June 17, 2009
Today I spoke with all of my three sisters and each brought up the word "organic". It reminded me again how confusing that word is. Even Rush got it wrong a few months ago on his program. He said "Organic simply means grown in manure". If only it were that simple. (Rush, when you read this give me a call on my private line and we'll chat)
According to wordnet.princeton.edu , the word organic means "relating or belonging to the class of chemical compounds having a carbon basis " and "a simple and healthful, close to nature lifestyle". So basically all humans are organic (the carbon idea) BUT unless you are also simple and healthful then maybe not so much ? It gets even more confusing when every Tom, Dick and Hairy Farmer who throws their Round-Up away, feels entitled to call their farm organic. After that it becomes personal since becoming CERTIFIED organic required quite a bit more blood, sweat and jeers ,from my husband and I than just scattering a few seeds on a manure pile. (And now a sidebar for you music lovers...did you know Organic is the sixth full length studio album CD by heavy metal, progressively hard rock band Freak Kitchen ? How fun is that ?)
I'm not just worked up about the use of the word organic. I also cringe when I hear people call themselves "nurses" when they hand out a little Motrin or "farmers" when they keep two chickens in the back garage. Go ahead and say it , I'm a rule person. To be CERTIFIED organic one has to meet the very specific standards set forth by the NOP (National Organic Program) a division of the USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture.) For our dairy farm those standards numbered over 150 and covered topics such as feeding, treating and housing our cows. Those standards also applied to our pastures which had to be free of all chemicals , treated seeds and synthetic fertilizers for three years prior to being surveyed. Once we felt standards were met we chose a certifying agency, paid a hunk of change and willingly submitted to a surveyor sloshing through our fields, interviewing our livestock and fingering our files for several hours. (Record keeping is very big in the CERTIFIED organic world.
These aren't complaints. Just facts. Consumers should be aware of where their food originates and be cautious when they see or hear about food that is "organic". Check labels, know your producers and if anyone knows where I can buy a copy of Freak Kitchens CD, drop me a line.