Our VoiceHealth & Environment

Organic Food Cheaper than Conventional

Katie Bezrouch • Jul 17, 2009

Actually, it always has been. Bear with me long enough to glance at the big picture I’m going to paint. First think about the differences between organic and conventional. Take into consideration all of the chemical pesticide related health problems that come with the package of conventionally grown food, for the consumer and the farm worker. Acknowledge the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on medical bills to treat obesity, diabetes, heart-attacks, and countless other food-related illnesses that are consistently encouraged by (dare I say due to) the highly processed crap we’re fed by food giants conglomerates and the fast food industry.

Think about the billions of dollars coming out of taxpayer’s wallets to subsidize an energy intensive, fossil-fuel dependent and straight up out-dated method of conventional farming. How long can we continue to abuse ourselves, our farmers, and our planet with this dangerous and costly food system that big agri-business has force-fed us?

Not for long. The descending health of the general public, the contamination of our water and land, climate change, and peak oil are all very real factors threatening human life on this planet. What can we, the consumers, do about it? Two things: Make better personal choices about consumption. And vote, with our wallets, for progressively sustainable goods.

One of the key factors in achieving these goals is thoroughly educating the public. Allow everyone to fully understand the real impact that is bestowed upon our shoulders when contribute to this disposable, toxic lifestyle. And that the answer lies primarily in prevention and furthermore, consumption. If you eat well, you damage your body less; if you farm well, you damage the earth less. And don’t forget, if food industry workers are treated well, your food system will be healthier. No logic can justify misusing our resources and exploiting our resources to fix problems that are altogether avoidable.

Another crucial aspect is the consumers’ responsibility: to keep a critical eye on the food industry. Most of our food providers are corporations, and the primary goal is to make money. We are kidding ourselves if we think for one second that Whole Foods or Honda really give a hoot about anything other than rolling in the dough. Ronnie Cummins (Organic Consumers Association) puts it plainly:

“The overwhelming majority of Whole Foods Market products, even their best-selling private label, “365” house brand, are not organic, but rather the products of chemical-intensive and energy-intensive farm and food production factories. Test these so-called natural products in a lab and what will you find: pesticide residues, Genetically Modified Organisms, and a long list of problematic and/or carcinogenic synthetic chemicals and additives. Trace these products back to the farm or factory and what will you find: climate destabilizing chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and sewage sludge-not to mention exploited farm workers and workers in the food processing industry.”

For decades there have been a small groups of concerned scientists and tree-huggers warning that our relentless squandering of resources and ferocious pollution will one day come back to bite us. It now looks like that day is nearing at a frightening pace. It is no longer a peripheral point of view; we have done an incredible amount of damage to this world in our short time here as a species. Now, we must assume responsibility for our actions and do what we can to stop and/or reverse the disintegration of our precious resources.

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