Reasons for choosing Organic
TO PROTECT OUR GENETIC HERITAGE
People in their fifities, who were born before the 1960s, received a great gift from their parents, besides life itself of course: namely a genetic heritage which is healthy, natural and intact.
Because outside the urban centres and the great industrial complexes and oil refineries, the air had not yet become infected, and the water and food were not yet contaminatedwith the products of our “civilization”,whose unwelcome infiltrations have begun to mutate our genetic heritage, abetted by the indiscriminate use of synthetic drugs and toxic paints, with which we have covered the walls of our houses and our furniture.
ORGANIC FOOD. Being an organic farmer (of which there are only 100,000 in Italy) means not practising single-crop farming, and avoiding the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Itmeans looking after the livestock’s
wellbeing, giving it a healthy diet and freedom to roam, and using homeopathic medicine to treat disease. Organic farmers have never been tainted with the stigma of turning battery chicks into hens in a mere 35 days, as opposed to five months as nature intended. What might be the result of such a diet, which has now been around for a couple of generations? How about allergies, intollerances, infertility, an impairment of our immune defences and genetic mutations with consequences over 3-4 generations which cannot be predicted. Organic farmers are committed to doing their job with skill, to produce quality not just quantity.
SUPPORT FROM THE ORGANIC CONSUMER
Consumers of organic foods are citizens who understand all this, who are concerned for their families, especially the kids, and who choose organic products in their regular shopping, even though they cost more. They cost more because with only 2-3% of the market, as in Italy, Germany and Austria, they have not yet reached the volumes which would reduce costs through economies of scale. Organ ic consumers are citizens with a strong sense of what is right. They generally use holistic medical treatments (homeopathic and herbal remedies), they support renewable energy and choose fair trade products – as per the “Haiti Coffee” project promoted by my co-operative together with Pascucci to “pay a debt of justice”, which helps several hundred families carry on growing coffee, as we pay them a fair price.
ORGANIC IS THE ONLY WAY TO OPPOSE GMOs
Organic farmers and consumers, perhaps precisely because of their healthy diet, have retained their ability to discern what is good from what is not. Indeed, they are profoundly opposed to the farming and unchecked distribution of GMO foods. The pied piper of the Brothers Grimm has not convinced them at all, and they do not believe in the fairy story that such things help in fighting world hunger. On the contrary, they see them as yet another blight on planet Earth’s genetic heritage, and a tyrannical means for ensuring control over and ownership of our food.
Plants, grasses, flowers and trees protect us from the consequences of our own foolishness, which has deprived Earth’s body of its own skin – what else could we mean but the hole in the ozone layer, caused by the greenhouse effect which is warming up the Arctic and will have dire consequences for the oceans, food for the animals and our own lives? And what about all the poisons which we are forcing the plants and the earth – and ourselves – to inhale?When I see my colleagues spraying herbicides and pesticides in their fields and orchards, I think of Attila, who was like a mild English gentleman in comparison to them.
“The green life force generates the buds, and from the buds the fruit. Even the dry wood brings forth the buds again, thanks to the power of the sap. All creatures have something visible and something invisible in them. What we see is only a pale shadow; it is what we cannot see that is so much more powerful and vital”. Thus wrote the celebrated abbess Hildegard de Bingen in 1200. Plants, animals and the work of man nourished body and soul in a cohesive design which gave us the vigour to compose music and song, to create art, monuments and poetry. The dire food that we now eat, the eyesores and noise that we are continually subject to, the pollution of everything, standards and traditions thrown to the wind: all this has broken the spell of life. Disturbing these extraordinary, delicate balances is a crime that the celebrated Italian writer Guido Ceronetti would add to the Sermon on the Mount, turning it around into the positive sense: “Blessed are they who have no eco-crimes on their consciences”.
Eating is not just about planting, harvesting, processing and cooking the food. Eating is a gift, it is spirituality, friendship, brotherhood, beauty, colour,warmth, wisdom, simplicity and company. Yet it becomes a nightmare when we prepare it using industrial technology, when we stuff the food with artificial preservatives, colours and flavours. Or when we allow no more than 7 or 8 minutes for a meal. I understand that modern life has its own pace, but then we need to choose food which is simple and light, yet still nutricious.
From “MACCHERONI, ACQUA E FARINA”, “Macaroni, flour and water”
by Gino Girolomoni, published by Jaca Book (Milan)