Organic Manifesto

My dad cut this article out of the paper for me to read. I NEED to share this with you all I found it SO interesting. I bolded the part that stuck out to me most. A bit harsh, but so funny and…I guess that makes sense!? It’s about looking at the big picture of health…

I also think I’m gonna buy this book- I have some money at Borders and I think it’ll be good to read this while I’m farming next week 🙂


Organic activist presents her ‘Manifesto’

Maria Rodale emphatically lays out case for organic food and farming

August 04, 2010|By Monica Eng, Tribune Newspapers

Maria Rodale does not mince words.

The sustainability advocate and head of Rodale Inc. publishing company believes we must rapidly convert to organic farming systems or jeopardize the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

She lays out this jarring argument with surprising grace in her slim new book, aptly named “Organic Manifesto.” In it, she details the benefits of organic agriculture and the dangers of “chemical farming.” It’s a term she uses to describe nonorganic or conventional farming that uses synthetic fertilizers, nontherapeutic antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms and pesticides. Many of her reasons for preferring organic will be familiar to sustainable foodies, but Rodale also cites newer research on the way healthy organic soil — as opposed to soil depleted by conventional farming — absorbs greenhouse gasses and may help turn around global warming.

As a third-generation organic and health advocate, who took over the reins of her family’s research and publishing empire last year, Rodale eschews the stance of impassive journalist for organic champion.

We recently chatted with the mom, gardener and CEO — whose company publishes Prevention, Men’s Health and Women’s Health among other publications — about her thoughts on agriculture, shopping and saving the world.

Q As a woman who already has her hands full, what inspired you to write this book?

A I was frustrated and concerned by all the confusion out there between natural, organic, sustainable and local. We are being bombarded by so many strong opinionated intellectual ideas, but at the end of the day, I’m a mom and I want to feed my kids. So what do I do and what is the right thing to do every day? I wanted to help people figure that out.

Q Do you really think it’s possible for the world to go to 100 percent organic agriculture in a short time, like five years?

A I think it is completely possible, but five years would be ambitious. It takes three years for a farm to transition to organic. But I think people will starve if we don’t transition to organic. Chemical farming is not just destroying the soil but the earth’s ability to clean the air for us. … The scientific research has been available for over two years on this, but my goal, one of the main reasons I wanted to write this book, is to make it more understandable. It is complicated but the consequences are simple. If we don’t protect our soil and allow it to do what it’s meant to do, we’re all going to die.

Q What about the argument that we need chemical and GMO farming so we can feed the world.

A The fact is we have too much food. Biofuels (made with corn and other plants) were created because we have too much food. … Famine is not about lack of food but lack of access through political dysfunction. What really struck me as inhumane and wrong-minded is that farmers are convinced by chemical companies to believe otherwise.

The head of the Farm Bureau made a speech saying we have a moral obligation to feed the world and grow more food. Farmers believe that because that is what the chemical companies are telling them, when every other source of information shows that’s wrong.

Q OK, so a family on a budget walks into a market this week and eyeballs the organic and nonorganic products. Should they pay the extra money for organic?

A It depends whether or not they want their children to be healthy, smart, nonbehaviorally challenged and able to reproduce when they grow up. How much would you pay for therapy and medicine if your child had ADHD or autism or you needed in-vitro fertilization when they became an adult? Apply those dollars to your food budget and you will never have to go through that pain and misery. We are so fixated on price per pound that we are not looking at the bigger picture and good health is priceless.

Q A lot of people who saw the movie “Food, Inc.” were disappointed that Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm was selling his products at Wal-Mart. These are the same people who say Whole Foods is no longer about organic ideals but just another big business. What do you think?

A I think we need all the Wal-Marts in the world to go organic. … I’m in business, Gary Hirshberg’s in business and without business there are no jobs and so we have to get over these archaic prejudices. … I think, overall, the growth of organic is great. I remember the world before Whole Foods and I don’t want to go back. Do you?


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