While the word ‘organic’, like many English words, has several main and many minor meanings, one of its principal meanings in recent years has come to describe foods. More and more of the global food supply is dominated by ‘factory farming’ methods, vastg and mechanized, utilizing an every growing assortment of biologically toxic materials called ‘pesticides’, ‘herbicides’, ‘fungicides’, etc. The point of all these manufactured chemicals is to kill life forms selectively. We take on pure faith that they are not harmful to human or animal life. They are disseminated broadly and enter the ecosystems non-selectively, and are eventually consumed by the ‘non-pest’ species, including ourselves.
Are they in fact safe? We feel that they are not. Biologially toxic chemicals are just that, biologically toxic. The notion that one can be selective about what biological forms are effected is folly, perpertrated by the business and government interests.
Organic foods are foods grown to every possible extent without the use of such biologically toxic chemicals, and without the use of artificially manufactured, petro-chemical based fertilizers. These foods take advantage of complex processes of diversity, natural pest control, and a host of other ideas (see Permaculture). They are healthier both since they do not contain toxic chemicals, and because their nutritional value has been shown to be higher than conventionally farmed produce bred for ‘shelf life’ and appearance instead of flavor and nutririon.
The message on this page is simple. Eat organic foods. Yes, they cost a bit more. But the alternative, the cost of treating and bearing ill health, including cancers, as well as the cost to wildlife, some of which we choose to view from our limited perspective as ‘pest species’, is far higher. Compared to many of the things we throw our money away for nowadays, the slightly higher cost of switching to organic foods (slowly or quickly) is minor.
What’s the tie-in with the global warming problem? There are millions upon millions of barrels of fossil fuels used annually worldwide in the ‘factory farming’ of our ‘conventional’, non-organic food supply, both for highly mechanized cultivation, harvest and processing methods, and for the production, transportation, and application of the toxic chemicals used in the ‘conventional’ food business. The more organic food you eat, the less fossil fuel is used, the smaller your personal ‘carbon footprint’ becomes.
Subscribe for free online to the Organic Consumers Association newsletter for starters.