The Dirt on Soil

Scene: Produce section of our local grocery store in their tiny “organic” section.  A middle-aged man and woman are having a conversation my wife overhears.

He: “What the h**l does ‘organic’ mean?”

She: “It means it grows in the soil.”

When Brenda related this conversation to me I laughed at first.  Then I thought, “They don’t know what ‘organic’ means?  At their age?  Do they live in a cave somewhere?”  If this kind of ignorance exists in our media-saturated age, then I’m afraid the organic food movement has a long way to go.

Here’s the dirt on “soil.”  It may be fumigated with fungicides and “fertilized” with chemicals made from petroleum.  That strawberry you are about to put on your cereal may have been grown in “soil,” but it may also be genetically altered and sprayed with potentially carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides.  That tomato you are about to slice may have been grown in “soil” but what was done to the soil it grew in?  What was done to it while it was growing?  How was it handled after it was harvested?  Until you know, do you really want to put that in your mouth?

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4 Comments

Filed under Awareness, Food, Home and Garden, Ignorance, Organic, Vegetable Gardening

4 responses to “The Dirt on Soil

  1. Jules

    Hey Bro! Move to Australia!! The food is better here! You know that is true…

  2. It’s hard to believe, but true that some people don’t know what they’re eating. It’s an interesting word though. I can see my grandfather asking that question and my grandmother answering the same way.

    For them, having always raised their own food and being “organic” or what we once called good stewarts of the land, an organic label would have struck them as seriously odd.

  3. dwhitsett

    Very true, Jules. And you know I would if I could.

  4. dwhitsett

    Simone,
    Ah for those simpler days! Most of our agricultural advances seem to have been steps from purity, simplicity and common sense to pollution, confusion and foolishness.

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