by Sean Croxton
Several weeks ago, as I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a cartoon of a young woman holding a ginormous plate of veggies – carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and all. Beside her read these words:
Try Organic Food…or as your grandparents called it, “Food”.
Thoroughly impressed with the impact of such a simple statement and illustration, I immediately shared it with my friends. From there, it spread like wildfire. All day long, my cell phone lit up as fellow real foodists posted hundreds of comments in support of all things organic.
For that one day, the organic movement owned social media. You can only imagine the sense of delight this gave me. Yet, at some point my fervor happened upon a tinge of melancholy.
I felt shame, as if I could just as well have responded to the cartoon with an SMH comment (that’s social media-speak for Shaking My Head). No, this shame was not for anything I had done, but rather an empathetic shame for those who have created what I call our fool’s gold food supply.
Only in our modern food system must we choose between foods sprayed with poisonous chemicals and those that are not, while the powers-that-be go to great lengths to convince us that these items are one and the same.
Personally, I like my food poison-free.
While we butt heads debating over the nutritional superiority of one category of food over the other, many of us tune out the environmental impact of our egregious conventional farming practices and supermarket purchases. Pesticides in our water supply. Dead zones in our oceans. Reduced carbon sequestration in our soils. Nutrition aside, we should be eating with our environment in mind.
As I write this, I am reminded of these compelling words written by Eric Schlosser in the foreword to Maria Rodale’s Organic Manifesto,
“Pesticides are poisons. They are manufactured to kill insects, rodents, fungi, and weeds. Organophosphates—one of the most common types of pesticides—were developed in Nazi Germany to be used as chemical weapons. It was later recognized that the same sort of nerve gases formulates to attack soldiers and civilians would be used against agricultural pests.”
More people need to know this.
I long for the day when organic rules social media once again. But what I long for even more is the day when a cartoon like the one that sparked that memorable day is no longer necessary, a time when organic owns the consciousness of not only the fellow real food enthusiast but the average person, farmer, and legislator.
That day will come.
Soon. Very soon.
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss