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I’d just love to take some time and weigh in on this debate, but, alas, I do not have the time right now. Perhaps after exams I’ll get back to this one. For now, I’ll give you some idea of where I stand:
– There is no convincing research to back up the argument that organic foods are significantly healthier than inorganic foods (recent study). Therefore, this should not be used as an excuse for going organic. Rather, the environmental hazards of pesticides and fertilizers and the inherent dangers of monocropping (a practice often associated with inorganic farming) are, for me, better reasons for making this decision. However, even these arguments have been contested as they are often generalizations and fear inducing tactics used by well-meaning advocates who choose to avoid the research. The following post on Skeptic’s Dictionary provides quite a formidable position on the “truth” about organic farming. Warning: Skeptic’s Dictionary is often as slanted as the positions they oppose, however they do what most green-peace advocates and “neo-hippies” fail to do, they cite good scientific evidence to back their arguments.
– “Organic” is a branded catch phrase that stinks of green marketing and has divided consumer loyalties between the ‘beatniks’ and the environmentally neglectful. Shame on you Branding. If you’re super vigilant of product labels than make sure you know what you’re looking for. The word “organic” stamped across your zucchini shouldn’t cause the release of endorphines into your bloodstream. Wikipedia has an excellent page dedicated to understanding organic labelling and certification. Canada’s standards for organic certification can be found in here.
– The only way to be absolutely sure about your produce and meat is to befriend a local farmer. For many of you this is not logistically feasible, so you may want to visit your local farmers market and get to know some of the sellers. I personally don’t like buying from supermarkets or department stores unless it’s absolutely necessary. These facilities (an industrial outgrowth of convenience stores I believe) came out of an urban desire for convenience, but they also facilitated consumer passivity. Active, conscientious consumerism is the simple answer to this whole phenomenon, and it begins with getting to know your local agriculture. I just find it counter-intuitive to shop conscientiously from a place that depends on passive consumer culture. Of course, there will always be a place for super-markets, but WHO they’re catering to is the key to change.
My wife and I get our meat from Oulton Farms in Windsor. You can visit all the animals on the farm, so great place for kids. As for produce, we have been getting our produce from Home Grown Organics, but you have to have the lifestyle for it. If you’re a traditional Persian, and like to live outside of what is seasonally available than forget this option.
– Inorganic foods are not infectious. Just because I was handling an ‘inorganic’ apple doesn’t mean you have to wash your hands after shaking mine. That’s just rude!
– Finally, “Injustice” is charging me 5 dollars more for something that is supposedly better for me. Again, kick out the middle-man, go straight to the source. I don’t like being gouged for my mindfulness.
Oh, and if you’re like me and you have a insistent need to define terms and understand the meaning and etymology of words than check out this document. It clarifies the roots of the term “Organic.”