The Organic Buzzword

There is an organization of organic gardeners and there is even a national magazine called Organic Gardening. Their precepts are honorable and good but, like most things, we don’t “do” it, we “overdo” it. I’ll start with the most ludicrous case: I recieved a catalog in the mail that advertizes their seeds as being organic. I emailed them and asked what makes their seeds organic and they replied that they were taken from organic plants. Say what? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? As far as I am concerned ”ALL” seeds are organic. There is no pesticide that can carry over a generation through a seed. So therefore what their claim amounts to is a marketing ploy. That’s right, if your product is labled organic you can charge more for it. So it’s not about safety and wholsomeness, it’s about money. Even more absurd was the Paste magazine advertisement I read for cigarettes made from organic tobacco. So you’re going to buy a theoretically more healthy product to give yourself emphysema and cancer? Now the question comes to mind as I wander through a Farmer’s Market and see a product labled organic, is it naturally organic or is it certified organic. Now don’t be afraid but I must tell you the government has gotten in on the act. There are precise regulations on what determines certified organic. For three or four years you must monitor not only the amount of pesticides and fertilizing and sprays you use in your garden but also your neighbor’s gardens. The fact that this country could (at one time) raise more food than we could eat is what helped us become a great wealthy nation with stocks of food available for us to store and to sell to other countries. During this time we used lots of chemical fertilizers. We also used lots of terrible poisons. Thanks to Rachael Carson, author of Silent Spring, we no longer use DDT but you can bet that before it was taken off the market a lot was probably stockpiled by farmers because they thought it was necessary. I’m sure it has all been used up by now but there are other poisons on the market and there are no regulations on who can buy it nor how much they can buy. I’m the first to admit we did a lot wrong back then but where is Rachael when we need her? Who is going to say to the homeowners of America “You are responsible for the price of food going up because you have a lawn service.” Let me explain: It’s okay to have someone cut your grass or blow your leaves into the storm sewer ( I suppose), but these companies, in order to make more money, also spray your lawn with chemicals. Is it because you have a problem? No, it’s to PREVENT your ever having a problem. Think about how there are less and less honeybees not to mention I never see toad frogs anymore or June bugs. Could it be because of all that unnecessary spraying of poison? Oh but these companies put out little signs warning that the lawn has been sprayed. As soon as the bees and frogs learn to read everything will be okay. And what about these guidelines to spray Sevin and other chemicals in orchards sometime around petal drop and at certain late hours when all the bees are supposed to be back at the hive. Has anyone studied this to see if it’s 100% effective? I know for a fact some bees are too far from the hive when it gets late so they spend the night inside a flower and resume working the next day. And so, the little bit of poison they track back to the hive weakens it. Multiplied by lots of bees you have a collapse of their system. The frogs are eating bugs that have crawled across the lawn and coated themselves with poison. Then it gets into th e water supply and the food chain. Can our scientists not figure this out? I guess it’s like global warming, some scientists say it’s happening, some say not. When something like this is written it brings down the wrath of the great chemical companies who have lots and lots of money and lawyers and scientists and politicians on their side. But I say to you, my fellow Americans “What part will you play in this?”
Eddie Rhoades

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