by John Bauer, Cofounder – The Foodery
Hmm…what am I going to eat? That decision has lasting impact beyond the obvious outcome of nurturing an empty stomach. On one hand, there’s eating what’s available. On the other hand there’s purposefully choosing foods that were raised or grown without many of the impurities that have found their way into our food supply. The choice has important differences that reach beyond the meal in front of us. What does “responsibly-raised” food have that other food doesn’t? Well it’s equally about what this food doesn’t have that makes it a healthy choice.
We hear about “eating local” and “eating organic” but in essence, eating responsibly-raised food means eating against “the system”. What system is that? The giant agri-business system that compromises our food supply with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, radiation, food additives and genetic modification. From food production to processing and transportation, “Big Ag” adds impurities to our food along journey from the farm to our plates and ends up in our bodies. The fertilizers and pesticides used on crops damages the fertility of the soil. Radiation used to protect us from food-borne illness zaps the nutrients from our fresh produce. Vegetables traveling across the world and eaten weeks after harvest will be more nutritionally deficient than vegetables picked this week from a nearby farm. There is a price to pay for the constant hormones and antibiotics given to livestock to make them grow faster than normal while avoiding the expense of livestock sickness. We know little about the effects of these impurities on the human body. Each of these impurities has individually been tested by the Food & Drug Administration and approved for human consumption. But ingesting combinations of these substances daily over long periods of time has never been analyzed. It’s a cocktail we know nothing about. So yes, choosing organic and locally raised food means eating food that has the nutrition we need. It simultaneously means avoiding the impurities inherent in the global food system.
Eating organic and local means more than better quality. You make an environmental choice for today and for the future when you choose food with the green and brown seal. Buying organic food by nature promotes a cleaner environment. Because pesticides are illegal in organic farming, surrounding soil isn’t contaminated by overspray. Natural water tributaries don’t get pesticide run-off and natural wildlife don’t have to drink it. Agricultural corporations genetically modify food for monetary gain and not for consumer health or environmental sustainability. Crops like corn and soy are genetically modified to withstand deadly chemical exposure in order rid crops of surrounding weeds and pests. This farming practice adds chemicals to our food supply and harms the biodiversity of our arable crop lands. Over time, miles and miles of soil become devoid of nutrition and lose their biodiversity. Because genetic modification isn’t allowed in organic food, buying organic encourages the respect of healthy soil. Buying responsibly-raised and organic food is a vote you make with your consumer dollars to support the financial viability of smaller organic farms and to encourage them to keep producing food in its purest form. It’s a vote for healthy soil, clean air and healthy animals. The extra money spent on organic and locally-raised food not only keeps your body nutritionally fulfilled and chemical-free, but it encourages the future sustainability of our environment.
©2016 The Foodery. See The Foodery’s Ingredient Standards for more on how food is chosen for its products.