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organic | pg.3
Have you ever caught yourself, mid-bite into a juicy burger (veggie, beef or buffalo) loaded with all the fixings, and stopped to consider where it all came from? Like, how did your home-grown tomato end up nestled next to an avocado from California, topped upon a patty of ground beef processed in Kansas?
My grandfather, not one given to understatement, frequently declared many modern-day foods to be “poison” and dismissed them with a wave of his hand. Among the offenders? Margarine (“anything that doesn’t freeze at freezing temperatures isn’t right…”). Pam cooking spray (“work of the devil!”). Whipped cream in an aerosol (“Unnatural!”).
I can only imagine his response to today’s offerings.
Many of us will send (and receive) flowers for Valentine’s Day (as well as Mother’s Day and/or Easter). However, many of us are unaware the $40 billion floral industry often exploits laborers, and deals in toxic chemicals – not what you want to associate with a gift of love! Check out some of these facts from the bestselling book, The Flower Confidential. We have an opportunity to use this holiday to improve our health, as well as minimize our impact on the environment and build community by making better flower choices, like shopping at Local Harvest, Organic Bouquet, or California Organic Flowers.
It’s not that my mind isn’t teeming with important thoughts. It is. I read literature. I watch documentaries. I bandy about intellectual ideas with my Ph.D.-waving friends.
But that doesn’t seem to stop my mind from obsessing about the little things.
For example, just this morning I was picking up a few things at the market. I noticed a bottle – from an eco-conscious company – of fruit and veggie wash.
Add up all the chemicals that go into candy, face paint, costumes and conventionally grown pumpkins and it’s easy to see that Halloween wins the most-toxic-holiday award hands down. So it’s no wonder that there is so much information out there these days on how to make it greener. In flush times, following these green tips seems like a no-brainer. But these days, I’m looking to cut the fat from my Halloween budget.
Yellowstone National Park, of which I’m a huge fan, recently launched a really exciting venture. Its Mammoth Hot Springs General Store has been re-created as an interpretive center to educate the public about climate change and the implications of consumer purchases, recycling, conservation and more. The store’s products are identified accordingly as fair trade, organic, renewable, locally-made and so on. Consumers can then make their choice based on a true understanding of the product’s value.
One of the biggest things you can do to support and encourage responsibly raised food is to vote with your wallet. You may be patronizing CSAs and farmers’ markets for local produce, buying organic brands from your supermarket and studying nutrition labels for evils like high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives, but if you’re eating in restaurants blissfully ignorant of where the food on your plate comes from, then you might be undermining your efforts.
“Our garden has gotten people so fired up,” says Kate Weaver, a lead volunteer in a team of Gaiam employees who’s bringing a new organic garden to life at our Boulder, Colo., headquarters. “I’ve never seen so much heart go into anything.”