All too often I hear people speaking of the whole “organic” approach as some sort of hoax. There are websites that support this theory as well. I would like to offer a few posts that will offer you some much needed information that will guide you in your decision making process. Most importantly, I would like to mention that although many negative opinions are supported by the claim that organic food does not taste better and that it does not offer a better nutritional profile; this is not the issue at hand. The issue is this: conventional food is often laden with chemicals, genetically modified food products and artificial ingredients that are not supposed to be in our food or in our body- plain and simple. If we are going to create a powerful approach to our health and well-being, then it would stand to reason that we need to “feed” ourselves food that is not tainted with ingredients that are, well… not “food”. Over the next week or so I will post a few blogs with some interesting information regarding the ongoing conversation regarding the organic dilemma.
The Organic Movement
The definition and public perception of organic has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. What was once laughed at and considered unnecessary by many has become the buzzword of the 21st century. Why has this happened? Some say it is strange, how all of sudden the concept of everything organic has hit the scene. However, I feel that as more and more illnesses are linked each day to our daily chemical exposure, it would be unusual if the general public did not start jumping on board. There are so many studies linking pesticide exposure to so many of the illnesses we are faced with in our very “modern” lives. We find ourselves in a confusing world where the food we are placing in our shopping cart to support our health can actually be complicating our body’s ability to maintain homeostasis- which puts our health and longevity on the chopping block.
Years ago I was at a local Farmer’s Market and there were beautiful strawberries on the table. I asked the man at the booth if they were organic, and he reassured me that they were. He said that there was a joke among farmers that conventional strawberries are so full of chemicals that you can grind them up and use them as a pesticide. I don’t know how accurate that information is, but it definitely makes you think. The organic awareness movement has taken hold in this country because people are becoming more in tune with the balance of nature. Historically organic farms were family run businesses that were handed down through the generations. What wasn’t needed to feed the family was sold to the local community at farmer’s markets as it was harvested, so storage and long distance transportation was not a concern. Chemicals were not used as often and natural products were used to protect and fertilize their crop. This still holds true for many small local farms today. If you cannot buy organic, but have a family run farm nearby, it is a much better option than anything grown conventionally. When we purchase from local farmers, even though it may not be “technically” organic, it is still a much better option than buying conventional produce at the supermarket. There are many ways to ensure that the food you are purchasing is actually safe to eat. It is sad that we have come to this, but we have, and so it is our duty as guardians of the next generation to kick through all the confusion and try and make sense of it all.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.” Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
The USDA is involved in the organic movement and their opinion, approach and level of involvement can be explored by visiting their website page: USDA National Organic Program