The next time you are asked "Why should I buy organic" here are 3
responses that have been shown in studies.

Forwarded from SANET, the ever eloquent Mary-Howell Martens...

"I was asked recently why ordinary people would choose to buy organic
These are the 3 reasons I gave -

1. Studies have shown that the Number One reason people choose to buy
organic food is to protect the health of themselves and their families.
Certainly there is validity in this - research is just beginning to show
the tip of the iceberg concerning the accumulated environmental impact
of 50
years of pesticide and industrial chemical use.  What little we are
now is quite scary.  Anything we can afford to do to reduce our
even if we aren't sure whether the outcome will be as perfect as we wish
doesn't that make sense for our own well-being?

2. Choosing to buy organic food means making a conscious choice to allow
farmer somewhere not to use chemicals.  When we were farming
we were very aware that it was us and our children that were getting the
lion's share of the exposure to the pesticides - it was our air, our
our clothes, our floors.  By buying organic food, you are deliberating
allowing a farm family somewhere not to take that hit.

3. Environmental sustainability.  The United Nation's World Commission
Environmental Development produced a report in 1987 (known at the
Report) that offered the following definition of sustainability -
the needs and accommodating the aspirations of the present generation
without compromising the same opportunities for future generations."
This is
a valuable lens to evaluate our agricultural and environmental decisions
policy.  Are we depleting or degrading more of the earth's resources
our generation has a right to?  Does our food purchase choices allow
degradative, consumptive and wasteful agricultural practices to prosper,
are our purchase choices helping to stimulate a change toward greater
environmental improvement?

Organic farming helps us to be better farmers - more observant, more
connected to our soil, plants and animals, better stewards of our
Are organic standards and organic farmers perfect?  Certainly not - we
pretend to be, nor do we assume that our organic standards are without
flaws. Nor do we pretend that all organic farmers are better
stewards and better farmers than all conventional farmers - there is
quite a
range in both groups.

However, I was really impressed by one farmer who raises over 10000
conventional calves each year.  He recently sold us 8 calves and told me
quietly that he was very glad these calves were going to an organic farm
because "they will have a better life."  Even though he wasn't doing it
himself, he knew that organic animal management is more 'humane'.

That's what we organic farmers are trying to achieve - and the consumers
recognize this make it possible for us to try harder."
Mary-Howell Martens


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