Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Changing your organic tactics

Well, I have noticed recently that the people that are working "against" organic and natural products are coming up with some very very convincing and confusing arguments. Now, we need to change tactics. No longer can we say organic is better for you because it uses no chemicals --since the anti-organic movement has new reasons why its not. People are becoming confused and we need to be able to tell them why they shouldn't believe big business and lobbyist. Here are just a few of the new arguments coming out:

1. Organics uses pesticides too. LINK This link doesn't list exact pesticides but remember that some of the pesticides used by conventional farmers are organic (ie: not petro based) and can be dangerous and harmful. Organic is anything not petroleum based. Even BT used by many organic growers is considered an "insecticide". To a non gardener---that is the same as a pesticide. Yes, it is word play-- but we need to remind them that most organic gardeners use NO pesticides---organic or petroleum based. They are just using good gardening techniques and other smart practices including kaolin clays, row covers and beneficial insects along with very healthy soil. Symantics is one of the best and oldest ways to confuse people.

2. Organics may have less pesticide residue but their not as healthy for you-- Today Show link. Well, that one surprised me! So now they have come up with something else to go for. Can't get the organic grower for having more pesticide, can't claim that your products have more vitamins/minerals so now we'll scare people with the idea that the food is already half rotten when they are eating/cooking it. Notice in the article that it says " held at 0 degrees (yes, that is zero--as in below freezing) for a week and the organic chickens smell bowled her over". Now how is that? Did no one catch that? The show did say that organic didn't have as good of a distribution network so the food took longer getting to market---but what did they do? Ship it unrefrigerated?? I think not. There was something stinky in that comment and it wasn't the chicken in my opinion.
Besides we need to think LOCAL here people. We need to press the whole issue of local is better. Eat in season. And we need to remind people that OF COURSE conventional last longer---they spray them with chemicals!! They aren't fooling anyone. See HERE and HERE

3. GMO is just doing what people have been doing for millennium---crossing varieties. They are just doing it faster and better: Maybe some of what they come up with is better BUT not a corn or soybean plant that can be sprayed with glyphosate (roundup ready corn and soybeans). The problem I have with this is not the "improvement" of the seed (if you want to call it that) but the ability to spray and spray the plant germinating from the seed with poison. Environmentalist for- saw the problem with that and it has come: resistant plant varieties. That and the fact that Monsanto has every one completely snookered into believing that roundup degrades quickly---even though independent testing shows that it lingers and lingers and is very dangerous to us. Of course "everyone" believes Monsanto because they have a HUGE lobbying group working for them at the government level and lots of money to disseminate false information to their benefit. They are a very very large multinational company after all. Another problem discovered with roundup is its ability to allow fungus' to flourish : SEE HERE
We need to impress upon people that adding genes like that to our food source is not the right way to go. What will happen when the Bacillus thuringiensis ( BT) added to some of Monsanto's plants creates problematic bugs? Will BT mutate fast enough to compensate? BT
When will humans learn??

These are just some of the issues that are now coming out--though clearly not all of them. We need to find a new word to describe what we are offering and growing for ourselves and others. We also need to be able to defend what we know as the truth without the distortions being added by mis informers. "Organic" has been seized by both the large scale industrial grower and the US government itself. It is no longer the "word" of the sustainable, home grown, family farm raised, healthy, freshly picked produce and products that most of us have or offer to others. It is now becoming the word of commercial, possibly sprayed with organic labeled pesticides and fertilized with huge amounts of off farm products (definitely not sustainable in the traditional sense of the word) along with mono cultured varieties of veggies suited to large scale agriculture. It can also mean shipped from thousands of miles away (think Walmart and Chinese organics here ). Again, not in line with the "sustainable" most like to think organic is. Everyday I am having to work harder to arm myself with ways to defend what I have always known was the right and natural way to grow plants and animals and even worse is the fact that I can now be sued by telling someone my products are organic. When the fact is--my products are more organic than most. Even my animals. Above I listed only some of the new things I have heard about growing organic plants/produce. This isn't including the "new improved" language being used to attack animals raised in healthy ways as mentioned in the Grass fed or Grain comments I posted on November 29th. --Of which I barely scratched the surface as I have barely scratched it here.

Even if you never plan to grow products for market---it is up to all of us to defend our rights to healthy foods. We are under attack---by our government, lobbyist and mis informers. We need to make sure that people who never see a farm understand what constitutes "real" organic. We also need to make sure that they hear the flip side of the coin from what they are currently hearing from the "anti- organic" group. And hear it in such a way as to make these mis informers sound as unreliable as they are.


Phelan said...

I write for a natural food ezine and I am trying my best to get the correct info out there. It can be hard and very confusing. Most people only read my articles for the recipes, but I try to sneak in some info in there as well. we just have to keep talking, but not lecture or preach. I wish a certain government agency would stop changing the definitions of things.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

I completely agree with you: I wish they would quit changing the definitions and we shouldn't preach. The surest way to close some ones's mind is to preach. Casually slipping in the info always seems to work best. Though some people are sure making it harder. Of course it wouldn't be life if it weren't a bit difficult now and then right? :-)
Yes, I knew you wrote for something like that--good luck in the battle. I think some people are more suspicious of you just because of that. They think you have an agenda. So sad isn't it?

BurdockBoy said...

That today show has got to be one of the lamest articles I have ever read. Seriously, how much does that lady get paid to write that crap and conduct such lame "experiments".

"When will humans learn", indeed. When will humans once again realise the holistic nature of the earth. All of the answers for successful and sustainable farming/gardening are presented to us by observing how nature performs. By trying to manipulate and look for easy, industrialised solutions is just silly. Keep up the good work.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Thanks Burdockboy. As I have commented before--I will keep "plugging" along. I am not going to stop trying to defend my family's right to healthy food AND making others aware of these false hoods.
Have a great day!