Editor’s Note: I think you should read this editorial and I think you should share and discuss it. No, I don’t consider myself to be a hippy, a flake, or a nut. Neither am I a health professional, farmer, or dietician. I’m just a fellow foodie interested in making a change. Take from this information what you will and discard the rest. Thank you for your time and attention.
As you recall, not long ago I was asked to become a Contributing Blogger for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s blog, The Sweete Potato. The blog is a communication and educatation. I’m looking forward to being a part of their volunteer writing team and to seeing the Pee Dee represented through PeeDeeFoodie.com being listed on their growing blogroll.
Since then, I shared some thoughts post about the importance of buying LOCAL FOOD. Today, I thought I would share this additional information from the CFSA website about ORGANIC FOOD.
Despite the confusing reports that have hit the media recently, organic foods are simply better choices for most of us. I’d argue that is true for all of us.
Why organically-grown foods? Because as the CFSA states, when we buy organically-grown foods I believe that we also …
I. Promote Stringent Standards
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures that protect you and the environment.
II. Reduce Health Risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth, water, and our bodies.
III. Improve Soil Health
Soil health is essential for the survival of our species. Conventional farming practices are rapidly depleting topsoil fertility. Creating and sustaining healthy soils is the major objective for organic growers.
IV. Protect the Environment
Soil erosion; pesticide contamination of soils, air, and water; nitrate loading of waterways and wells; and elimination of planetary biodiversity are some of the problems associated with today’s conventional farming methods. Organic farmers use practices that protect soil, air, and water resources; and that promote biodiversity.
V. Protect Farm Families and Workers
Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic materials, making the farm a safer place to live and work.
VI. Inspire Better Farming
The success of organic agriculture encourages farmers to use sound, sensible stewardship to help even depleted lands regain productivity. They have led the way with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.
VII. Pass on the Stewardship Ethic
When you buy locally produced organic food you help raise awareness among your friends and family about how food consumption decisions can make a difference in your life and the life of your community.
A WORD ABOUT COST
To many people “organic” equals “expensive,” at least in their minds. I have to admit that I’ve had that mindset in the past as well. In some cases that equation proves accurate, but that is starting to change as supplies increase. But supplies aside, think about the costs of maintenance prescriptions, copayments, and monthly insurance costs, most of which could be reduced through healthier eating and through ingestion of fewer chemical- and pesticide-laced meals. I’m not even going to get into GMO crops, as that’s a subject for another day and that day is coming. Food cost must be looked at in total, not solely on the grocery receipt.
Going forward, I’m going to try to walk that talk whenever I can. I probably won’t all the time, especially when I eat out as organic food in restaurants is somewhat hard to come by. That said, I’m going to try. Will you?
A CALL TO ACTION
If after you read the list above from the CFSA, you decided to make the same commitment that I have please share the list with your family and friends. Send them an email, post it on Facebook, or tweet it out.
Why am I writing this? Because after some recent health issues, I realized that change in our diets only happens when we make a decision and then act on it. The writing of this editorial is part of my action plan. What’s yours?
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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