of foodstuff grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers
The government rules about
organic food allow companies to make
organic high-fructose corn syrup—words I never expected to see combined.
sadness associated with some wrong or disappointment
He spoke without
regret about the compromises he’s made along the path from organic farmer to agribusiness executive.
done with or working with others for a common purpose
“We tried hard to build a
cooperative community and a local food system, but at the end of the day it wasn’t successful. This is just lunch for most people. Just lunch.”
shape or influence; give direction to
What followed was a great debate to
determine the future of the organic industry.
a compound made artificially by chemical reactions
synthetics, processed foods like TV dinners just can’t be manufactured.
intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
Many people from the old organic movement argued that to put synthetics in a processed food and then call it organic was a
a mixture of decaying vegetation and manure
In place of petrochemical fertilizers, Greenways’s organic acres are fed with
compost from a nearby horse farm and by poultry manure.
do away with
The Goodmans estimate that this has
eliminated some 270,000 pounds of pesticide and 8 million pounds of petrochemical fertilizer that would otherwise have been applied to those fields.
Pesticides, even the ones allowed by the USDA organic rules, are
unit of heat raising 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade
Growing, chilling, washing, packaging, and transporting that box of organic salad to a plate on the East Coast takes more than 4,600
calories of fossil fuel energy, or 57
calories of fossil fuel energy for every
calorie of food.
a substance used to kill microorganisms and cure infections
Since the birds receive no
antibiotics and they are all genetically alike, if one gets sick, they will all get sick.
containing or characterized by a great deal of water vapor
The air was warm and
humid and smelled powerfully of ammonia from their droppings.
conforming with accepted standards
conventional chickens, I was told, these organic birds have it pretty good.
a way of entering or leaving
USDA rules say an organic chicken should have “
access to the outdoors.”
state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options
That one bundle of asparagus presented its own little
dilemma. How much fossil fuel was burned to keep it refrigerated and fly it to the U.S.? Should farmland in South America be used to grow expensive food for well-off North Americans? Should we even try to eat asparagus (or any vegetable) out of season?
large in amount or extent or degree
That comes to $34 to feed a family of three at home. (Though we did make a second meal from the leftovers.) That’s a
hefty price compared to the same meal from the industrial food chain.
lacking taste or flavor or tang
Those “unnatural” feeds make chickens with mushier and
throw into disorder
I know the dinner I prepared contained little or no pesticides. Those chemicals have been proven to cause cancer, damage nerve cells, and
disrupt your endocrine system—your hormones.
withstand a poison or strong drug or pathogen or condition
The government says the levels are low enough that our systems can “
matter that remains after something has been removed
Also, organic cows, like Rosie the organic chicken, are never fed corn that contains
residues of atrazine, the herbicide commonly sprayed on American cornfields.
evolved over millions of years eating plants that today we would call “natural” or “organic.”
the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists
Who knows what other healthy
substances are in plants that we have yet to discover?
pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
To grow the plants and animals that made up my meal, no pesticides found their way into any farmworker’s bloodstream, no nitrogen runoff
seeped into the watershed, no soils were poisoned, no antibiotics were wasted, no government subsidy checks were written.
give surety or assume responsibility
An organic label does not
guarantee that cattle have spent any time in a real pasture, any more than “free-range” chickens really range freely.
cover with liquid; pour liquid onto
To top it off, my industrial organic meal is nearly as
drenched in fossil fuel as a non-organic meal.