Friday, October 10, 2008
Trying to Understand Why Folks Aren't Interested in Organic
Education. Everything in life revolves around learning - through books, through actions, through words. I'm slowly trying to learn and understand why people have no interest in organics in the Upper Dauphin area. Our local bulk food store has been increasing their organic products line over the past couple years, although none are local. Yesterday my husband and I asked about the possibility of carrying the local organic spelt flour. And the answer was, "Fay (the owner) is going to be cutting back the organic section and not carrying as many things." I was devastated to hear that. My husband, the intellect of the family, got into a disucussion with me on organics and economics and we come to the conclusion people simply will not pay the price and stores are trying, but the locals aren't buying it, so the stores stop selling. And we both believe folks aren't buying because the average person doesn't really understand the depth of what organic truly means. The majority of the population doesn't know (or care) where their food comes from and how it was grown. They aren't interested in the nutritional value of organic vs non-organic produced food. And the average person doesn't really think they can make a difference in the environment by buying organic. I also learned that government isn't really in on the organic movement either. I won't touch on the monstrosity of the federal government and the USDA, but I can share a little on PA state government. Pennsylvania State Government has a PA Preferred program which is awesome and stresses buying local produce - BUT, they won't touch the organic side of things. I spoke to a gal who used to work at PA Agriculture and she believes organics are similar to the milk labeling issues in PA (PA state wanted to ban labels that stated milk was produced without use of antiobiotics, etc). Agriculture won't allow one food product to proclaim they are "better" than another simply by the way it produced. That's a shame. Maybe an organic education movement is order? The Eat Local Challenge is teaching me a whole lot more than eating local. I'm grateful.