Monday, June 05, 2006

Why do you eat organic?

I saw the CBS 60 minutes segment on the CEO of Whole Foods. There is a bias against executives and big business for sure. After everything from Enron to Martha Stewart, we can't help but cast a weary eye on all corporate executives including the ones Costco and Whole Foods have. But as I watched the segment, the camera was out in a huge field with migrant workers on giant combines that are cutting spinach to be sold with the organic stamp and for a fleeting moment, I thought nothing more than about the health of those workers. Under 'normal' conditions, these are the people that are most exposed to the toxins that are sprayed on our food - spinach being one of the most heavily sprayed crops. But they don't have to wear masks like they used to. That is the reason I buy organic. The media portrays organic as being elitist. Yet the only thing that makes farmers and middle Americans hesitate (in medias eyes) is that this is an expensive move. Does the New York Times really want us to believe that farmers prefer pesticides on their food? The fact is, farming, like mining, is not an easy way to make a living but it is damn respectable and anything that we can do to help increase the safety and health of these people needs to be called 'progress'. We should not be looking for shortcuts but instead, look for ways to help the local farmers not only stay in business but be considered key conttributors to their local region.

Yeah, I'm open to trying new foods and that may make me 'elitist' but honestly, nothing tastes better than a tomato picked right off the vine and the smell of the leaves that rub on your hands. That to me is the essence of organic farming. It is the small farmer working with a corporation to distribute their whole food product while still making an honest living.


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