We had a lovely morning at the Downtown Grower’s Market on Saturday. We found a nice spot in the shade and lounged for most of the morning, talked to friends, listened to music, watched all the kids playing and dancing, and bought fresh, locally grown, organic produce.
We’re often asked why we eat organic food. And then I find myself thinking: why do I feel the need to defend my preference for eating organic food? I would like to turn this question around and respond with, “Why do you eat food sprayed with synthetic, toxic chemicals?” If anyone can explain that to me, please do (seriously, there is a place to leave comments to this blog). I can only imagine that the answers fall somewhere between (a) I don’t think about what is in/on my food or where it comes from beyond the grocery store/restaurant and (b) it is cheaper than organic food.
I sincerely believe the adage: You are what you eat. So, it is difficult for me to imagine NOT thinking about where food comes from…it an essential, existential element of life. But I suppose it is much easier not to think about these things…once you swallow the red pill, you can’t go back. Examining and changing our own habits may not be appealing to everyone. Plus, there is always the danger of over-analyzing things, as my good friend Jessie does a nice job of describing in her recent post. Nevertheless, in my humble opinion, the risks are worth it. It is only when we acknowledge the realities of the world we live in that we have any power to change it. The truth will set you free. And, it might piss you off, but even that can be a good thing, as long as you keep things in perspective (again, see Jessie’s post), because then you may be motivated to make changes for the better.
As for the other end of the spectrum: it [non-organic food] is cheaper than organic food. A simple comparison of direct costs from the grocery store would lead one to this conclusion. But there are many hidden costs of “cheap food”: the true costs of monoculture; synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; genetically modified foods; lower nutritional value; reduced biodiversity…the list goes on. Then there is the effect on your health: eating cheap, fake food is clearly NOT good for your health. Eating real, high quality, organic food is clearly much better for you and goes a long way towards reducing your health care costs. And, does anyone really believe it is possible to produce a hamburger for less than $1?
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, I now have a new answer for why I eat organic food. That is, because ALL the pregnancy books tell me to! (Really, don’t I strike you as the type to follow directions and do whatever I am told without questioning anything? Convincing, I know.)
Seriously, every single pregnancy book I have (and several of the more main-stream pregnancy books that I don’t have) advises pregnant women to eat organic food. This is repeated multiple times throughout each book. Here are a couple direct quotes: “Eat foods from clean, healthy sources, preferably fresh foods that are organically grown” and “Eat organic foods whenever possible“.
So, if eating organic food is recommended for pregnant ladies, don’t you think it is good for you, too?