Recently at the egg section of City Market where I always select organic eggs, I found this paraphrased notice posted above empty shelves: We are currently experiencing a national shortage of natural, organic eggs due to significant increase in demand for this product. … Producers are working to increase egg production to meet this demand. … This product is on an allocation basis. … This will be occurring through January.
“Yes! Score one for us!” was my first thought. That is, score for those of us who are concerned about the quality of our food, those of us who are demanding cleaner, better quality and organically labeled foods.
We are having an impact by voting with our buying dollars, and industry is listening.
I teach organic gardening at the local college, and the more I research, the more concerned I am about the quality of our industrialized agriculture practices. The quantity of chemicals used to grow our foods today (pesticides, herbicides, hormones and artificial fertilizers) has increased about 400 percent since 2001.
You will find a similar increase in many phantom diseases like autism, attention deficit, chronic fatigue, heart disease, cancer (and a huge list longer than I can name here), although conclusive links are still being researched.
I recently read that this generation will be the first to show a reduction in life expectancy from our parents.
I believe we are what we eat. So I teach that the only way to be sure your food is clean and chemical free is to grow it yourself.
The next best way is to buy at local farmers markets where most local farmers use organic practices, mostly because for small-scale farmers, it is easier, cheaper and safer than chemicals.
The third option is to buy “organic certified” at the grocery store. These products cannot be guaranteed to be completely clean (the industry standard for “organic” has some leeway), but it is a step in the right direction. “Certified organic” does ensure that no highly toxic pesticides or herbicides are used. But it does not promise non-GMO (genetically modified organisms), which most of Europe has already banned.
Going organic for many people seems too expensive at first. But I suggest each time you buy vegetables, buy at least one that is organic. If we all start by shifting 10 percent of our dollars toward buying organic, the industry will respond by producing more organic, which brings down the price. And that is exactly what is happening.
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