Somewhere in the distant past, before supermarket chains, steam-in-bag frozen broccoli and congressional decrees making pizza a vegetable, there were neighborhood farm stands and green-grocers. These places delivered a colorful cornucopia of fresh organic produce spilling from baskets and bushels, bursting with flavor and nutrition.
Today the agriculture industry is more like one big chemistry experiment. Between genetic modification, poisonous chemical and radiation, it’s hard to know what’s going into, or onto, our food. The alternative to all this spiraling technology is choosing organic food.
Organic means cultivating produce within an ecological system that relies on healthy, rich soil to produce strong plants that resist pests and diseases. See the USDA’s website for info about their USDA Organic certification process.
Organic farmers don’t use toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which can contaminate soil, air, drinking water and food. Rather, organic farmers enrich their soils and control pests by rotating crops, planting cover crops, releasing beneficial insects and adding composted manure and plant matter to the soil.
Supporting organic farms is another way to ensure our rich agricultural heritage remains varied and vibrant. As genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are becoming more and more commonplace, traditional foodstuffs are being pushed to the wayside. Oftentimes organic farms are the only places keeping heirloom strains of produce from extinction.
Organic farming is a way of preserving our food supply in all its variety well into the future. It’s the ecologically responsible, healthier choice. And the bottom line? Organic food just tastes better!