Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia contends organic is a system of land and environmental stewardship, not just the absence of chemicals. Enjoy this commentary below by Matthew Hoffman of the Norwegian Centre for Rural Research.
The farmers market in Jack London Square in Oakland, California was a bustling scene when I worked there in the late 1990s, and my customers liked to tell me how devoted they were to organic agriculture.
I remember one devotee in particular. Her tote bag bulged with produce and her brow wrinkled beneath the brim of her floppy hat as she stopped one day to study the sign above my new display of organic flowers. At length she turned to me and said, “How can flowers be organic?”
This was not the first time that I realized a devoted customer had no idea what organic meant. So I explained to her about how organic farmers take care of the land, maintaining healthy soil and a healthy environment for plants to grow in without the use of synthetic chemicals—and how organic practices apply just the same to flowers and fields of grass as to lettuces and bell peppers.
She nodded thoughtfully and seemed to appreciate this explanation, but then she frowned again and asked, “What does it matter if you’re not eating them?”
Then it was my turn to stare and wrinkle my brow as the gears slowly turned in my head. Read Full Article »