Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Bear with me a minute. I need to just put the last nail on my soapbox.....okay. There we go.

I need a minute to rant. Earlier today I found myself at a fruit stall at the Union Square Green Market looking blankly at some lovely red currants that I had no intention of buying. I was only standing there because I was evesdropping on a woman who was grilling the man working at the stand on what was sprayed and why and what was organic and what wasn't. Normally I would be supportive of anyone looking to investigate their food and what was in it. And I do firmly believe that it was her right to do so, so please do not misinterpret the subject of my rant. But her tone was so off-putting and curt that I couldn't help but put in my two cents here in relative anonymity on the internet. This customer with her gorgeous child sitting on her hip asked about everything and why does everything need to be sprayed and so on and so forth. But she was kind of rude to the nice young man who was just explaining that they (like virtually every other stall in the green market) only spray when they have to, and not everything has to be sprayed and all the sprays wash off with water and their cherries are always sprayed.

I learned in much the same way, asking questions about what the farmer's did. But I am no farmer, and I am not going to question the motives of anyone who has bringing produce to market for decades. I understand there are reasons why a great many farmers do not grow conventional produce. Being rude to the farmer because they are not producing organic produce doesn't sit well with me. And I have said before that I still firmly believe that buying local is more important to me than buying organic. I'd rather wash those New York State berries than walk across the street to the Whole Foods flagship store and get some organic ones from California. But that's me. Perhaps she had an allergy to the pesticide residue (but I doubt it).

There is a cult of die hard organic/ biodynamic heads out there. And that's great, I prefer to buy from biodynamic farms when I can. On the Green Scale from 1-10, they rank at 10. I imagine I still fall somewhere around a 6-7 on that scale, but that's on a good day. But in the interest of all those people who are closer to a 3, will all you high ranking people stop faulting them for wanting to move up a bit? If a person realizes that being green and environmentally responsible is important to them, are they expected to all at once stop buying plastic bags and buy everything organic and only buy organic fabrics with organic dyes? I believe these changes happen over time, one by one. I have made so many good changes since Day 1 of my blog. But I am still a work in progress.

But there are pure biodynamic organic people who are using this very positive movement to divide people and say "I am better and more informed than you". Well I do not condone it. I believe that the only way to continue this movement is to encourage those who haven't started down the path. I think we should all be eating organic whole foods, and someday perhaps we all will. But until then, keep on moving up the Green Scale. It doesn't matter if you are a 2 or a 9, what matters is that you want to move closer to that ideal of 10. And being encouraging of those comin' up behind ya' doesn't hurt either.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to that!
    I have also observed rude people practically harassing the workers at the farmers markets I visit. When I ask questions (and sometimes I do) I always try to keep in mind that the people working at the farmers market - whether they are the farmers themselves, employees, or volunteers - are making my life better and easier - and are contributing to a more sustainable food economy, whether they are using 100% organic farming methods or not.