Thursday, May 19, 2005

organic thoughts

There was a mildly thought provoking essay about organic food by Ron Johnson in Agri-View, a statewide agricultural newspaper.

Agri-View Newspaper

The upshot from Mr. Johnson was that most people probably don't wake up and go to sleep each day worrying about good safe food. I think he's right. But there is a feeling that organic food is somehow better or better for you than regular old store-shelf stuff.

This isn't something we can quickly discuss because so often the whole debate, such as it is, resembles theology versus science. Enough people share a value system that favors organic food production to have created a growing market. The presumptions with organic food production are that it's produced in such a way as to not harm the environment and therefore is free of any substance that might make its way to your table.

We're all right with that. Shoot, less use of chemicals is a noble notion and one I think many producers will agree with.

What happens though, is that millions of people eat conventionally produced food and fare just fine. Those eating organic food do fine, too, I'm sure. Do the people eating organic feel or live better? I bet many will tell you they are healthier for the choice.

We just don't know with scientific certainty. People will tell you they feel better when they quit smoking, quit drinking, quit eating meat, quit reading newspapers. I feel better after a few days away from work.

There isn't much of a controversy in my mind about organic food production. The country is apparently affluent enough that people can base what they eat on a personal value system having little to do with supported facts. If the amount of chemicals used in food production is reduced then so much the better.

So enjoy.

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