improve organic food labeling

Organic apples vs. Apples sprayed with pesticide

It’s a little thing. But a little thing that ticks me off in a big way.

You go into a grocery store. There’s a bin of fruit labeled ORGANIC APPLES – $2.49/lb.

Nearby is another bin, with fruits labeled CONVENTIONAL APPLES – $1.49/lb.

Maybe $2.49 for apples is steep for your budget, so you buy the $1.49 ones. Consumer choice is a good thing.

It’s an ordinary scenario that’s played out a million times a day. But there’s something deeply disturbing about this picture. Is it just me? Why does it piss me off?

Let’s imagine an alternative universe.

In our imaginary universe, you walk into the grocery store, and there are the same two bins of apples. But now they have two different labels:

APPLES – $2.49/lb. and

APPLES SPRAYED WITH PESTICIDES – WE’LL PAY YOU $1 FOR EVERY POUND YOU EAT!

Which apples would you buy? Are you willing to earn a $1 bonus for exposing yourself (and your children) to a toxic load?

Large food companies spend megabucks lobbying the government about what poisons can or can’t be used in food production. And how foods are labeled. Why? As a public service to make sure people eat healthy foods?

I don’t think so.

Here’s what’s truly ridiculous – the idea that marketers can label “conventionally grown” apples.  What’s so “conventional” about the produce sold today? The seeds it grows from, the fertilizers added to the soil, and the pesticides sprayed on it didn’t even exist 50 years ago. And next year you can be sure there will be new, most likely untested, chemical and genetic methods introduced to raise the yield of those same “conventionally grown” apples.

We’re conducting an unprecedented, radical scientific experiment with food production – and we’re the lab rats.

What’s even more terrifying is that we’re careening – out of control – down a one way street to disaster. Every day brings

• more habitat destruction
• loss of topsoil
• loss of species diversity
• introduction of artificial genetically modified organisms displacing native species
• increased load of toxins in the environment
• ever-more concentration of media ownership and control over public discourse

It’s still a free country. Small consumer choices make a difference.

Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.

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Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Are high yield, “conventionally-grown” foods as nutritious as organic foods?

Stunt your child’s intelligence with pesticide exposure during pregnancy

 

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