i keep running into organic haters. it’s never an overt hatred, but rather, a subtle disgust for people who like the little round label. the argument goes something like this: white snobby upper-class people want to exclude others based on some superfluous criteria that has to do with health or wellness. yeah, that sounds pretty dumb, to me, too. whenever i say something about organic produce, people look at me and moan and say, “it’s soooo expensive!” and i nod back in agreement.

but here’s the deal. you’ve gotta stop and ask the question: if this beef is grass-fed or this tomato is organic, how is everything else raised? the organic label becomes important when you discover the truth behind the alternative.

think about your great grandma. she probably had a vegetable garden, or she bought her produce from someone who did. likewise with her meat: she either raised (and butchered!) it herself, or she went to a market where she could get it fresh and it was probably raised in somebody’s backyard.

  • the seeds for the produce were simply crossed and saved from season to season.
  • natural means were used to control pests, like nets and planting other plants nearby to deter harmful insects.
  • crops and vegetables were rotated to different plots of land to keep from exhausting the soil of its nutrients.
  • the animals were raised in smaller groups and were allowed to live in the sunshine and eat grass and they lived longer lives.

now, contrast this with what you get at the supermarket now. *warning: this is scary!*

  • the vegetables are almost all genetically modified. GMO produce is labeled cryptically and crops are unlabeled.
  • the crops are raised without regard for soil balance and depletion and because of higher yielding seeds, each piece of produce or bushel of grain contains less nutritional value
  • crops and produce are sprayed liberally with highly toxic pesticides which they are resistant to due to genetic modification
  • the animals are raised in confinement, given injections of antibiotics because they are often sick from living too close, they are fed a dead diet of grain, they are bred to grow quickly, produce, and die.

it’s pretty scary. the organic label promises no genetic modification, no injections and no pesticides which makes your food a little closer to the food your grandmother ate. to go beyond that, choose grass-fed beef and free-range poultry. the organic label is not perfect and in some areas (like farm-raised “organic” fish) it is not beneficial, but most of the time it is attempting to restore sane farming techniques to produce good whole healthy food. be picky about what you eat. and if you still think it’s dumb, don’t be a hater.

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