The Classic Argument – Organic Vs. Non-Organic

It’s one of those things that everyone has an opinion on – organic or not organic? And no matter who you are speaking to, you’re bound to get into an argument about it. For instance, about half of the people reading this are going to be “organic is awesome and everyone should do it!” and the other half are going to be “um… why?”

My opinion is that some things you buy should be organic, but I’m poor so that doesn’t matter so much. Pesticides have been linked to some cancers, and growth hormones are the reason the world’s population has become bigger. However, organic food costs more because you are paying for 1/3 of every crop to be eaten by bugs or animals, at least, and they are at the mercy of blight and drought even more than crops that have been genetically modified.

There are some things that don’t need to be organic, such as lemons, oranges, and pineapple. Basically, the items that have a rind because rinds protect the fruit from pests that would ordinarily eat them. If you do buy them “organic,” you’re basically wasting your money.

And one more note, since I’ve been doing some research on the subject. Fair Trade is different than Certified Organic. Many things that are certified organic are also Fair Trade, but the two aren’t always the same. Speaking of which, to be certified organic an item has to be “minimally processed” and contain no added chemicals. Technically, this does not disqualify genetically modified organics (GMOs), of which flour is an unequivocal member. There is not a type of wheat grown today that is not genetically modified, and it makes a difference in our diets, according to the book Wheat Belly.

Fair Trade means that the item was sustain-ably grown and responsibly sourced. That means that when you buy Fair Trade Coffee, for example (like Java City, where I used to work) the beans are purchased from farms that grow beans in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment, the workers, or the local social structure. The farms that produce the beans are also usually treated well. Fair Trade beans tend to be of a higher quality, though that isn’t something that Fair Trade actually means.

But, do you want to know the best way to make sure that the food you eat is organic and ethically grown? Grow it yourself! I’m doing that with my herb garden, and it’s been awesome! I just harvested a bunch of basil – enough that I can make a very small batch of pesto!

What are your thoughts on organics?



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