Organic food starts-with the soil! The healthier the soil, the healthier the food you eat derived from it-which is everything from your salad greens to butter! A healthy soil is a soil that is a dynamic ecosystem in and of itself, where its inhabitants interract with plants that grow in it and the multitude of other organims that feed on the organic matter in the soil and on each other. Minerals, nutrients derived from organic matter decomposition, water, and air all comprize a healthy soil-as it does an apple(yes, an apple "breathes" or exchanges gases with the environment as well, through its skin but also absorbs chemicals through it when it is sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides,etc. That is why, you are recommended to peel its skin, if is non-organic. Look at an apple's skin through a magnifying lens and you will see pores in it, just as in your skin and on the shell of an egg!). The plants will use all those ingredients to make organic and use inorganic compounds that sustain them with the help of sunlight and air, and you, when you eat it. An organic apple will have a blemish or two on it but this is a good sign, which means that the farmer has not used conventional chemicals to kill everything that might affect this apple, but more likely used ecologically friendly-natural products, or minimizes the use of chemicals to eliminate most pests and disease. And please, support organic growers and farmers by buying their products, at farmer's markets, COPs, supermarkets that purchase from such farmers, etc., or directly from farmers. Organic produce is much healthier than conventionally grown, and will save you medical expenses in the long run even if you have to pay now $1-3 dollars more for the same thing at the supermarket, as compared to non-organically grown foods. The more of us that eat organic food, the more affordable it will become, following the laws of "demand"! As inhabitants of this Earth,we are all responsible for its wellbeing, and therefore we should be obliged to support a new trend in food production, transport, processing and marketing, that is as eco-friendly as possible- and that includes organic farming. Organic farming in this country should be the predominant mode of food cultivation, 90%, at least, and not less than 2%. If you have to eat meat, including red meat-buy meat from gras-fed animals only, for a cow's stomachs have evolved to digest grasses not corn/soy and/or animal by-products! Chickens, for example are one of the best natural pesticides-eating a variety of insects (including garden pests)and snails on top of grains and grasses. Eggs derived from such chickens, are more nutritious and healthier than eggs produced by birds living in mega-size poultry farms, where the animals never see the outdoors, are stressed by overcrowding and unsanitary conditions and are fed non-natural feed, that includes material from their own-slaughtered kin (not to mention laden with antibiotics, growth hormones, etc.)! So please, purchase eggs from chickens that are allowed to have access to pasture and outdoors, and buy organic chicken meat,so that way you support chicken-farming where the birds are literally "happier" and therefore healthier.
Being on the "organic agenda" ,I would recommend starting your own little garden if possible, to not only appreciate what Nature can offer but also as a means of saving money in the future by conributing to your health and making gardening one of your hobbies. Encourage your family and children to participate in this endeavor. What can be interesting in gardening, is also trying to grow and savor as part of your food menu, plants derived from uncomon varieties of seeds, hairloom seeds, if possible. That way, you contribute to sustain advocates for "diversity", for a natural and sustainable garden or farm, is also based on the diversity of plants that grow in it. Anyway, one of the good sources to learn gardening in small or confined spaces is the "Urban Farm, Sustainable City Living" magazine, Spring 2010 issue-it teaches how to prepare compost and make your own raised bed plots of vegetables and herbs the affordable way in an urban or limited-space setting.I would also advice readers to buy or check out from the library, "The Organic Manifesto" by M.Rodale, CEO of the Rodale Institute, advocating organic and sustainable farming, and presenting the sordid truth about conventional chemicals- laden and polluting food production. Learn "companion planting" by visiting for example the website: www.ghorganics.com, for some plants help others to grow better and retard pests and agents of disease. If you are a novice to gardening or an expert-the journey can be so rewarding, either way!
I am so happy to conribute to "Seventh Generation" by sharing knowledge and experience-thank you. More to come later. "Swallow"