Thursday, July 5, 2012

the thing about organic

There are times when I pass over an item in favor of one with the word "organic" on its label, and I feel a little self-conscious.

Organic seems a little precious.  Pompous, conceited.   If produce could possibly come across as stuck-up, organic stuff does.

Honestly, I don't buy exclusively organic.  Like many others, I can't really afford to buy organic all the time.  I'm not sure anyone can.  Still I try to be selective.  I take to heart lists like "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Clean Fifteen."   For example, I purchase only organic strawberries but buy conventional bananas.  Our kitchen contains organic butter and sour cream (an animal's fat cells are where the pesticides it consumes are stored!).  I focus on whole foods and buy organic as much as I can, especially where it's most needed.  Educated choices are important in any format, and the food we eat is no exception.

I would love to be able to buy only organic groceries, though.  It simply doesn't work for our household right now.

But here's the thing about organic food:

"Organic" doesn't mean fancy.  It doesn't mean grown in the crystal clean air of mountain passes which are perfumed by calming lavender, and meticulously spooned specialized fertilizer onto dainty roots just finished with a massage and a pedicure.

Organic, as it relates to food, means this:
produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.

It means no added junk, at least as far as the growing process goes.  It means the plants are not treated with man-made chemicals.  It means without the scary stuff.

I realize that last paragraph contains a lot of negatives.  These days that's pretty much how it has to be.  Yet let me turn it around; I'll word it more positively this time.

Organic means just food. Pure.  Unadulterated.  Simply the good stuff.

Think about that for a moment.  The words "organic food" are often seen as highfalutin, prissy, the choice of super selective buyers.  And I am aware of why...  But what organic actually means is this: the food as it was meant to be.

Red, juicy strawberries.  Sweet corn with no hint of GMOs.  Tender peaches with the purest fuzzy skin.  The true foods... originals.

No comments: