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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Got home with organic bananas and I'm MAD!

On Tuesday I went shopping for a few necessities at the grocery store.

I like to shop systematically to keep me from wasting money on stuff I won't really eat. I start in the fresh produce where I picked up a bunch of very green bananas. I like it when they're green they last so much longer. Moved on to the dairy. Hit up the meat counter. You get the point.

When I was putting away my groceries, I noticed that my bananas had a sticker that said:

"CERTIFIED ORGANIC FRUIT"

I was ticked. I don't normally buy organic fruit and I have a few reasons why.

  • I don't buy organic because I live in America and have so many choices for safe, wholesome and cheap food. I don't think that our food production system is perfect, but it's pretty darn good! I believe in the system that provides us with these choices, so I choose to support conventional production when possible.
  • I don't buy organic because I know many farmers and producers personally and know that they care about the environment that our food is produced in. They have to be careful with everything that they are stewards for, from the air to the soil, water and produce.
  • I don't buy organic because I know what pesticides are and they do what they say - control pests! Our government sets standards and controls for the use of pesticides in food production and the levels that are safe for even the youngest humans to consume! My dad is a farmer and he had to take a strenuous licensing exam in order to utilize pesticides on his farm.The person who advises him on pesticide decisions had to take about 10 of those exams.
  • I don't buy organic because I understand the science behind it. When I see a recall or new labeling on food products I commonly purchase, I check it out from a reliable and scientific source. When dairy products boast they are produced from cows not treated with rBST, I know that BST is a naturally occurring protein hormone utilized in dairy production to increase milk production in cows so that more milk can be produced from the same number of cows. I also know that it's kind of sad that producers can't utilize this technology that helps keep milk prices lower for consumers because consumers demanded that it not be used anymore. I doubt many of the people who demanded that change in the industry knew that BST is species specific and does not change the hormone levels or affect growth in humans because it is a bovine hormone.
  • I don't buy organic because I don't believe it is fair marketing. When people think organic they are thinking of small farms on the side of the road that are environmentally conscious and what not, right? A lot of organic produce is grown on huge corporate farms just like the conventional counterpart. When pests threaten to take over the crop, it is just transferred over to conventional practices and loses organic labeling rights. So it's basically the same thing, only pricier at times, so I don't choose to support it.
I was ticked about the bananas I got home with that were organic, but you'll notice that I didn't say I think organic food choices are wrong. Organic exists because people asked for it and that's what is so great about our food system in the US. YOU get to make the choice.


I have made mine and I have reasons why. Do you? Please feel free to share! I love to engage in dialogue about food choices and what drives people at the supermarket.

Best,

Tera

10 comments:

  1. Well, I can make similar arguments. I DO shop organic because I DO know the science, and I DO know what pesticides are and what they do. However, I do not shop organic as if it were a fad simply picking up any item that boasts its label. I shop cautiously. I DO research, and I know which products and growers are true to local, sustainable, and chemical-free agriculture. I shop because I consume and live free of toxins and nearly all processed foods. My supermarket is largely homegrown or farm-to-consumer direct --- that's where I get meat, milk, veggies, nuts, grains. Then I just make what I need from those whole, real items --- cheese, kefir, flour ground from almonds or soaked and sprouted grains, etc. That is how it should be. Then the few items that I can't make, I do buy, but I buy organic from the companies that I know and trust, and made without a list of ingredients twenty-something long. Informed, educated, smart organic shoppers DO exist and we have our reasons and we have our lifestyle. Please DO NOT make the mistake of lumping all organic shoppers together. Living natural and unprocessed is not just a shopping choice, it's a lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I DO NOT buy organic because I have seen first hand what goes on at the certified organic farms. Not only should we worry about the pesticides that are sprayed to control bugs from destroying tons of food, we should also worry about parasite control in the LIVING animal. I have seen animals suffer because they have such a high parasite burden they are not able to move about their enclosures. To really understand the science and research that goes into organic farming, it is important to see it yourself, not just read on the organic producers website.

    Enjoy those bananas.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Steph,

    Thanks so much for reading! I was really wanting some good dialogue and I am really glad you brought your opinion to the table. I apologize if my post seemed to lump organic shoppers into a category of uninformed consumers, I did not have that intention AT ALL! I simply wanted to bring up a topic and give my opinion on it, even though we are on different sides of this issue we are on the same side of promoting informed food decisions it seems. People, like yourself, who make the decisions that you do at the grocery store are extremely informed and making educated decisions every day on what you pay for at the check out stand. So, thank you again for your opinion, I hope our readers venture down to the comments to appreciate all sides of the food decisions we all make as consumers.
    Best,

    Tera Rooney

    ReplyDelete
  4. jadavenport,

    Thanks for reading the blog as well and providing your input. I hope to see a lot of comments on this to see what we can all learn from consumers who have reasons behind their purchases.

    Thanks again,

    Tera Rooney

    ReplyDelete
  5. dear author,

    you are completely aloof and brainwashed by cargil and monsanto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lui_gonz,

      First off, thanks for reading the blog, we appreciate your interest in what our group is doing.

      I find the word aloof an interesting adjective to apply to your comment. I am actually not "uninvolved and uninterested" because I am passionately blogging about an industry that I believe is important. I also have no allegiances to any specific companies that produce food. I am a student and I base my opinions on combining my education and experiences - growing up on a farm and going to college to obtain a degree that will hopefully land me in a career that contributes to the agriculture industry.

      I'd like to reiterate the fact that I do not believe that organic food choices and production is wrong. There is a large consumer following for this market and I am glad that we live in a country where each of us are awarded the opportunity to vote with our pocketbooks each day. I see that you and I probably vote differently, but there is nothing wrong with engaging in constructive and interesting dialogue about what drives our choices at the grocery store.

      Please feel free to contact me for further dialogue, if you wish.

      Best Regards,

      Tera Rooney
      trooney@ksu[dot]com

      Delete
  6. Your snide comment on Lui-gonz word choice is unnecessary. That being said, it can be construed that you ARE "aloof" (uninvolved and uninterested) toward the the greater benefits of the organic movement. You flaunt you background and education to justify your single-minded perspective. I find your placating comments directed at the organic shopper offensive. You're obviously using it to mask your true feelings, "that in our country, even stupid people are entitled to their opinion". Perhaps ignorance is in the mind of the beholder.

    BTW to which companies are you sending your resume?
    Cargill and Monsanto as Lui-gonz may suspect?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Organic is poison! I only trust Genetically Modified Organisms because they are proven safe by the FDA and our goverment. Anything else is just against safety and against our farmers. Probably most likely liberal communists outside of the U.S.A who hate America and are jealous of successful companies like Monsanto who make an honest buck feeding the world.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you're happy with that, we are all free to make choices right?. You might want to watch this, it's always good to know all the information, this is a Mother's story, she has four kids - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rixyrCNVVGA

    ReplyDelete
  9. If we're so free to make choices, why did Monsanto lobby millions of dollars to keep GMO labeling off their products? Why do they spend millions every year, suing organic farmers in efforts to destroy their businesses? If their food is so safe, why did they recently stuff millions of dollars into the pockets of our sweet, caring government gangsters to make the puppet Obama sign the Monsanto Protection Act? Which, in a nutshell, is a law that releases Monsanto from all legal and civil liability if their food hurts or kills anyone... Do people even bother to think anymore? These organizations are evil, they control our government and the laws enacted with their money, and they do not care about you. Just ask the nice Monsanto scientist who wrote a retaliation letter to the coast to coast activist pushing for labeling: "the world is overpopulated anyway! If a bunch of people died, we'd be doing the world a favor!"

    ReplyDelete

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