June 2012 031

There’s been quite a lot of hubbub in the news lately about the worth of the term organic, the label itself, especially in the context of the current farm bill renovation.  (Hugely important, by the way.)  Inevitably, the fuss also leads to skepticism of the trend in general.  I get asked too often about the trendiness, the real endurance, of organic eating.

Here’s my reply.  I do believe we’re in the midst of a trend, and I’m complicit, but unlike other trends like fluorescent-bedazzled sneakers or severe texting, it’s one worth keeping around, for the sake of our cosmic well-being. Anything that moves you closer to mother nature, reconnects you to the folks who produce your food or the folks in your community, for that matter, say at the farmers market or food co-op, is worthwhile and sustainable, in the true sense of that word.

Since my early days as a writer I’ve been pawing for connection, in nature, in myself, anything to make sense of my place in this life.  Now, it is food that gives me perspective and fulfills me on all those levels that creative writing once did.  When I pull a Sun Gold tomato off the vine in the quiet hour of the morning I’m closer to God then, I’m clearer and brighter and in tune.  I know quite the route that tomato took to get onto my tongue.  No slave was forced to maintain it, no patch of earth was choked with chemicals to grow it, no sleepy-eyed truck driver hauled it on the interstate from Florida.  I folded the dirt, tucked in the seed, got dirty and true while doing so, watered it on a windy afternoon after coming home from a trying day at work, picked it suckers gleefully, and took in that distinguishing tomato plant cologne.

I get the current concern over the gradual dumbing-down of what sustainable eating is.  But it’s a fight worth fighting and it’s a trend worth following and continuing to improve.  You literally can’t put a price tag on tomato plant cologne, no matter what the skeptics say…