Organics: Choosing a Healthier World for Everyone
Organics: Choosing a Healthier World for Everyone
by Patricia Dines
Share Guide, July/Aug. 1998, page 80

(c) Patricia Dines, 1998. All rights reserved.

"It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness."
Every day we make choices about what we buy and eat -- choices that can significantly impact the health and vitality of ourselves, the people we love, and the interwoven, interdependent ecosystems of our precious, alive planet.
Because of decades of hard work by organic farmers and their supporters, we consumers are now blessed with an option to the depleted mainstream food supply so often grown with toxic materials on sterilized land.
We now have access instead to a wide variety of luscious organic foods, grown without toxic pesticides or fertilizers, in soil that's been nurtured by farmers working with, not against, nature's self-balancing ecosystems.
With these organic foods, we can deeply nourish our bodies and our minds, empower all the activities and goals of our lives -- and enjoy really delicious food! And we can nurture and honor the well-being of our communities and our environment as well, supporting healthy conditions and helping prevent the predictable (and costly) health and environmental crises that toxics bring. Cornell entomologist David Pimentel estimates that pesticides conservatively cost the United States $8 billion a year through indirect costs, including harm to human health, animals, crops, pollinators, natural pest enemies, and our groundwater.
When we buy organic, we vote with our dollars for a future where this harm isn't being done, where our food is grown without poisoning farmers, workers, neighbors, and the environment. How joyful to have that choice!
And consumers all over the world are demonstrating with their food purchases just how strongly committed they are to that vision. The U. S. organic market has grown at least 20% a year for the past seven years, and is one of the fastest growing segments of the food market. And when the USDA recently proposed national organic standards that violated the very essence of organic principles, 290,000 people wrote and told the USDA that they wanted true organics -- the highest response the USDA has ever received for a proposed rule (the last record was 25,000!). Because of our strong and clear commitment, the USDA has said they will drastically revise and re-propose these national organic standards!
And nowhere is farmer and consumer commitment to organics more evident than in our own backyard, Northern California. For it turns out that we have here one of the largest and most diverse organic areas of the United States. Local organics are available to us in a wide variety of places and forms -- through farms, farmer's markets, restaurants, wineries, breweries, health food stores, caterers, nurseries, and more.
I was reminded last summer just how special this area is when I traveled elsewhere and had to work hard to find the organic foods we get so easily here. There's nothing like being away to appreciate coming home!
From this experience and my commitment to support the gift of organic agriculture, I decided to gather our wonderful local organic resources into one handy reference guide, making them easy for both visitors and locals to find and enjoy. This resulted in the release this April of the first guide of its kind -- "The Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country." Pocket-sized, well-organized, and full of information, it makes exploring local organics a breeze!
And when I think about how this Guide is nurturing both those seeking and those offering organic food, wine, and more, I see the vision of a less-toxic world one step closer, and I smile.
How wonderful that creating a better world can be so much fun for everyone!
Patricia Dines is President of Community Action Publications (CAP), which distributes information about toxics and their alternatives to support constructive action towards a healthier, less-toxic world. For more information on the Guide or CAP, call (707) 829-2999.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2007. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 04/05/07