farmer who provides my cat food. I get raw milk and cheese from Showman Farms in Edinboro, a lovely drive unless it’s winter and snowing. I’m happy to buy locally when possible.

Beyond Organic is a virtual farmers’ market providing you with the highest quality organic food staples.

But not providing me with any product or shipping prices prior to signing up. (But I note that the healthful Amasi has been changed to Amasai&#8482 and trademarked.)

But instead of going through a middleman, Beyond Organic brings these pure whole foods and beverages directly to you, straight from the farm to your front door, making an organic, sustainable lifestyle more accessible and convenient than ever.

I have to say, that is pretty convenient (sustainable, not so much). Not as convenient as buying a chest freezer and filling it with a side of beef. I have only to walk downstairs to the basement for that. And it’s cheaper than buying off the Internet. But I would love to avoid driving to the farm for my water. Oh wait, I get my water from my kitchen tap or, if I want to drive, from numerous sources found through Find a Spring.

As the name implies, these foods and beverages aren’t just organic. They’re, well, beyond. Beyond Organic foods are grown as God intended: no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers or other environmental pollutants. And of course they’re not genetically modified.

Aren’t those already the requirements of food certified as organic?

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. What is organic food? — USDA

So how is Beyond Organic’s organic food, well, beyond? And how do you conserve water when you’re shipping it all over the nation?

Beyond Organic foods are fair made, meaning your local farmer gets a fair cut of the deal.

Okay, this outright LIE is why I wrote this blasphemous, nonconformist post! The Beyond Organic website FAQ states:

We have our very own “Beyond Organic” standards of raising and slaughtering animals…As far as we know, we are the only 100% GreenFed™ ranch to combine all of these standards…For the last two years, we have been working on the infrastructure needed to support the production and distribution of the Beyond Organic products. There is also a plan in place for the company to continue to acquire more land, cattle and increase production capacity…All products will be shipped directly from our distribution center in Kansas City to your home

They have their own standards, and they’re the only ones complying with them. And everything ships out of Kansas City. So unless you live near Kansas City, none of the money you spend will go to your local farmer. (Just how did Jordan Rubin magically become my local farmer?)

Beyond Organic meat and dairy comes from Green-Fed&#8482 cattle, and our certified organic farms and ranches never feed grain or administer antibiotics, hormones, or vaccines, and they use Biblical slaughter methods.

How cute! He trademarked another term. What’s the difference between grass-fed and Green-Fed&#8482? Changing the name (and cleverly trademarking it) doesn’t stop abuse. If you want beef that ate only grass, buy “grass-finished” beef. I see no reason to trust Rubin over my local farmer whose farm I can actually visit.

My understanding is that Kosher methods require the animal to be conscious as its throat is slit and it bleeds out. Unless you’re Jewish, I don’t see the upside here. The side of beef I bought received no antibiotics, hormones or vaccines (or so the farmer tells me) and it was humanely dispatched with a bullet to the head. I saw the grass it was eating in summer, and I saw all the grass that was harvested, dried and stored for its winter feed.

Is Beyond Organic a Scam?

Do a search of “Is Beyond Organic a Scam?” and you’ll find all sorts of sites telling you it isn’t. But click on their link to the site and note the “enroller” number. Of course it’s not a scam to them; they’re hoping to cash in.

Multi-Level Marketing Turns You Into an Asshole

Have you ever been a member of an MLM? Here’s how it works. You pay a fee to sign up. This gets you discounts on the product. But the greatest wealth of this so-called self-employment opportunity occurs when you sign others up under you (but the fee is higher).

So first you go through your address book and contact all your friends about this marvelous opportunity. You cajole your family into buying something from you. Most of them become annoyed; some begin to avoid your company.

Then you get really obnoxious. You start cold calling. You purchase literature to hand out (or at least a set of business cards). Maybe you plaster people’s cars with flyers.

You start approaching strangers. Everybody becomes a potential “opportunity” to recruit into your downline. You try to turn every conversation to the subject matter to your “business.” But it’s so draining and demeaning that all your meager profit goes to buying cassettes and books on sales and keeping an upbeat attitude. Any Amway marketer can tell you they have drawers of cassettes to keep them on track.

A very clever Internet marketer might be able to pull it off with his or her own website. Unfortunately…

It seems that not only do independent Mission Marketers have to risk being potentially squashed by big business, but that Beyond Organic itself seems rather hell bent on making its members marketing campaigns an extremely difficult task. — Marketing Beyond Organic more trouble than it’s worth?

Obnoxious MLMers

You’ll also consume a lot of product, because you “believe in it,” and you want everyone to know it. (You also have to convince your subconscious mind that all the money and effort you plow into the venture is worth it.)

I went to a weekend financial seminar attended by a lot of MLMers. One lady sat next to me. She spritzed herself with her special water. She took a pill assisted down her throat with her special water. Then spritzed again. I’m trying to listen to the speaker and this woman was a bustle of marketing activity. She naturally tried to recruit me.

I moved to another seat and another very friendly woman with special stones sat next to me. She told all about their magical qualities, and when I said I wasn’t interested, she ignored me.

Then there’s the gal years ago at Costco who sat across from me while we ate lunch. I couldn’t believe how friendly she was. My faith in humankind was renewed. She asked what I did for a living, and I told her about my new word processing business. She told me she had a lot of friends she could refer to me. Meanwhile, she wanted to send me something. Turned out to be another MLM and I declined the opportunity. Of course, no one was ever referred to me.

This brings up another event. I was with a friend at the mall. A woman got to talking with him, and he came back telling me how friendly she was. She got his phone number and told him she’d call him. He was looking forward to a date with this vivacious woman.

I asked him, “Did she tell you about any opportunity she was involved with that she wanted to share with you?” As a matter of fact, yes. Then it all clicked. My friend understood why she was so friendly (and why her sister kept rolling her eyes). Then he got furious. Yes, a subsequent phone call confirmed she was an MLMer.

It’s Not About Changing the World–It’s About Greed, His and Yours

Beyond Organic appeals to that which is best within us: our desire for small-scale, local agriculture, a nontoxic world and a clean, nutritious dinner table. But it also appeals to our greed.

If you have lots of gullible friends, Jordan Rubin invites you to become a “Beyond-Organic Mission Marketer” so you can help spread the Good word! He says you can “cultivate” your own community of online subscribers, and if you sign up enough people for his “magical” grocery grab-bag of “organic” foodstuffs, you’ll get your groceries for free! — Mischa Popoff

TANSTAAFL, folks! Somebody has to pay. If you’re successful, that’ll be your downline, but you’ll have to be really, really successful. I hope you don’t have a day job.

NOT Sustainable

Listen, I have no beef (no pun intended) with entrepreneurs filling a need. What I do object to is lying to people to do it.

How does my local farmer get a fair cut of the deal?

How sustainable is the fossil fuel required to truck product across the nation?

How sustainable is drawing water from Missouri aquifers and shipping it to your front door?

How sustainable are all the temperature controlled boxes and dry ice required to ship this stuff?

And how sustainable is diverting your dollars from your local economy to M Frikkin’ City?!!!

True Sustainability and Community Building

Do you want grass-fed beef sustainably raised? Then to go Eat Wild and find a farmer in your neighborhood. Or visit Local Harvest to find local farmers’ markets, dairy, eggs, and produce. Learn how to make your own cheese and get a water filter or find a local spring.

You want to give to charity? Then give. You don’t need to join Beyond Organic to do that.

Beyond Organics is about selling beef, dairy and water from Missouri and lining the pockets of Jordan Rubin. When I was first introduced to Beyond Organic I thought I smelled a rat. But what I smell is BO!

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