ORGANIC: to Buy, or Not to Buy?
When you think of organic produce, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
You might think of higher prices, pesticides, or maybe even the dirty dozen, which lists the fruits and vegetables most affected by pesticides or GMOs. Something we often fail to consider is the farmworkers who tend to and pick the produce we consume.
Years ago, I did not understand the point of purchasing organic. I figured that if I washed fruits and vegetables before eating them, I'd wash away the danger. However, after doing more research, I soon realized that residual pesticides often remain, even after cleaning. (Learn more here ☺.)
Learning about residual pesticides was the tipping point necessary for me to dive into the world of organic products. I began to choose organic pasta or snacks, but only if it was similar in price to the non-organic alternative. As for produce, if knew I would consume the entire fruit or vegetable - greens, apples, and berries for example, then I'd try to get organic! Still, I would not buy organic items such as bananas, oranges, or avocados, because their outer layers immensely decreased my risk of exposure.
Fast forward to 2018-
I took a food justice course at college. I learned about migrant farm workers and the poor conditions they are forced to work under. I won't get into the nitty gritty details of the exploitation that goes down on commercial (and even "family-owned" farms), but I've included some links at the end of this post if you are interested! Overall, my biggest takeaway from the class wasn't that I should buy organic for my own health, but for the health of others. ***
It can be hard to make a complete organic switch (both mentally and financially), but little changes make a big difference! We have joined the movement at Verve by using organic açaí and granola in our bowls. We urge you to take baby steps. Consistently switching over just one product to organic such as apples or grapes makes a world of a difference in the long run!
***Buying organic is not always feasible. Some people simply cannot afford the luxury. BUT, if you are someone who buys coffee every day, gets takeout a couple time a week for lunch, or enjoys going out for a beer or two after work, I urge you to consider buying organic not just for your own body, but for the farmworkers who do not have the ability to choose. Foregoing one drink at the bar, or one cake-pop at the coffee shop is a small exchange for the health and well-being of our fellow humans. ♡
Resources about migrant farm worker justice:
Coalition of Immokalee Workers - fighting for fair wages and working conditions
Food Chains - MUST SEE FILM (if you only click on one link, click on this one!!)
Under the Feet of Jesus - a fiction novel that gives vivid insight to the life of a farm worker
Farmers switch to organic farming because their families were getting sick