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Why Seasonal, Local, Organic? Why not!

August 7, 2011

When we originally decided to start experimenting with the CSA memberships, organic eating was not the goal. The goal was first and foremost to learn to eat seasonally, enjoying foods when nature intended for them to grow. What came with that were several added bonuses that we weren’t exactly planning on – the ability to support the local economy, the knowledge gained from cooking things we have never dealt with, and the fact that the food was organic.

As a result I have really enjoyed learning more the food situation in our country, where it comes from, and what is in/on it. At this point, almost a year into our changed way of eating, we strive to comprise our diet of as much locally grown fruits, vegetables and meat as possible. Knowing where our food comes from has become the most important factor in our food behavior. Of course that is not always as feasible as we would like, and when its not, we try to buy organic for the slight extra peace of mind it provides and avoid as much processed food as we can.

But the term “organic” can be pretty polarizing to people. Either they are all about it, just don’t care, or feel like they are being roped in by some marketing scheme to the newest fad. I’ve heard everything from…


Whats wrong with the food I’m eating now. I grew up eating it, my parents ate it. We’re fine.

No study has ever come out to prove those preservatives and pesticides are bad for us, so what’s the big deal. 

Organic = hippy.

Whole Foods is expensive and its all a gimic.

 

To me the argument is one of common sense. Perhaps a study hasn’t come out to prove that XYZ pesticide on your tomato is going to kill you. But can you argue that eating whole natural foods, not processed and not sprayed with a million chemicals is any WORSE for you? If you know one thing is good (because it is naturally occurring, and has been a part of our diet for millions of years) and you do not yet know whether another option is bad, wouldn’t you want to choose the one you know is good? I agree that perhaps a lot of the things that are put into and on our food now may not kill us, but it could take hundreds of years before that is really known. I would rather know that what I am putting in my body is good and clean, and run the risk of living longer, than eating other unknowns with unknown risks. Worse case scenario, you end up the same either way.

Yes, while I appreciate Whole Foods and the access to unique products they bring us, I whole heartedly agree that it is expensive to shop there and at the end of the day they are in the business of making money. There are great initiatives that Whole Foods has in place as far as sustainable seafood and fair treatment of the animals which end up on your dinner table which in most cases cannot be beat (at least for me here in land locked TN, where there is not much fresh seafood I can trust). But eating seasonally, organically and/or locally does not mean you have to shop at Whole Foods. There are plenty of other, often cheaper, options out there if you can train yourself to look beyond the grocery store. Farmers markets, CSA’s, pick your own farms, backyard gardens (even if you can only manages herbs, likes yours truly).. the options are there, if you take the time to look.

If you take one thing away from my little rant, let it be that you at least take the time to think about what you are fueling your body with. Maybe you don’t care about being organic or eating locally – but at the very least strive to be more conscious – you deserve it! 

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