Thursday, July 14, 2011

False representation

NDC(no dog content-sort of)

Recently I had a conversation with a dear friend who has been promoting a process for a long time now. Decades if I count back a little. He has a doctorate in nutrition and is extremely active in the US with the organic movement. As in he speaks across the country, is on the BOD of several organic boards and is also an organic inspector.

Our discussion revolved around the way people like to use words out of context or provide false representation of a process, action or procedure to make themselves look good, others look bad.

Take for example, the word organic. Unfortuantely in the US, there is no real standard put out by our government aka the USDA(agriculture's governing body) about what is considered organic and what isn't. Okay, there is the NOP now, but they aren't the end all, beat all, final decision maker on organics. But for the most part they leave it up to the individual states and other outside associations to come up with the rules. As a consumer or person interested in "going organic" it can be confusing as all heck.

So what does organic mean for the point of view of a farmer, gardener or consumer? In the simplest term, it's not just planting a garden and preserving your own produce. It's a whole system of cleansing the earth, planting untained seeds and using management practices that avoid the use of man made chemicals for disease and insect control.

Here's the beef folks-when someone talks about growing organic, having an organic diet, or living an organic lifestyle, unless you totally understand what is required, you are misusing a term or providing a false representation of yourself(so what else do you provide false representation on?).

Let's look at the home gardener-are you using seeds certified as organic? Has the ground your planting in been with out chemical additives for 3-4 years? If you buy plants for your garden, are you buying organic plants-do you know if the soil they are growing in hasn't been treated with chemcials or the plants sprayed with growth hormones? When you fertilize your garden with manure, what feed was fed to the animals? You can see, it's not just about not using chemcials on your garden, it's a whole cycle beyond you.

You might ask then what word do you use? Those in the organic movement prefer that you use the word natural. FDA even gets into it at this point with requirements on how food can be labelded. That's why when you read the label, if you see natural vs organic, you know why.

So off my soap box--the key is and it's not just the organic thing, it's more about understanding what you are talking about, what you say and how you act. Saying one thing, doing something else and then pointing fingers at others(even though the other people aren't trying to hide a darn thing). Just popped into my head a lovely quote from Crazy Annie--ask me a direct question and you'll get the truth.

Later gators...

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