I was having a discussion with a friend today about the importance of organic foods v. sustainable agriculture. I've never had much interest in prganic food -- I buy it; I appreciate and respect those dedicated to it. But I've never really felt compelled to buy it exclusively.
But it really hit me yesterday at the grocery store -- are there organic foods that SHOULD be important to someone with significant food allergies like me?
I've decidedto check this out. My first big change is going to be eggs. I know that CHEAP chicken feed can include wheat products, which mean egg yolks are will contain wheat gluten. I don't eat a lot of eggs, but I'm going to buy Eggland's best brown eggs because they're fed an all vegetable diet and are cage free (happy chickens, happy eggs). Wheat, of course, can fit in that description of vegetarian, but I feel like it's safer. I'm trying to get on the list for a local egg producer. When we raised chickens, I know the eggs were much better and tastier. I want to get those kinds of eggs. But the Eggland's eggs will do for now.
Next will come milk products -- well, that's tough. I don't drink much milk. I eat yogurt and prefer active culture yogurt. I eat light sour cream. I am truly not careful about cheese. I buy what I like. Again, I'm more interested in the more natural cheeses than I am in organic cheese and milk.
I'm frankly more interested in sustainable agriculture -- I want fresh, locally grown and produced food, not over packed and mass distributed. That is why I've made a decision to shop more often at a local "mom and pop" country store called Johnny McDade's. All their fresh meat and produce is from Georgia, and while they stock national brands, they also stock fresh milled cornmeal from Wrightsville, Georgia. Their produce is delicious and amazing, and it comes from South Georgia or the local farmers.
When you buy sustainable food, you buy fresh, in season. Some call this the "100-mile diet," and I really admire that. That is good for the state and community, and for the soil and air. And that more directly benefits many people.
It also kinda makes up for the fact that I drive an SUV.
I'd love to hear the thoughts of others on this!
Much love and bring me some fresh okra, please!