Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eat Organic or Die!!

I'm sure this particular post will not make me popular in some of the circles I have been running in lately, but I have to write it anyway. And by write I mean rant.

I am so tired of being preached at about 'eat organic or die'. Seriously.

I understand the benefits of organic food, really I do. And even more, I understand the necessity of supporting small independent farms. But I have to say this: eating something that isn't organic, or was grown from GMO seed does not qualify as a crime against humanity. The fact is, without GMO crops, and subsequently GMO derived food products millions of Americans (not to mention people around the world who depend on US exported foods) wouldn't be able to feed their families. And I'm not just talking about poor people or the homeless. If GMO foods were banned (as many all-organic activists lobby for daily) food prices for everyone would skyrocket. It is simple economics; price is driven by a balance of supply and demand. Demand is high because people are hungry. When supply is plentiful (ie when GMO crops have higher annual yields because they are resistant to disease, drought, and famine) prices are reasonable. If supply plummets, prices soar. It is how the world works.

On a more personal note, I don't give two anythings about whether or not someone chooses to eat organic foods. What I do care about is any person directly or indirectly judging me because I don't. Truth is, whatever evils you think they may have, if I'm the one eating them what do you care?!?

Two months ago I stopped eating dairy. It wasn't an action for animal rights, or because I stopped liking cheese. Let's be serious, I love cheese. It was an experiment to treat a skin rash on Baby through a change in diet. It wasn't (and isn't) easy, nor is it really enjoyable, but I am doing it because I believe it is best for my baby. But I didn't make a sign and start beating people over the head with it. It's a personal decision, and therefore I don't see the need to press others into following suit.

About two weeks ago someone (in a group setting) asked me to tell them about it, and whether I had observed any improvement in Baby. I told them about the struggles, and how I had to wean myself slowly, one dairy product at a time. I also mentioned that I had switched to soy milk, and that surprisingly I quite enjoy it. Almond milk, not so much. At this point in the conversation a third party IMMEDIATELY 'warned' me that I shouldn't be drinking the brand of soy milk that I had chosen, and that I should be REALLY careful about soy products because soy is the #1 GMO crop. Today, several weeks later, I am thankful that I said nothing in response, although I was quite irritated. (I have to rejoice in the moments when I really do think before I speak, because they are few and far between). I don't care if the soy is a GMO. That particular soap box doesn't rile me up. Well, not the first poke anyway...

But then this morning I read another blog post in which a woman called out Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo as containing a known carcinogen, and said that it was a 'mommy fail' to use those products on a baby. Excuse me?!? Don't even get me started on the number of other everyday products that I'm sure have known carcinogens. I hope that blog writer doesn't drive a car, drink diet soda, steal little bottles of shampoo from hotels, or eat in restaurants. Ever. A stance as rigid and extreme as 'eat/drink/breathe/live organic or die' is nonsense. I'm sure that woman isn't as big a natural saint as she seems on her blog.

What really gripes me is that the natural/organic movement is so negative and judgmental in their delivery. I mean honestly, if they want people to go organic and live greener don't you think it would be more productive to advertise the positive aspects of the organic item, instead of posting a picture of the mainstream item with a tag like "POISON" or "BAD SHIT". The post about Johnson & Johnson didn't cite a single source of information about the scientific evidence of carcinogens and I suspect you'd have to drink your body weight in shampoo every day for the next decade to be at risk. Nor did the post provide any real comparison between the two products. What are the merits of the 'natural' product that make it soooo much better? She didn't cite any, most likely because she doesn't know. She just knows the word 'carcinogen' is scary. This woman didn't further the cause at all. All she did was piss me off by saying I'm a bad mother. That was productive.

The truth is, for 90% of the population eating organic and going green is as much a fad as the Atkins Diet was in the early 2000's. For those people, 'organic' didn't exist before 2010. They never considered that even before crops were genetically modified they were sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers. No, for the masses it isn't about being natural or organic, it's about being on trend. And when you're just doing it to fit in the science or reasoning behind any of it isn't important. As is the American way, they just fall in line and spew whatever anti-GMO propaganda comes their way. For the other 10% being natural/organic is a way of life for socioeconomic or medical reasons. And in my experience it is rarely that 10% that is pushy about their choices.

I rant all that to get to this: just leave me the hell alone about your choices and your opinions about mine.


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