Should organic food be a right for everyone or a privilege for those who
can afford to pay a premium? Is “Organic for Everyone” possible?
PHOTO: LEANDRO CHAVIRA
Recently, I began volunteering at a community organic garden in Tempe, AZ, called Harvest for Humanity. This nonprofit, run by my new friend
Denise Phillips, provides sustainably, organically grown food to low-income
families and also teaches them how to farm organically.
As I dug into the earth and carefully planted a
tomato seedling knowing that it would feed an under-
privileged child who otherwise would have no other
choice than to eat pesticide-laden produce (if any pro-
duce at all) and cheap processed products made from
genetically modified crops, I had a deep feeling that I
While there is no simple answer to these questions, my volunteering ex-
perience made me realize that the solution to making organic accessible to
everyone was about climbing down from the shelf and getting down to
earth with people—literally. Rather than just educate consumers about the
value of organic on our labels, websites and through product demos at the
market level, we need to support those who are teaching people about
organic on the ground level in their communities. Through grass-roots
organizations that are getting the organic message out to people of all in-
comes, geographical areas and educational levels—there is a new connec-
tion with food and the earth taking place. There is an awakening.
Currently, the number one reason why people don’t buy organic is because they think it is too expensive. We know that education is the key to
helping consumers overcome this price barrier—but all the brochures in
the world don’t compare with actual real world experience. By making sure
that communities have access to organic, all of a sudden organic becomes a
tangible thing that is within their reach, and they start looking for organic
everywhere, including the grocery store. An empowered community will
also fight for governmental policy that supports what they believe in as well.
While working on the cover article “Organic For Everyone” with my coauthor Steven Hoffman, I was amazed at the steps some organic companies
have taken to make organic accessible. Let these companies inspire you to
find ways to make organic more accessible as well. Whether it is supporting
community efforts or working to decrease packaging costs or save on distribution and then passing these savings along, together there are many ways
to make “Organic for Everyone” more of a reality.
Chief Executive Officer Don Meeker
Publisher Stacy Atchison
Advertising Manager Bobby Meeker
Editorial Director Kathryn Schuett
Art Director Craig Van Wechel
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