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Opinion

Organic food not as strange as it sounds

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February 28, 2008

Once you go black, you’ll never go back. Once a smoker, always a smoker. Go organic, stay organic.

  Some things are just so great that you cannot even consider going back to the old, sucky way of doing things. Eating organically improves taste, is nutritional, better for the environment, more sustainable and it’s sexy.

  Generalizations about organic foods and personal care products have been noticeably far-fetched. 

  Organic food does not taste like cardboard. It is not only for vegetarians and it is certainly not just for “hippies.” The year is 2008 and these myths are more outdated than Burberry clothes.

  The main turnoff of organic foods is the cost. Organic food doesn’t always cost more but prices must be adjusted to basic supply and demand rules. Plus, consider the organic farmers that don’t receive federal subsidies like most commercial farmers. More labor and intensive management is put into organic farming. The cost of the food reflects the true cost of growing.

  Also, most people don’t think of the environmental clean up that is necessary from conventional foods that are paid for by taxes. For example, organic farming reduces off-farm pollution. 

  The “Dead Zone” located in the Gulf of Mexico is caused by an increase of chemical fertilizers. 

Your organic food is cared for with the highest regard.

  Other than reducing the nasty chemicals in our earth’s waters, organic farming reduces the toxins in the air, soil and our bodies, which makes our lovely planet and our beautiful bodies healthier.
When it comes to the land, composting builds healthy soil and a natural fertility. 

  Conventional farming results in a loss of top soil, vitamins and nutrients. Converting land into an organic farm is a thoughtful three-year process.

  To know that the product is organic, the USDA Organic seal is found on products.

  The seal means that the product is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms.

  If I am what I eat, I certainly do not want to be a synthetic fertilizer.

  A sense of place is another great benefit of organic foods. Geographically speaking, local foods bring a conscience at ease knowing that it did not have to travel far to get to my appreciative tummy.

  Even if it does come from Belize, Italy or Tasmania, the energy put into organic farming is still 30 percent less than conventional farming, and is more than likely to be fair trade as well.

  The certification of products’ organic worthiness is an elaborate one but assures quality and integrity of the product. To be “certified organic,” the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) requires all crops, wild crops, livestock and handling operations to be certified by a certifying agent and the state organic program through a submitted system plan as well as annual inspections.

  The system plan, compiled by the farmer, is a detailed description of how an organic operation will be achieved, documented thoroughly and how it will sustain compliance with the OFPA.

  It is Wellness Awareness Week. Love your body, love your food. Eat well, be healthy and stay sexy.

  Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor in her senior year.  She enjoys kangaroo burgers and creating pretty maps.嗝

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.