Organic Certification questions

Alex McGregor waldenfarm at sprintmail.com
Thu Jul 18 09:05:36 EDT 2002


Answer your question about pesticides yourself.  Use of pesticides supports the centralized military-industrial-agriculture complex.  The use contaminates soil, air and water with chemicals that are definitely not health promoters for all life forms.  The introduction affects not only the farm and farmers where it's applied, drift and water
movement contaminates others who choose not to use them.  And most of these are systemic, meaning they're absorbed into the plant tissue and are absorbed by those who eat the contaminated food.

I define ethically grown as taking all factors into consideration when producing food for others and in stewardship of the land.  I fall back on my premise that to produce food to provide life energy for others is a sacred trust, not an economic exchange.  Management decisions are held up to this premise.  On the positive side, I keep the
fertility of the soil at as high a rate as I can (producing an average of 8 times more food per unit of land than other growers) and attempting to provide an environment for maximum plant nutrition which results in maximum human nutrition.

The term "organic" has been usurped by corporations once organic food began cutting into their profits.  Organic growers didn't sell out, our hard work and dedication to quality food was stolen against some of our wills.  Sure, there were those in the community who waved the flag and told us all that USDA controlling "organic was the best thing
that could happen and that we would all be accepted into the fold.  Sadly, this line of thinking prevailed.

I see the problem of hanging onto the term "organic" as failing to understand what's going on.  I've been on the fringe of growing since I started over 30 years ago.  One thing I've learned through the years is that small growers can only survive and thrive if they are involved in educating their customers- continually.  There will always be
those who wait for innovators to start being successful and then steal the ideas in all sectors of the economy- Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Panera..., and "McDonaldize" the concepts.

So, call it what you may, we still need innovators who strive to produce quality food and have a close relationship with their customers.  This is the important part of the equation, not some label that can be bought and sold on the open market.

sunnfarm at netscape.net wrote:

> Ethically Grown?, Does this inply that because I use pesticides I'm not ethical?. I still find it hard to believe that organic growers sold out and allowed there most valued possession the term "organic", to be corperatized to the benifit of the southwestern ag business industry, so they can dominate the growing domestic organic food market.
> I don't think the best ad agency on Madison avenue can ever comeup with a suitable term to replace organic in the hearts and minds of the consumer...Bob.
> Sunny Meadow Farm
> Bridgeton, NJ.
>
> >I've been selling my produce direct at markets and on farm this year as
> >"Ethically Grown", with only limited sales to a "health food supermarket"
>
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Alex McGregor
Walden Farm





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