August 10, 2005

Passionate about Organic Foods
As I sit transplanting lettuce seedlings at an organic farm where I am a barter share member, I think of the Wheel of Life and the Closed Organic Cycle. I am part of the Wheel of Life, as well as, all other living things — the soil, trees, plants, insects and animals.

Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life starts with the soil (humus and micro-organisms) that affect plant nutrition. Next, the animals eat the plants, and I eat the plants and the animals. The soil is alive. Any and all life forms that arise from the soil will ultimately return to that soil, completing the Wheel of Life. Which leads me to a carrot comparison and telling you how passionate I am about organic foods.

Comparison of Two Carrots
For a moment, imagine two carrots that look alike. Carrot A was grown on a commercial farm in Mexico that uses pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Some of these chemicals have been banned for use in the United States. Most of the commercially-grown vegetables you buy in the U.S. are grown in Mexico that uses cheap labor and exposes these people to the toxic chemicals. Most Mexican workers don't have access to medical care.

Carrot B is darker in color and was grown on an organic farm with love and care for Mother Nature, without the use of toxic chemicals. Without tasting them or the concern for price, which one would you choose? Are you hesitating in making your decision?

Reasons for Hesitation
Why are you hesitating? You might say, organic foods cost more. That's true, there's a reason for it. Organic farming is labor intensive and follows strict guidelines based on farm practices that improve the soil and have minimal environmental impact. These regulated practices prohibit the use of toxic, synthetic chemicals that interrupt natural biological activity or the natural fertilizers in the soil. In the Closed Organic Cycle, nothing is added that isn't organic and nothing is taken away that doesn't eventually return back to the soil.

In contrast, the conventional farm is not regulated with respect to the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers or manures. Conventional farming may produce cheap food, but the external costs to the environment and the depletion of the quality of the soil is high. All life begins in the soil and a life form can only be as good as the soil from which it came. Again, which carrot would you choose? Carrot A, the cheaper, chemical-ridden carrot that destroys the environment and your health or the organic carrot B, that is good for you and the environment.

Values and Choices
What value do you place on eating a poor-quality carrot versus an organically-grown carrot? I've found that most people place a higher priority on driving a nice car than eating quality organic food or caring for the environment. Why do most people search for the cheapest eggs, meats or produce, but pay about $3 for a tall latte three or more times a week? What is your trade-off? Is the trade-off, your health now and in the future or immediate satisfaction without regard to your well being. What do you value and what are you willing to give up? Always, the choice is yours.

Without hesitating or even tasting, my choice would be carrot B, the organic carrot. I am just as passionate about organic farming as I am about the value of my own life. Because no pesticides or chemicals are used in organic crops, it helps reduce water pollution and conserves our natural resources. By simply choosing what I put in my mouth — organic, synthetic, chemical or processed, I can improve my life and help save Mother Nature.

Back at the Farm
As I walk through the garden gazing at the amazing-looking lettuce heads I helped grow, I am thankful for this organic farm and the farmers. Organic farming does not pollute me, the environment, the air, the soil or the water. All life begins and ends in the soil. With the ultimate respect for Mother Nature now and in the future, I choose to help maintain a living soil by purchasing organic foods and supporting local organic farmers. My passion for organic foods grows more every day — does yours?

To your life,
Belén Carmichael, NLC
Life Coach

Find out more about organic farming - visit these websites:
Cresset Community Farm
The Weston A. Price Foundation
Organic Consumers Association

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