There are two other benefits to organics. First, residue of pesticides on
food should not be a problem, although organic technique is so broadly
defined that this may not always be true. Second, reduced use of highly
toxic pesticides has very important health benefits to the farmer.
I would like to see the tests done in two other circumstances. I am
interested in nutritional and taste results from soil that that has been
remineralized vs. non-remineralized soil. I've read that there are
differences, but not from particularly objective sourses. And I would be
interested in comparisons in soils that have been treated with Keyline
methods vs conventionally managed soils.
Finally, I'd like to suggest that various versions of agriculture are not
nearly as distinct as the difference between gardening and farming. In
gardening, there are very strong elements of participation in nature by the
"grower" (lacking a better term that would be recognized) whereas in farming
the "grower" mainly is involved with attempts to control nature and compel a
Obviously, I feel gardening to be the more wholesome approach. The major
benefits to gardening are to the gardeners, and I believe that first among
them are spiritual. I apologize to those of you who are uncomfortable with
this aspect of life, but that's my view. After that, I think that the
gardener is healthier because s/h gets varied exercise and eats excellent
food as fresh as possible. Only hunter-gatherers are likely to be healthier.
Since gardeners are also far more productive, in terms of yields per unit
area, than farmers, and moreover use their produce more efficiently (no
discarded squashes because they are mishapen), people concerned with
sustainable food systems might put more energy into promoting gardening,
making land available for gardening, supporting infrastructure to support
urban gardening and community gardening associations, and so forth. If we
want our food to make us healthier, the most direct way to achieve that goal
is to involve ourselves in growing it on a family by family basis.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now permaculture
correspondence training with an email classroom. Copyright, 1996, Dan &
Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 2052. YankeePerm@aol.com
If its not in our food chain, we're not thinking.