Nat. 'Organic' Standrds

eric + michiko emstorm at
Fri Jan 23 19:29:52 EST 1998

In response to -
 Jack Rowe <jackrowe at> 15 Jan 1998 (see below),
 Guy Clark <guyclark at> 15 Jan 1998,
 and many others more recently:

"Another great reason for locally-produced, CSA or similar style food
production wherein we get our food from persons we know and trust --
'organic' labels be damned (as apparently is already the case). " - Jack

This is exactly what I kept thinking as I read all the comments on this
thread.  If you can't trust the person you buy your food from, how can you
trust a label?  Many people also chose one brand of jam over another because
it's "Fat Free!" never understanding that all (?) jam is fat free, and
always was.  Anyway, I guess my point is that it is hard to trust someone
you've never met who's main objective is to make a profit not a product.

As I see it, Pc is, among many other things, about a movement towards
(return to) sustainable local communities (and therefore econmies).  I don't
see how it can be sustainable to obtain anything more than a small fraction
of your needs from a great distance.  (My current thinking is that farther
than can be covered in a half a day [= round trip in one day] by human or
animal power is too far.  Any thoughts?)  If one needs to label and package
a product, it seems to imply that the intended customer is too far away to
talk to or meet.  Any new word or phrase has the potential to be hi-jacked
the way "organic" may be, simply a (necessary?) delay.

I realize that we are a long way from the local economies that I'm writing
about, and therefore most people will buy things made far away, and that
they deserve protection from misinformation.  Perhaps it is time for the
next step.  If the word "organic" and its associated phrases go down the
tubes, it may be the perfect opportunity to localize food (and other?)
production.  If enough attention is drawn to the new definition of
"organic", I'm convinced that most rational people will search out better
alternative sources.  Who wants to eat a salad that has been bathed in
sewage sludge?

Other topics of interest to me:
The term "Sustainability" - 
How important is it for one to live in a truely sustainable manner at this
point in time.  How many in the "developed countries" are ready for such a
lifestyle, or is a transitional lifestyle a necessary model?  Are there
compromises (i.e. computers, bulldozers, international travel, etc.) that
are reasonable at this time in ourstory (I like that word)?  When I gave the
idea of "sustainability" some serious, I was overwhelmed by the depth of
change necessary in my own lifestyle.  Although I moving in the direction of
sustainability all the time, I find myself wondering why I am not changing
to the degree I know possible.
Any one else interested?

Also - Connections in / with Japan - 
I have strong connections with Japan, though, so far, very few with
connections to Permaculture there.  I am currently building my vacabulary
base (a large task for me) to be able to discuss, translate and or teach
Permaculture in Japanese.  I would love to compile a list of Japanese people
doing or interested in Pc.  I have recently seem mentions of it on the
listing and will follow up on them, but any info on anyone else with such a
list would be appreciated.

Eric Storm
Sebatopol, CA, USA

More information about the permaculture mailing list