Buying Organic as a Charitable Donation?

I recently read a pamphlet entitled "Mothers of Organic" by Sandra Steingraber and came across an interesting concept. She offset the cost of eating organic foods by giving less to charitable organizations.

On it's face, I know the whole concept will anger a lot of people, but when I read through her logic it made a lot of sense. #1 We all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Does it make more sense to give money to an organization like the American Cancer Society or support organic farms that keep cancer causing pesticides and herbicides out of our water, soil, and air?

Did you know that grapes and possibly cherries can no longer be grown in large sections of Illinois because the wind contains so much 2,4-D weed killer that the grape leaves curl up and die.

Don't believe it - google it yourself - a lot of the info was published in the April 30, 2002 Peoria Journal Star. I've seen chemical drift in my own garden and it frustrates (and scares) me to no end.

I'm an avid berry grower and I know what herbicide kill looks like. And my plants occasionally exhibit this. But I use no herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. It's coming from somewhere else.

By buying organic foods, we are not only feeding our families the best possible foods, we are altruistically helping all of the Earth's inhabitants. Our water, our air, our soil, our food, and our wildlife are all at stake. And all of this puts our health at risk (and the health of all animals).

My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer last year and I can not tell you how many times my children have asked, "why did Grampie get cancer?" Of course, I don't have the answer, and how do you explain to your children that our water, air, and food are all suspect without totally freaking them out?

Please understand that I am not trying to single out the American Cancer Society. Ironically, I donated to them last year, but it is worth considering a budget adjustment if you can't find it in your budget to buy organic foods.

I'm also not singling out charities as the only option. Under my husband's budget scrutiny, I've reined in my other spending areas to balance out any spending on healthier food. No more 75% off clearance sweaters, shoes, and earrings for me. I can make do with my current wardrobe if it guarantees me the money to buy healthier food. It's worth it!

But Sandra also made a very valid point that really speaks to me. She said that "directing [her] food dollars toward organic farmers is part of [her] spiritual practice." Since a big chunk of our charitable giving is faith based, this made a lot of sense to me. Living a cleaner, healthier life is a spiritual matter for me, and I shouldn't have any trouble putting my money out their with the same goodwill that I put forth with charitable giving. We give to charities to help make the world a better place. Supporting better farm practices is another direct and impactful way to make that happen.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cheap food is not Good for anyone! It costs more than we can even calculate. And it costs more in money that people even realize. I am far from perfect in this area (and I stand alone in my own family), but this is a cause worth fighting for!

1 comments:

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Thanks for posting this. I was sitting her debating on whether or not I should go out and buy non organic chicken for $1.49/lb. It's such a great deal, but I know I have been buying organic meats for a few weeks, and why should I stop now. But after this, I know keepng with organic will be better in the long run. Thanks again

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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