Organic IS Affordable – One Reader’s View
Hard to describe just how affirming it is to get a truly contemplative email from someone about my newsletter. I invite you to read the email below in response to my last one. Touche, Deborah, and you are spot on!
“Dear Mrs. Green,
It breaks my heart when people support the misinformed viewpoint that organic is “more expensive” than conventional. And, I find it inconsistent with your take no prisoners stance on so many issues.
First, there’s the true cost of food. Does your food keep you healthy, save doctors and medication costs? Does your food support local businesses, like the Food Conspiracy,which keep more money in Tucson and Pima County? Does your food budget roll into the coffers of Monsanto or Tyson? 80 % of seeds grown in the US for Soy, Corn, Cotton, Sugar beets, Canola are Monsanto patented seeds. HFCS and other corn products are pervasive in conventional grocery store foods.
Next there’s connecting the dots. Industrial Food is connected to so many wrongs. ok, not fracking or agent orange. wait, your agent orange article did mention Big Ag, didn’t it? And synthetic fertilizers wash into the Mississippi River watershed, that’s 42% of the continental US, and down into the Gulf of Mexico where they kill seafood. Also, Nitrates poison well water in agricultural areas. Kind of like you said about the fracking. Colony Collapse Disorder has been linked to pesticides of 2 different types. If you purchase from the coop or farmer’s markets, it is so fresh and tasty, you won’t mind going online to find a recipe for dino kale, or whatever the strange seasonal delicacy on a good deal, that you never ate before. The truth is, eating fresh organic seasonal food, the way our grandparents did, is an exercise in recognizing the seasonality of our world. I wait all fall and winter for asparagus to come down in price. Soon after that the peas are crunchy and sweet. Then you wait for the tomatoes to get cheaper and juicier. Then strawberries, peaches, oh yay!
Organic food production and purchase has passed the high water mark long ago where it is not some overpriced, trendy boutiquey item. By eating seasonal, local, organic food, you get the best prices for the most healthful and yummy food.
I love reading your newsletter. My favorite thing is that you are talking to the more mainstream people, who want help learning about being green. Like many people I can get a little bit isolated in my own group of friends. Most of them share my values and are conscious consumers of food, cleaning products, housewares, lightbulbs, vehicles, construction materials–you name it! I think it is really great that you are bringing this information to people who never thought these things or just started to think about it and every time they hear or read you, they really learn stuff that never occurred to them before.
So, I hope you didn’t perceive this as a scolding. I did start a little heavy but I am so frustrated by that long-lived myth. Maybe I should do a price comparison and publish it.
ps. don’t know where you stand on Wal-Mart, but in my opinion their local or organics are neither.”