Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Organic, More than what you eat
This week we explore where personal permaculture meets politics, rule of law and myopic pin-heads…
While admittedly less mythically inspiring than some posts, equally vital to our sustainable future.
~ September 23, 2009 Zelig Golden, NY Times-
“In another important case against Monsanto and the USDA, the Center for Food Safety has again prevailed, demonstrating that GMOs pose serious risk of harm to organic farmers and consumers, and that the USDA is failing to sufficiently protect us from the contamination that can result from the planting of theses crops – this time in Sugar beets!..
A Federal court ruled that the Bush USDA’s approval of genetically engineered (GE) “RoundUp Ready” sugar beets was unlawful. The court ordered the USDA to conduct a rigorous assessment of the environmental and economic impact of the crops on farmers and the environment”
The above ruling is a huge step for organic, without which there might not have been a legal argument. It’s in the National Organic Program rule that organics be GMO-free. GMOs indiscriminately pollute the organic seed stock, along with heirlooms vital to our ability to adapt to the oncoming changes in environment along with our evolving taste/flavor demands.
Recently some nit-wit wrote not to buy organic avocados because they could be peeled thus the consumer could avoid pesticides… Really? Is that where the story ends…with the person who ate the avocado?
Does that sound like the whole picture?
When my mom’s conventional avocado grove (now organic) had to be aerial sprayed for thrips, (twice in one year) -every bee, bug and bird in the orchard dropped dead. Meanwhile our nearby organic grove had no notable thrip damage. So…what is a grove of bees, frogs, and birds worth? What is the value of supporting healthy, bio-diverse whole organic systems? What is the value of eating food not grow with sewage sludge and non-irradiated?
Organics are a verified, eco-friendly form of food production which can no more be taken out of the whole system, than mankind can live without clean water, air and soil and planetary bio-diversity.
In our organic avocado grove the soil is alive with microbials, worms, beneficial bugs, the land is rich in diverse vegetation, mulch, and life such as toads, frogs, song birds, bats, coyote, bob cat, mountain lions, and birds of prey. In the conventional groves there are no weeds, (RoundUp- which can be harmful to frogs…which are then eaten by birds…) the soil is dead, burned by nitrogen, and those dwelling or buzzing through the canopy in danger of lethal spray. Yes, the avocado can be peeled, but in which grove would you put the future of your children’s children?
It’s not always financially possible to buy organic… but to say not to buy organic- is its own crime of conscience… When the choice and funds are available, know that it is a small slice of eco-system you’re supporting. And that is a very big thing….