Daniel McKinney

Why We Should Support Organic Agriculture, by Yusuf Bilaal Daniel McKinney

Today there seems to exist a substantial volume of misinformation concerning organic agriculture and the fruits – literally – thereof. Perhaps the greatest misconception that I hear voiced is that there’s really no sigificant difference between an organic fruit or vegetable, as opposed to those foodstuffs produced by traditional farming and industrial agriculture practices.

For example, recently a woman shopper, inspecting the fruit and vegetable produce selections at her grocer of choice, was approached by whom she believed to be a store customer service sales rep. The woman expressed her discontent to the mistakenly perceived store clerk, stating that the “organic (produce) didn’t taste any different” than her usual traditionally grown (e.g. GMOs, toxic pesticides/herbicides, non-sustainable propagation practices, etc.), non-organic produce purchases. Given that the individual she assumed to be a store clerk actually wasn’t, and thereby failed to engage the woman with product informational feedback a seasoned customer service professional would provide the – obviously disappointed of the shopping experience – woman, the woman moved on.

Her defeated body language demonstrated that she was undoubtedly unsatisfied with the absence of quality customer service, as well as exhibiting an air of discontent with what she’d perceived to a a quality product: organic vegetable/fruit produce. However, there are certain, distinct criteria that classifies a product as genuinely organic. These include things such as mode/method of delivery of the produce (e.g. how fresh is the product?, how were the veggies packaged?, what soil/medium was the produce grown in?, were sustainable agriculture methods/practices utilized?, etc.), the preparation and packaging process, the time since delivery of the produce as inventory of the retail establishment, and so forth.

All this to say that had the woman been made aware of what a true organic hybrid, heirloom tomato all but looked, smelled, felt, and – “KA BOOM!!!” – tasted like for the very first time, then her organic experience would’ve taken on an entirely opposite inaugural event.

I say this speaking from my own personal experience. Here, the very first time I hungrily (“grrrrrr”) savored that Cherokee hybrid heirloom organic tomato, which I was so blessed as to have grown it myself via the Roots of Success Environmental Literacy program (www.rootsofsuccess.org) I’d facilitated at the time, it was a garden orgasmic adventure like none I could recall before! Unquestionably, the deliscous taste was unique unto itself. You can smell, feel, taste, the robust earthy wholesomeness of the vegetable fruit of the vine in its own unique culinary identity. As our French culinary palates would exclaim, immediately upon tasting of the Yusuf grown organic: “Walla!”

Obviously, what that woman sampled was nobody’s genuinely organic fare. You may best believe that! Believe me, when you taste a genuinely organic foodstuff you’re gonna know it!

Most importantly, far removed from the palatal benefits of organic fare, we support our local economies – in a natural resources sustainable manner – when we patronize our local agriculturalist, farmers, workers, retailers, suppliers, service personnel, and so forth. THAT’S the primary community based and supported agriculture priority. Support your local CSA (i.e. Community Supported Agriculture).

Daniel McKinney
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