Our lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the world around us. From shaping your own and your family’s health to affecting the environment and natural world, the daily decisions we make have both long-term and short-term consequences.
I’d like to draw attention to the concept of the “Butterfly Effect.” Developed by American meteorologist Edward Lorenz, though inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Sound of Thunder,” the logic behind the Butterfly Effect states that even small, seemingly unimportant actions nevertheless have tremendous and powerful effects down the line. While Lorenz theorized this in the sense of weather conditions, the root the idea can hold true for human action. If anything, it can serve to be a powerful analogy: imagine a butterfly flapping its wings, and a hurricane subsequently occurring a hundred miles away.
Because of the implications behind this concept, it’s important that we choose our lifestyles wisely. For those of us “going organic”, what is it we are contributing to the world? How are we lowering the chances for dire and unpredictable future consequences?
Going organic can mean a lot of things. Most importantly, however, going organic means you’re…
Reason 1. Supporting water, soil, and air
Organic farming is defined as the use of composting, green manure, crop rotation, and natural, biological pest control. Here, farmers avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, as well as genetically modified seeds.
What this means is that the soil is naturally cultivated; for generations to come, the ground will be healthy. Furthermore, the water is pure and free of unnatural chemicals, curtailing problems like nitrogen leaching. This is both great for the commodities it is used on, but also great for whomever is downstream. And finally, the move toward a biological approach means there is less need for the transport of synthetic ingredients or products. Free-range cattle, for example, often eat indigenous grasses, exercise, and fertilize all on their own accord. They indeed support a healthy ecosystem.
Reason 2. Protecting our Health
GMOs, pesticides, and rBGH were too hastily shuffled into our food line and national food mantra. The science behind these is groundbreaking, yes, but ill-researched and not properly regulated – which is partially because of the corporate stranglehold on regulatory agencies and politicians. Going organic is the only way to be sure that what goes in your body is what nature intended. Chronic illnesses have skyrocketed since these ‘advancements’ and the children of today are stuck in the middle, most not even knowing of the potentially deadly realities around them.
Reason 3. Developing Cultural Significance
Going organic can also have some culturally beneficial aspects to it as well. Being healthy and supporting the environment is important, but if you can create a movement and cultural cornerstone out of it, organic life has the possibility of changing the entire world. The United States is tremendously powerful, especially in pop culture. Let’s harness that power and push for a practice that has virtuous substance.
Reason 4. Making Ethical and Moral Decisions
Ethics and morality, then, are a part of organic life too. The earlier example of free-range cattle captures the essence of this very idea. Factor farm animals are tortured, abused, and poisoned with food they shouldn’t be eating and chemical they shouldn’t be injected with. This implicates a high level of wrong doing. Going organic means going ethically and morally into the world of food and environmental awareness.
Reason 5. Supporting Natural Science
Next, an organic lifestyle echoes the call for a strong natural science, in contrast to a ‘synthetic’ one. While all science could be deemed unnatural, the important difference here is that organic farmers use biological control that occurs naturally. We simply change the occurrence of this control. In our point of view, its better to speed up nature than invade it. The method of mono-cropping and the use of unnatural fertilizer cost billions of dollars per year and destroys the soil; on the other hand, green manure and naturally created fertilizer reinvigorates the soil.
Reason 6. Supporting Local Farmers and the People’s Interests
With an organic practice also comes a support for the local farmers who grow organically. Isn’t it better to support your local farmer than Monsanto? While companies like Monsanto do provide a brilliant service – generating a ton of food for a ton of people – they operate in a poor fashion, making them a poor choice. Instead, support the ethical farmers of America. These are the people with the people’s interest in mind.
Reason 7. Creating A Sense of Community
Through any kind of movement, a sense of fellowship and community is created. In this case, it is a community that shares all the values already talked about. While I would like to avoid talking like a demagogue, there is something inherently “right” about making ethical decisions and supporting each other, our health, and our environment. When we come together as a group, we are able to do amazing things.
Reason 8. Eating Better Tasting and Fulfilling Foods
How does that have bearing on the future? Perhaps, it makes a sense of standard. After a meal, we should feel satisfied and content, not bloated and sick to our stomachs. For anyone who has eaten a “meal” from McDonalds or Taco Bell, you know that afterward you feel tired, uncomfortable, and somewhat aggravated. That’s because the food you just ate, for lack of a better term, sucked.
Reason 9. Supporting Sustainable Methods and Mindset
Going organic also means you’re supporting the same principles discussed thus far. It symbolizes that you wish to have a sustainable world in the future, and that we have no more an exclusive right to earth than our grandchildren. There is a quote that goes something like “You must live through the hell you create.” Unfortunately, in this case, it would be more accurate to say “Your grandchildren must live through the hell you create.” However, by supporting environmentally wise farming choices and ethical decision-making, you can make sure the mindset and effects are positive.
Reason 10. Securing agriculture and the environment for the future
Living organically, then, has a positive place for the future. Preserving the natural world and avoiding big factory farms that use GMOs, pesticides, and tons of resources enables a healthy, more habitable world when we are gone. The movement, of course, must grow, and organic practices should become the norm rather than the exception in order to make an assured difference. But it all starts with a few steps, which we are all taking now.