Friday, 29 August 2008

Organic food is not only good for you its essential for the future

The looming recession has re-ignited the debate about organic food. We are told that people are turning away from organic food because it is too expensive. This is just not true - it isn't too expensive. The reality is that we are used to stuffing ourselves with cheap food which is bad for our health. Instead of it being - you are what you eat - we have treated food like any other commodity in our consumer capitalist society. Well it isn't just a commodity. How do poor people get to be so obese? Answer they eat cheap processed food which is slowly killing them. What we need to do is eat better and eat less. We would be healthier and happier and our wallets would not be lighter.

What we also need to do is get agribusiness out of farming because its destroying to fertility of our land, causing soil erosion and feeding us stuff that is getting lower and lower in useful vitamins and minerals i.e. the stuff you buy in a supermarket. Not to mention the poor standards of animal husbandry and the fact that the animals we eat are being pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs.

Only organic farming provides a viable way for the future. Unfortunately organic farmers have to deal with the massive agribusiness PR machine plus governments and the well salaried scientists who have a vested interest in supporting it all.

Big business hates organic farming because it doesn't allow them to make megabucks out of all the pesticides. GM technology and other stuff we don't need to grow decent food.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have passed peak oil. Try supporting factory farming in the absence of oil - it can't be done.


Anonymous said...

Where is your evidence that organic fruit and vegetables - not processed foods, but good honest fruit and vegetables - are better for your health?
And it is more expensive - you may get paid enough to buy it, but I don't. And with four of us to feed, it's a non-starter.
You appear to live in a utopian world - def a different lifestyle to the one I do.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Howard Thorp said...

Just in case anyone is wondering why the second comment was removed by me its because it was a duplicate of the first.

There is evidence in the scientific literature that the levels of minerals and nutrients in intensively farmed fruit and vegetables have declined since the second world war. This is hardly surprising given that agribusiness grows food to look good and last longer. This is food as a commodity as I said in my blog.

I appreciate the difficulty of having to feed a family in difficult economic times but food is essential not something we can choose to buy. Its better to cut back on other things than reduce spending on nutritious food.

Of course you could grow your own food, even if you have a relatively small garden. I have an average sized garden and this year I have grown broad beans, runner beans, peas, lettuce, land cress, onions, garlic, asparagus, rhubarb, cabbage, radishes, carrots, potatoes,leeks and sprouts. I have planted two pear trees and an apple tree. Not to mention lots of herbs.I have a small greenhouse in which I have grown tomatoes, chillies and aubergines. The other day I made some delicious tomato soup with tomatoes and an onion from the garden. None of this is rocket science. Am I completely organic? Well no I have used slug pellets in a wet year to control slugs and snails that threatened to devastate my vegetables. But apart from that I use organic fertiliser and home made compost. That is all.

All this gives me a lot of exercise and satisfaction. It would be so much easier to do a blog on growing vegetables!

Anonymous said...

Have somehow "stumbled" across this blog - both fascinating and thought-provoking.
It is evident that many of us realise the "price" of our food, but fail to appreciate the "value" of it. Have we become dependent on the industrialised agroeconomy as a result of the commom agricultural policy?
I'm new to blogging!!

Anonymous said...

Not "rocket science"?
Is this a pun?! Or are you going to take a pop at other leaves too

MontyD said...

I am seeking that, in conjunction with The Soil Association, that we move away from the term organic; it has middle class overtones, and I fear that this is a factor in dissuading many households on lower incomes from even looking at decent food.

Your analysis is succinct and very true - we need to start to value our land, our food and our bodies much more.

I'll be seeking that we consider an alternative description, possibly along the lines of "sustainable" crops, rather than organic. Just as a measure to see if we can extend the coverage of decent food more widely.
I hope The Green Party can support this aim (regardless of the term we use, I think we can all agree on the way we need to forge ahead).