Making Every Day Earth Day

Sunday April 22nd was Earth Day. One day out of the year when we try to do some­thing nice for Mother earth doesn’t seem like too much. For those of us that weren’t aware of earth day, or not sure of how to observe or cel­e­brate it, here is one way that you can get that Earth Day feel­ing every day.

When strolling up and down the fresh pro­duce aisle in your gro­cery store, you are con­fronted with numer­ous choices, and most often the fac­tors deter­min­ing your selec­tion have to do with appear­ance, prove­nance, price, and farm­ing method­ol­ogy. Often a com­mon denom­i­na­tor found in all of these fac­tors is whether or not the item-whether it is pro­duce, meat or dairy-is organic.

Ironically, organic farm­ing prac­tices have been with us for thou­sands of years, but due to the tech­no­log­i­cal advances of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, with its empha­sis on mass pro­duc­tion and casual dis­re­gard for the envi­ron­ment, organic farm­ing has been rel­e­gated to a sort of  left –wing fringe sta­tus, a quaint, some­what charm­ing do-gooder hobby best left to hemp– wear­ing hip­pies rather than hard-working fam­i­lies try­ing to put the best food on the table at the most eco­nom­i­cal price.

 

 

Most peo­ple are not obliv­i­ous to the real­i­ties of indus­tri­al­ized farm­ing. We are used to wash­ing our veg­eta­bles, dili­gently fol­low­ing the advice on the cel­lo­phane pack­ages, and lit­er­ally cook­ing the shi­nola out of chick­ens and pork to avoid or neu­tral­ize the tox­ins, pes­ti­cides and growth hor­mones that are added. And when it comes to the hus­bandry of these food ani­mals, we know what goes on in fac­tory farms, but make a choice to ignore it.

Some con­sumers only buy organic and eth­i­cally raised pro­duce and meat, some of occa­sion­ally buy it, and some of us never buy it. Perhaps once in a while we can hon­our the earth, the farm­ers who have ded­i­cated their lives to their voca­tion and the ani­mals them­selves by pur­chas­ing an organ­i­cally farmed head of let­tuce or a pint of milk that is hor­mone and addi­tive free, there are hun­dreds of choices out there. And every lit­tle bit helps.

For an in-depth, lit­er­ate and lucid analy­sis of some of the myths and real­i­ties sur­round­ing the debate over organic food and farm­ing, check out this study com­mis­sioned by the JMG Foundation and the Soil Association.

 

 

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