In 1991 I decided I only wanted to earn a living in a way that was constructive rather than destructive. Supporting organic production was a clear choice and gave me a measurable way to improve the planet. I was also concerned about “safety”, both as a mom and as a physiologist.
Taking care of the environment is fundamental to “safety”. If we are inhaling polluted air and adding pollutants to water that change the reproductive organs of the animals that live in those waters, how can we possibly think we are safe? If we are using chemicals on our skin (so down our drains) that are made from petroleum, how can we think we are making the planet safer?
In 2015 The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) identified through many years and multiple studies that Agriculture is a source of air pollution. Livestock account for about 40 percent of global emissions, synthetic fertilizers for 16 percent and biomass burning and crop residues for about 18 percent. (And we haven’t even touched on water pollution).
So – to circle back to Why Organic? Because supporting organic production (farmers) is a real way to reduce all of that pollution. Organic production methods:
- Increase soils’ ability for carbon sequestration
- Decrease pollution of ground water
- Increased micro-nutrients in many foods
- Decrease synthetic pesticide use
- Create safer working conditions on farms and in processing facilities
- Increase renewable resource production
- Decrease use of petrochemicals in the food & cosmetic chain
- Ban synthetic food additives in finished products
- Decrease stream and river pollution
- Improve livestock management and humane animal care
- And I could go on.
Farming is 50% (about) of all pollution per the UN and should be of immediate concern to all consumers. Organic farming has been developed over the past 90 years and is leading to develop farming methods without destroying the resources needed to produce our food. “Organic” is teaching us safer methods of living on the planet. Even non-certified framers are turning to methods developed and proven by organic farmers.
In the cosmetic industry, we have the opportunity to demand that the chemicals in our daily products are made 1) from renewable resources (organic plants!) and 2) using environmentally benign methods of manufacturing (Green Chemistry). Because chemical manufacturing is a highly complex process, (and frankly something that makes most people’s eyes cross when they start to read the chemical names of the materials), we currently have to rely on chemical manufacturers – so let’s demand that they start making safer chemicals out of organic inputs!
I am old enough to have heard the original speech – “If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” John F. Kennedy.
Let’s all be a part of the solution!