As we all face price rises of our food and fuel, it has never been more important to think carefully about where we can cut back and where we cannot afford to comprise. Organic food is often considered a luxury option, but maybe it’s time to change this view. Paying a higher price for a top quality product is in many cases readily accepted. It makes sense to pay more for a car with superior component parts or well-tailored higher-end clothing. We can justify these pricier purchases as being cost-effective as they last longer, are more reliable, are better for the planet or for the workers involved etc.
All of these rationales and more apply to why we should be prepared to spend more on our fresh produce, meat, fish eggs and dairy. We need to change our view on higher welfare, organic foods from an indulgence to an absolute necessity. Here are a just a few reasons why you might want to compromise elsewhere during these frugal times:
Preservation of our precious topsoil, which is being depleted and eroded at a frightening rate and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. It is suggested that we have fewer than 60 harvests left if we continue to mono-crop and use aggressive agro-chemicals. Non-regenerative, non-organic farming methods are causing mass erosion, compaction, nutrient imbalance, pollution, acidification and loss of soil biodiversity with devastating consequences across the planet.
Health of farm workers who are readily exposed to agrochemicals are putting themselves at risk of a myriad health complications.
We need healthy animals, roaming and grazing on the land, eating a natural diet, not one full of antibiotics, growth hormones and chemical-ridden feeds that they are not suited to eat. The microbially-rich manure of free ranging, pasture raised animals puts back in to the soil what is taken out through growing crops. This is the natural regenerative way of traditional farming that sustains the health of the whole eco-system. You are what you eat, ate. Poorly fed animals results in poor quality meat, milk and soil.
Use of agrochemicals in non-organic farming results in the loss of the crucially important microbes in the soil that allow plants, animals and us to thrive. The soil microbiome is at the root of our own gut microbiome. If we kill off the microbes in our soil and plants with these nasty chemicals then we are at greater risk of significant damage to our own gut bacteria - the billions of health-supporting microbes that live within our intestine, that are associated with the regulation of every single system in our bodies.
Eating organic foods has been proven to greatly reduce glyphosate levels in humans. Glyphosate, a ubiquitous herbicide, used not just on crops, but private gardens, public parks and school fields, is a registered antibiotic that has been shown to have serious long-term consequences on the health of the complex natural world, from soil microbes, to bees, to humans. Glyphosate exposure has been linked to certain cancers, auto-immune issues, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut and even autism (see the work of Dr Stephanie Seneff and Dr Zac Bush). Surely we should be doing all we can to protect ourselves and our children from foods that contain glyphosate, namely non-organic, wheat, corn, oats, soy and the animals that eat these foods.
So, before you decide on the cheaper option, consider the true cost to you, your loved ones and the health of the planet. It makes sense to pay a little more for quality food that is not stealing precious resources from nature at a cost that will last far longer than the current financial squeeze.