So in my drive to be more sustainable and to eat more sustainably, I immediately thought of eating organic. Organic foods are supposed to cause less harm to the environment because it reduces the use of unnatural pesticides and fertilizers. A lot of the times, I will cook food in my apartment and I can control the types of food I buy. When I made my weekly trip to the grocery store, I found out that finding organic foods here in Easton, PA is a lot harder than I originally anticipated. Giant and Walmart both have negligible amounts of organic anything. When I went to Wegmans, they had a better selection of organic foods, but it was still limited. Growing up on the west coast, I never actively looked for organic foods, but I knew there was a large selection and I did not have to look hard to find a decent–sustainable–option for food. In San Francisco Bay Area, there are entire stores dedicated to organic this and organic that as far as you can see. Here on the other hand, Wegmans has the best selection, and even at then, they don’t have that much; most of the store is still dedicated to regular (in-organic) food items. Further more, when I eat at a school provided dining location, I really have no choice in where my food comes from. Supposedly the food is local and from more sustainable origins, but we never really know. Some of the food may be, but some is most certainly not. When it comes to this, I really have no choice but to eat what they give me regardless where it has come from.
Another issue I’ve found is that some of my every day snack food doesn’t really have an organic or sustainable alternative. This being the case, I’m going have to either give up those snacks and find new ones, or starve in order to be sustainable. Given that I really don’t want to do that latter, I’ll have to find new snacks. This will be an adventure in itself given that I am not one who tries new food frequently.
There are studies out there that look into the benefit of organic farming and food. A lot of times, there studies find that not only is the food better for you (nutritionally), but it is better for the environment in multiple ways. Organic farming is less energy intensive so less fossil fuels are used in it’s production. In-organic pesticides are not used, so the soil is not over saturated with nutrients it cannot handle. The biodiversity in the soil actually increased which is essential for maintaining a healthy farm. By me eating organically, I am helping promote and support organic farming meaning that, down the road, the environment will be better off.
Ching, Lim Li. “Organic farming benefits.” (2008).