Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Local Food I

I've been reluctant to endorse organic meat and dairy (as seen in previous posts).  A couple reasons include:

  1. Sometimes cows are in worse shape on "organic" farms because they go without treatment.  If a farmer needs to certify milk organic, they can't use antibiotics for their cows.  While I'm against overuse of antibiotics just like everyone else, there are some painful conditions that benefit from antibiotics, such as mastitis.  Holistic/homeopathic care just doesn't work in the case of some diseases and I don't want to contribute to animals going without treatment.
  2. Industrial farming can still be "organic".  Organic doesn't mean a small farm, or a farm where food is not produced on a massive level.  Industrial organic farming can still have a huge impact on the environment and sometimes take fossil fuel and be environmentally wasteful.
  3. "Organic" doesn't always mean better.  As I've told some people, just because your dog's food is "organic" doesn't mean it's nutritionally sound.  You know they make organic potato chips and I'm sure you can probably get organic french fries somewhere.  Organic junk food is still organic junk food.  Same thing with feeding organic foods to cattle, it doesn't always mean it's nutritionally sound and for the benefit of the cow.  Fecal matter is "organic".  Need I say more?
Reading the book, "The Omnivores Dilemma" seems to fit more with my philosophy.  I'm not a vegetarian, but I do want the animals I eat to be respected and treated humanely.  Furthermore, I'd like to support local farms and sustainable practices.  The author, Michael Pollan writes about "Beyond Organic".  Sustainable farms that go beyond the term "organic" and farm like they did in the olden days.  This does mean your eggs will be $4 instead of $0.97.  While I'd love to buy all my food locally from farmers markets, it does get pricey, but some food for thought would be, when able, buy more locally, when given a choice, pay a little more for responsible farming.  It's worth it and it does taste better!

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