July 24, 2011

Dr Jane’s Mindful Living

defoliants exist
dioxin for instance
denuding trees and
shrubs and destroying
people and animals

by spraying
fields and forests
we achieve fall and death
in the middle of the most
luxuriant summer

From Inger Christensen’s the Alphabet

Jane Goodall published Harvest for Hope in 2005, outlining her analysis of animal behaviour and mammal’s avoidance of food laden with pesticides. Taste, aroma, texture and colour, not price factor into the sensuality of food choices with Goodall’s subjects.  Her analysis strongly supported a vegetarian diet and choosing organic produce.

That was 2005. Goodall’s subject were largely cows and chimpanzees.

Six years after Harvest for Hope surveyors at Thomson Reuters and NPR asked consumers about their preference for organic food. Their survey yielded results similar to those Jane Goodall saw in the wild.

However, Thomson’s respondents  factored price into their decision, not relying on their senses alone.  In Thomson’s survey shoppers preferred organic produce, but price- not a feature in nature- figured into their habits.

Jane’s customers were right in 2005
The animals in Goodall’s survey were using their senses- smell, taste and hunger to choose organic produce. Price was not a variable.

Fewer environmental toxins: subsidize organics
Jane Goodall’s message resonates today.

If price is the largest obstacle to eating organic  food, than subsidize organic practices. We see fit to subsidize corn for ethanol (E85), why not promote organic farming?

Why not go further and penalize the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides? The soil, our water and our health are regulated entities, yet they remain unchecked in the form of bio science, genetic engineering and modern agribusiness.

As the survey intones, the conventional output from modern farming shows up in stores as less expensive engineered products, clouding respondents preference for organic produce.

Read, Harvest for Hope, by Jane Goodall

Related, the tomato your produce manager insisted in organic has a patent on it?

Related, Who Spliced their Genes in my Tomatoes?

Post scrip on price and Farmers Markets
Many farmers markets take EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer, a government debit card) and WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children).  Toxin free food should be accessible and affordable.

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