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Mariposa Market
500 South Main Street
Willits, CA 95490
(707)459-9630
   Store Hours
9 AM to 7 PM
Monday-Friday
9 AM to 6 PM Saturday
11 AM to 5:30 PM Sunday

Deli Hours
9 AM to 5 PM
Monday-Saturday
11 AM to 4 PM
Sunday

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT?

BY MARY ANNE

 

Here we are in 2014 and the corporate farming of America is still spiraling out of control. This, in spite of the fact that the organic food movement is growing by 10-15% per year. Sales of organic food are said to reach $40 billion this year. Even though the sales of organic foods are growing five times faster than sales of conventional foods, organic food purchases only make up 5-10% of the average food bill. 50% of Americans say that they prefer to buy organic, and almost everyone buys some organic foods part of the time. When asked why they prefer organic, consumers state that they want to buy and eat food free from pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotic residues and genetically modified organisms. Consumers are generally educated enough to know that the conventional food industry is responsible for the deteriorating health of the public. They are becoming aware that the corporate farming model is the leading cause of water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, wetland destruction, reduced biodiversity and climate-affecting greenhouse gases. Concerns also include animal welfare, farm workers and the sustainability of rural communities. The good news is that organic farming  and ranching is actually regenerative and can save us from the catastrophe of global climate change by reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, improving soil fertility, increasing plant health, animal health, and human health as well.  Why then is the organic revolution still struggling to reach into the life of the general economy?

 

The truth is that most people are still buying highly processed, chemically contaminated and factory-farmed food. Farmers continue to plant GMO crops and douse them with toxic chemicals. Junk-food addicted Americans spend almost half of their food dollars eating in fast-food and chain restaurants where factory-farmed food is the norm. Unfortunately, the Federal government fails to support farmers in the transition to organic while spending billions of dollars subsidizing chemically dependent and GMO operations. If organics got the same level of support, there would no doubt be a surge in organic farming.

 

What are some of the other problems be-setting the organic movement?

1.      Nutritional and culinary illiteracy. While many Americans claim that they want to eat better and cook more at home, most have no real knowledge of nutrition or the superiority of organic foods and many lack the basic culinary skills.

2.      Big Food and Big Ag have effectively brain-washed the public with the message that organic food is no healthier than chemically produced and GMO food. This undermines the consumer’s incentive to pay more for food when cheaper alternatives, many labelled “natural”, are prevalent in the marketplace.

3.      All fats are dangerous. We discussed this myth in our last newsletter. Most people are under the mistaken impression that all saturated fats cause heart disease and cancer. They are unaware that the elevated proportion of Omega 3’s in organic and grass fed meat, dairy, eggs, coconut, avocados and cooking oils are actually good for you and protective against heart disease. They instead opt for supposedly “low-fat” factory-farmed foods which are actually artery-clogging and conducive to obesity. The oils used in fast-food are especially toxic.

4.      Artificial sweeteners and low-calorie sodas are good for you. Another myth based on science which, at best, could be called outdated. The closer we stick to a diet of “real food” the better off we will be. Even on an organic diet sugars of all types should be limited. Anything artificial is not considered real food and is not healthy.

5.      Fraudulent marketing, advertising, and greenwashing in the marketplace. Marketing gimmicks abound for those Americans seeking healthier choices. Many consumers equate “natural” with organic. Fruits and vegetables are now commonly labeled “local” even when they are produced with toxic chemicals and pesticides. The same goes for meat and chicken which is still given antibiotics and is most-likely factory farmed. Many foods labeled “non-GMO” are still full of pesticide laden produce. Advertising wizards have perfected the art of turning our children into junk food addicts. Almost everyone is brainwashed by thousands of commercials and ad images, and food which is chemically mutated to trick our taste buds into believing that it tastes better than the “real deal”.

6.      Lack of money and time. Most Americans would argue that they would like to eat organically. Yet, although most Americans are suffering from obesity and diet-related health problems, they feel powerless to change their eating habits or sedentary lifestyle. Organic foods do cost more in the short term, but add up to reduced costs in health care. Like putting good gas in your car to keep it running smoothly, organic food keeps the body machine in good working condition. Other problems which prevent people from organic food include basic standard of living conditions in a country where the minimum wage is pitiful but the costs of rent, health care, higher education and transportation are extremely high. The man or woman that works full-time rarely has the time or energy to prepare a home-cooked meal or shop at the farmers market. Raising the standard of living and increasing nutritional awareness would do a lot for turning the public towards healthier foods.

 

Even though it’s discouragingly slow, the organic movement is still on the upswing. As more and more of the public become aware of the food culture in this country, the shift will began to occur on its own. Just in the past ten years, farm to food restaurants have become much more common and farmers markets are on the rise in every city. Consciousness about GMO foods is increasing as folks become more cognizant of the corporate take-over of American farming. It takes a long time to turn this massive ship around but I, for one, am confident that we are gradually making our way to a more sustainable future. Do not give up hope. 

 

Excerpted from Organic Consumers Association article, “What’s Holding Back the Organic Revolution” by Ronnie Cummins, August 20, 2014




  

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October Sales run from 9/27/14 to 10/31/14

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