when finns talk about buying organic produce they use terms such as "try" and "whenever possible". it makes sense really because the number and variety of organic choices offered in grocery stores varies from nonexistent to low. another question is the quality of the merchandise which also varies from excellent to rotten – probably due to low demand.
i am definitely one of the people who claim to buy organic whenever possible, but am probably not the only one who finds high pricing a possibility diminishing factor. offering organic tomatoes next to regular ones with exponential prices really works wonders in lessening the appeal of the organic fare. the difference is too obvious and the benefits less so – for me, at least, the ethical superiority is too vague.
there are considerations worth thinking about, though. while it is true that organic farming may not be the most eco-friendly way to produce food, it is usually toxin free. after growing my own veggies during these past two summers i have noted that everything rots in a matter of days, and naturally it makes one wonder whether the stuff we're sold at grocery stores are not only preservative filled mockery of produce.
living organic is not only possible, but de rigueur amongst brooklynites. new yorkers are known as finicky eaters and restaurants hardly show contempt if you change every single part of your order to suit your taste. obviously demanding that the failing economy has not destroyed your financial means completely, the choice of following an organic and local production favoring diet is easy and accessible. grocery store chains, such as whole foods and trader joe's, not only sell organic and local foods, but favor them over produce that follows eco-unfriendly agricultural procedures. fortunately (for some of us), this means you're not constantly pounded in the head by the price difference between organic and non-organic choices.
the reason i am hesitant about paying much extra for organic comes down to a typical finnish trust in the safety of our alimentary control; since the environmental benefit is debated, the perks of eating organic come down to health issues and finns just seem to trust the food we're sold is safe. we love to think domestic is cleaner and better than exported, and the propaganda we're fed is constant so we cannot forget.
the difference between finns and new yorkers is huge in this sense: educated brooklynites are more than aware of the legislation that allows the usage of all sorts of toxins and hormones in agriculture. they also know that a full-blown capitalist society favors profit-making over individual and social concerns, because the free economy is considered the primary value of the nation. the myopic health concerns of officials have lead to several nutrition associated problems, and as officials turn the blind eye to the safety of their citizens' health repeatedly, americans seem almost paranoid in comparison to finns when it comes to food choices.
the paranoia results in incredible produce sections and selections in aforementioned grocery stores and local restaurants. most restaurants serve completely organic menus and the preference for local producers is visible and dominant. old trades, such as butchering, are rising in popularity and some restaurants offer a choice of a local meat-cutter for your steak in addition to information on the origin of the beef. small specialty shops pop up everywhere and people frequent them happily – willing to pay for the service they get.
this retrieval to artisanship and traditional farming is a devolution i wholeheartedly welcome. i mean, wouldn't you love to get your cheese from a store called stinky brooklyn where they'll tell you all about the producer and afterwards fetch the wine to accompany it from across the street at a store called smith &vine with a huge selection of organic wine? both stores are owned and ran by a married couple and offer individual service with a big heart, and i cannot think of many consumption related experiences that surpass that.
do you think organic choices should be more widely available or are we just being hoaxed into believing they're healthier so we'd pay more?