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    Eating for a Healthy Planet

    A recent Roper survey found that 63% of Americans buy at least some organic foods, and 40% plan to make organic food a larger part of their diet within the next year. I’m realistic enough to know that doesn’t mean that the mass market has gone green, but it feels like preference for organic foods is accelerating. The impact of that acceleration will have an important impact on our environment, as we shift revenue and resources from irresponsible food producers to environmentally friendly producers.

    I’m fairly sure that when most Americans buy organic foods, they simply want to eat healthier, eliminating poisons from their diet (yes, poisons – that’s why they work). Most don’t make the connection to big-picture environmental issues. And why would we? The media got bored with that subject.

    For example, media coverage of GMOs (genetically modified crops) tends to focus on the weird but vague “Frankenfood” threat. But for Industrial Agriculture, the real advantage of GMOs is to make crops that tolerate herbicides. This means they can dump even more poisons into our environment more indiscriminately than ever before. It won’t work for long, because the weeds are adapting quickly, requiring the use of larger and larger amounts of poison.

    We can all help stop this vicious cycle. Our food choices have an impact, not just on our own health, but on the health of our environment. When organic products are not available, ask for them. The more we ask, the more stores will make them available. The more they are available, the more people will buy them, reducing the market for foods created using environmentally toxic methods.

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