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This I believe

Posted 6/18/2012 5:17pm by Shiloh Avery.

hoeing corn
This is what organic farming often looks like to us: a lot of hard working people!

Have you ever heard the NPR show “This I believe”? It’s where people of all stripes and colors read their essays about what they believe.  Just to give you fair warning: I’m about to do that, though I promise not to be as long winded as some of those essays (is it still long winded if I’m typing it?):

I believe that what we do-grow food organically-is beautiful and just and right. Believing this does not make me believe that other methods are wrong.  In fact, I believe that growing food for people is beautiful and just and right.   Growing food for people organically is right for us.  I believe knowing the people I’m feeding breeds integrity in what I do, and that this is the best case scenario between grower and eater.  But I recognize that this is not always possible.  I mean, can we all really know personally the grower of our wheat for flour, or our corn for tortillas?  This is where organic certification comes in.  With much labeling voluntary or even illegal, and with no “teeth” to them whatsoever, organic certification is the only thing a consumer has to go on while standing in front of a grocery shelf.  At least I can be reasonably assured that I am not eating any genetically engineered crops, and that it wasn’t sprayed or fertilized with any synthetic chemicals.  Is it a perfect system? No way.  Is big agri-business always going to be beating at the door with their water hoses trying to dilute the regulations?  Absolutely. This is why I believe in small growers’ (that is not a short joke) full participation in the system.  Because if all of us walk away, there will be no one to stand up to the big guys and keep the “teeth” in organic.  But if we stay involved, attempts to water down won’t go unnoticed, and together we can protect the integrity of the word “organic.”


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