my organic debate
So eating organic has really started to become a trend…
and while it is great that more and more people are becoming keen to eating organic food, it creates other concerns. If the market is demanding organic, food practices will slowly begin to change, which is HUGE, but my concern is that ‘organic’ is becoming a buzz word that people don’t necessarily understand. There is a lot more to the picture.
Many people think that because they are buying something organic, or ‘natural,’ then it is healthy.
However, processed organic foods aren’t necessarily healthy, nor are they supporting the environment. Yes, the organic growing practices of the grains used for organic cereals is better than that of conventional, but the focus should be on organic produce. Not only that, but local and organic produce that isn’t putting a strain on the environment through energy used in processing and shipping.
One of the biggest things that people ask me is, “organic or local…which do you think is better?”
I try to answer this in the best way that I can. I always try to opt for local foods as my top priority, but I also get to know my farmers and their practices. Most small farms do not have the money to be certified organic, but could be using organic practices or practices that are even better than the USDA organic standards. The cool thing about buying from local farmers and farmers markets is that you are buying directly from the farmer, so you are connected to your food in a much deeper way then when you buy food at a store. You can talk with your farmer and have a personal experience in buying your food. The dirty dozen and clean fifteen from the EWG also give you a good basis of when you should be more stringent with your organic buying choices.
One of my biggest dilemmas with organic is large food companies and corporations suddenly putting out a trendy little organic line, to go with their already popular products.
For instance, sunsweet has an organic line of prunes, one that is conventional but without preservatives, their normal prunes, and then they have ones that you can buy that are individual pre-packaged in little “candy wrappers.” Now, while I do like the idea of making a dried fruit your “candy,” this company is showing conflicted ideas.
They have an organic line, which shows some concern with sustainability since organic growing methods are much better for our health and the environment. However, it seems more as though it is just a gimmick to make more money, especially when they have just the opposite of sustainable when creating a product that is producing more trash than necessary with individually wrapped prunes. This is just one company that I am pointing out, but there are many more. I obviously can’t say that they are definitely using their organic line for purposes of charging more for the “trendy” item, but this seems to be more and more viable as the organic trend reaches more and more people.
So, my question to others and myself is, do we feel better about buying organic when the companies we are purchasing from may have ulterior motives for their organic line? My choices in buying organic aren’t just for my health, but also the environment and sustainability. Are these companies slowly switching over to a more sustainable practice or is it just a gimmick?
These are really important questions for me to ask myself and others. There is so much more to organic than just less chemicals. My goal is to buy the most sustainable and healthy product available to me through the most sustainable and aware companies who aren’t just “going green” to market better or make more money. I want to buy from local farmers and companies that are going green because they understand the need for it and want to do what’s best for the environment and people around them, not just their wallets.