In our previous post, Community Garden Organization, we discussed the powerful impact that a community garden can have for unifying local commerce and interests. We also discussed some of the finer points associated with the logistics of such an endeavor. However, one point that we didn’t elaborate on too deeply was that of the importance of organic practices while cultivating foods that are intended for consumption. Organic gardening is a powerful means of ensuring the food you are growing is exposed to as few toxic chemicals as possible while being grown.
What Does ‘Organic’ Mean
Organic agriculture is a classification for produce, meats, and other consumables that have been produced in a manner that meets USDA Organic guidelines, which outline accepted best-practices for having as clean a product as possible. Organic foods are cultivated in synthetic chemical free areas, are free to be subjected to chemical pesticides like RoundUp, and are certified to contain no GMO ingredients. While many of these commonly used agents and chemicals are commonplace among other consumer products, they are not allowed to be included in Organic foods that have been certified by the USDA
While the science to prove the direct relationship between these chemicals and adverse health conditions is difficult to muster; there has been a growing concern as of late that our dependence of commercially produced agents such as Glyphosate may have put us all at risk. For example, fields many miles away from fields having roundup sprayed on them test positive for the chemical, and it shows up in trace amounts in almost all non-organic produce and foods. There is a great chance that if you had your blood tested for Glyphosate, you would test positive.
The Benefit of Eating Organic
One of the most reverberating phrases within the medical profession is Primum non-Nocere, which means “first, do no harm.” While greatly removed from modern Western medicine in practice, it was originally a credo; a philosophy, that meant while addressing medical conditions it would be a practitioner’s prime objective to avoid causing further harm. An abstract of this saying, more relevant to food, would be “first, prove safety.” GMO foods are largely described as safe by their makers while being largely contested against by consumers. Money has gotten involved, as well as media, and it seems now there is overwhelming research and data to prove either side of the case, depending on whom you trust.
When an argument’s logic becomes so convoluted that belief and sentiment are the deciding factors, you can almost be certain someone is full of it. Typically, the financial interest is the party found to be most at-fault in these types of cases. With this in mind, consider that forever drug that the FDA has ever recalled due to adverse effects, it has first approved based upon data provided in test studies. The fact is, commerce would cease to exist if every food product had to be proven to be safe for a decade, or two, or three’s usage before hitting the shelves. That is an easy argument to make and wins in nearly every sense of objection.
To eat Organic Foods, you are simply choosing to remove as much uncertainty from the equation as possible—a very practical decision in modern times. Rather than waiting 30 years to understand the deadly effects of chemicals such as Agent Orange, DDT, or Asbestos, just choose to eat foods in their natural forms as found in nature. Commercial agriculture would surely be crippled, but maybe the foods we put in our bodies should never have been de-localized in the first place. It’s important to remember, that not just foods fall into this category but organic supplements, cosmetics, and even organic clothing are all capable of helping you avoid having dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in your body.
The point of all this discussion is to help hammer home the importance of incorporating Organic Gardening into your organization’s outreach programs. Help teach communities that they need to think, learn, and act for themselves based upon critical thinking rather than simply floating by the concepts they’ve seen on television or other horrible health websites such as Livestrong and other convoluted giants concerned more with money than quality. At the end of the day, people that stand to make a profit from a product tend to make it sound safe, wonderful, and capable of boosting your life quality in some regard. When there is an issue with that product, however, they are usually the last to admit it. Find the power in self-reliance and apply it to your group’s practices and programs. Good luck out there, and remember to Do Good!