What’s all the Fuss about Organics?
What: A product is considered organic if it has been grown or raised without artificial means:
• In plant-based food, it means grown without fertilizer or pesticides.
• In animal products, it means that the animal wasn’t given unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones (there is also value added when animals are range free, and not on a factory farm but that’s a issue for another article)
• In textiles, it means using natural materials such as cotton and wool that follow the same rules as above, no pesticides, fertilizers, unnecessary medications and not factory farmed.
• In manufacturing, it means using natural materials using minimal processing with non-toxic methods.
Why: Since Rachel Carson published her book called “Silent Spring” in 1962 which detailed the effect that the pesticide DDT was having on the environment, the public has taken umbrage at being fed or using products that kill people, animals, insects, and vegetation all in order to make a profit.
The U.S. Federal government stepped in with the “Clean Air and Water Act” in 1970, but that had a lot to do with holding industry accountable for pollution rather than protecting the public. The disaster at “Love Canal” “In the mid-1970s.
Love Canal became the subject of national and international attention after it was revealed in the press that the site had formerly been used to bury 22,000 tons of toxic waste by Hooker Chemical Company (now Occidental Petroleum Corporation).
Unfortunately, the pendulum of public outrage and governmental crack down on polluters swung back to “drill baby drill” and exceptions carved out of the environmental regulations of the 1970’s, such as the Haliburton Loophole.
Nowadays, the public is demanding organic food, clean water, and safe products and are willing to pay a premium price to get it.