Going organic is like voting with your fork. Voting for the kind of agriculture you want to support and the kind of environment you want to leave future generations. In your lifetime you’ll consume over 100 tonnes of food and drink, representing not only a huge influence on your own health but also an enormous interaction with your environment. Your actions today create your world tomorrow.
It’s better for farmers: As an ethical consumer I don’t want my purchasing decisions directly contributing to farmers harming themselves and their families. Yet farmers using pesticide sprays may be doing exactly that. Conventional farmers and farm workers have an increased risk of prostate cancer, more birth defects in their children, higher risk of their children having hyperactivity disorders, and higher risk of their children developing kidney, brain or other cancers. And it’s not just farmers, farm workers and their children at risk. Epidemiological evidence also shows greater incidences of birth defects in the children living near farms using pesticides.
It’s better for the environment: Organic farming bans artificial fertilisers that can pollute rivers and contribute to toxic algal blooms in coastal waters. Organic farmers fertilise their fields more naturally by rotating their crops, using composted manure, and planting crops that enhance the fertility of the soil. Instead of using pesticides that can harm fish, birds and other wildlife, they control pests and weeds with non-chemical methods like mechanical weeding or companion planting. Genetically modified (GM) crops, whose environmental impacts are still unknown, are not allowed in organic farming.
But best of all, it tastes better: How many times have you thought or heard the comment that food today is tasteless? Modern varieties are chosen for yield not taste, grown out of season, picked green, transported long distances, stored in controlled atmosphere for long periods, and sold as ‘fresh’ in the supermarket. It’s no wonder they don’t taste how they should. Compare this with the consistent consumer experience that organic food really does taste better. Tastes how food should. Tastes how food used to. If you’ve not tried organic food, bite into an organic carrot or apple today and you’ll see what they mean!