Organic food is gradually becoming more popular. Our Black Creek Community Farm is a great example of growing support for organic farming and a wonderful asset in our neighborhood.
Organic is a scientific word but does not always mean the same thing. For a chemist, petroleum is organic, but that is the opposite of what we mean when we talk about food. For a farmer, organic fruits and vegetables are grown with no petroleum derived fertilizers or insecticides, without using genetically modified seeds and nourished in clean, rich soils. Organic meats come from animals nourished with organic grass and grains. The animals are not treated with antibiotics and hormones; they enjoy freedom of movement in a clean, natural environment.
Organic food does not need to cost more than factory food, especially when you take advantage of buying right from the farm as we can with the farms near Pioneer Village and in Downsview Park.
I recommend organic food. You avoid toxins. Insecticides and fertilizers used for vegetables leave residues, contaminating our food. So do hormones and antibiotics used to raise meat. How much residue and how much toxicity this adds up to remains a controversial and politically loaded issue with complex and contradictory scientific claims on both sides. I am particularly alarmed by reports on herbicidal residues that genetically modified plants have been designed to tolerate. I don’t think safety testing is currently adequate. A standard test is to feed laboratory animals the food continuously over three or more generations. With laboratory mice, this means one or two years, but the U.S. Food and Drug administration, from what I have seen, only tests for six weeks.
The top dozen most contaminated foods to avoid according to David Suzuki are: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumber, blueberries and potatoes. Buy those organic when you can.
Organic farming has benefits for soil health and water purity, and bio-diversity. It burns less carbon and it is more labor intensive. The buzz word is “productivity” but I prefer more jobs to productivity.
Dr. Terry Wahls’ spectacular example of organic food at work does not apply directly to many of us, but it may be an example of things to come. Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D., of the School of Medicine at Iowa University reversed her own multiple sclerosis with a diet high in organic green vegetables and omega oils. She went from wheel chair back to bicycle. She is now funded to research her method with other patients. Her approach uses such a high quantity of green leafy vegetables that she would have considered the diet toxic and dangerous if the food had been produced by the usual factory methods. We are learning a lot, bit by bit.
When you get your food at our Black Creek community farm you support your health and our earth and build a vibrant community.
Opinions or questions? Write to Nicole@IndividualCare.com. Nicole Constant is a registered Doctor of Naturopathy. www.IndividualCare.CA