Supporting the demand for non-chemically enhanced food is a part of my daily life. In the grand scheme of food production, concern for our planet, and local communities, I pay more attention to where the food is coming from than whether it is chemically sprayed or not. Reducing the miles that food travels will reduce the overall negative impact on our ecosystem and climate change. It also supports the idea of sustaining our local community and seasonal variation in produce.
Affordability is a very important issue in regards to organics. I don’t buy high-end organic foods (unless of course I’m in Ruby treat mode!) Organic food for me is not only about keeping chemicals out of my body, it is also about our ability as foodies to ever-so-slightly influence global food production. I travel a fair bit and given a choice, I will always go to the local market over the chain supermarket. It boils down to how great it is to get tomatoes grown from scratch by your neighbor. Unless there are industrial toxins in the local soil, those veggies will not only taste spectacular, they’ll be that much more nutritious.
Organic meat is another significant aspect of organics. I like to experiment with different types of local, organic meat. Most of the time, I am primarily a vegetarian, but lately I have been eating kangaroo. I grew up on the west coast and ate the occasional celebratory wild salmon, but otherwise, meat wasn’t a part of my daily food intake. Kangaroo is a healthy and delicious meat that is not farmed like steroid-pumped, cramped cows—injected with antibiotics to keep them disease free in their close quarters. I am more prone to try out the rabbit that I saw scampering in a pasture, than I am to taste Safeway-sterilized plastic wrapped cow or pig.
There is a strong connection in sharing geography between farmer and consumer, which does not exist when I buy grapes from Chile in California or olive oil from Australia. Even if I don’t actually converse with the grower of the produce I am purchasing, at least there is a bigger chance that I may one day meet the farmer, if the farm is within 200 miles from where I live. This taps into the notion that food prepared with love is good for you, even if it is a cake packed full of sugar. It is much easier to love and sustain your own community by growing food for it and supporting the local community.