It seems that most people agreed with much of what I said in my last post, but many rejected the term “Anti-Organic.” Let me be clear that, while the organic label can be affixed to local, humanely raised, seasonal, fresh, whole food, it can also be slapped onto food that is quite the opposite.
But the reason I’d really describe myself as “Anti-Organic” is because we shouldn’t have to have that label at all. There shouldn’t be a dichotomy of “organic” food and “conventional” food. Instead of looking for labels, how about we, as consumers, demand the following:
- Produce all food using a minimum of chemicals, including pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics and hormones.
- Produce all food using methods that are least detrimental to the soil, water, air, and surrounding ecosystems.
- Ban the use of known and suspected carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens.
- Ban genetically modified crops and cloned animals.
- Source all foods as locally as possible.
- Eliminate packaging as much as possible.
- Treat all animals humanely and feed them the diet they evolved to eat.
- All farm workers have a right to a fair wage and working conditions.
- All consumers have the right to meet farmers and visit farms.
Now, that may sound idealistic, or unrealistic. But it’s not. Look at how demand for organic foods has grown, how synthetic hormones have been taken out of most dairy products, how the local foods movement has flourished. Look at how victory gardens are making a comeback and people are reducing the amount of meat in their diets. We’re on the right track, but accepting the organic label is not sufficient. We need to demand that all food be produced sustainably, and all people have access to sustainably produced food.