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he past few years have brought the term “organic” to the mainstream. It used to be considered the realm of hippies and health nuts, but these days everyone from Oprah to school lunch dieticians are discussing what it means and how it affects us. While the benefits of organicallygrown food have been touted on the nightly news and national magazines, there’s always room for more education. The obvious reason for buying organic is the personal benefit—better flavors for the palate, higher nutrition for the body. The naysayers want you to believe that the science isn’t there, yet 2010 from Washington State University shows that organic strawberries contain more anti-oxidants and higher vitamin C than conventional strawberries. Also, the absence of cancer-causing pesticides on organic produce reduces the risk of carcinogen exposure. As for which tastes better, all you have to do is bite into an organic tomato and compare it to one that’s been picked before it was ripe, sprayed for bugs and increased color then trucked across the country. For me, an even stronger reason for buying organic is that it supports the overall health of the planet. This is more of a behind-the-scenes way of thinking about food—not something we’re necessarily taught in school—but the difference between organically-farmed foods and conventional agriculture has and will continue to have an enormous impact on our quality of life.

If you were able to make it to any of the Real Food Film Festival movies like Fresh, Ingredients, or Dirt, you’re already privy to what an inefficient, wasteful and unsustainable food system on which we currently depend. Mass amounts of genetically-modified corn, soybeans and wheat are produced on hundreds of thousands of mono-cropped acres—all which depend on petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides and machinery. But wait, I went into those statistics last month… Let’s just say when oil prices soar, food prices soar. Then we’ll either be unable to afford buying foods produced in this oil-dependent way or our tax dollars will subsidize this method of farming even more than they already do. Some still think that organic food costs too much, but the true cost of organically-grown food versus conventionallyproduced food is actually much cheaper if you really trace the money back to how much our government subsidizes these unsustainable farming practices. (The real price of a pound of conventionally-produced beef is $70 if you account for government subsidies!) The alternative is to divide up these vast acreages into sustainably-managed, diversified farms that provide plenty of jobs in the agriculture business and food security for our country. Some may argue that we’re not really running out of oil, that there are still plenty of untapped resources to be drilled, mined or extracted. -Continued next page.

Well FED

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Well FED Savannah April 2011  

Feed. Eat. Drink. The area's largest food, dining, and healthy living magazine with the most comprehensive dining and bar guide.

Well FED Savannah April 2011  

Feed. Eat. Drink. The area's largest food, dining, and healthy living magazine with the most comprehensive dining and bar guide.

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