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Organic Food Debate: Pleasure Over Sustainability?

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Organic Food Debate: Pleasure Over Sustainability?

By Paula Alvarado, TreeHugger

The quite misinterpreted study published in Annals of Internal Medicine signed by Stanford professionals kept bouncing in my head the past week. Not so much out of annoyance for the simplistic approach some media took when writing it up, but more because, as two thoughtful articles by Consumer Reports and Mat McDermott note, the utilitarian concept of nutrition should not be the (only) point when talking about organics.

A few days later I recalled a funny video which to me explains one definitive truth and my indisputable motivation to buy organic (I use the word organic as a reference, but note I don’t mean it in a certified-organic technical way. For more on confusing organic labeling read this post by Christine).

The video is in Spanish, but with a brief explanation and the images it is easy to understand: Two tomatoes who ‘met online’ are seeing each other face-to-face for the first time. The first impression is terrible: the GMO tomato thinks the organic looks awful, and he’s very unimpressed with his simple life in the farm when he has traveled the world, got groomed and educated.

While ordering a drink, GMO is appalled that Organic asks for manure: he orders some chemical compound. In the end, he is sure this is not going to work out and wants to end the date, but Organic proposes they try each other a little bit before leaving.

Organic Tastes Better

In a sudden change of roles, Organic is amazed that GMO tastes like nothing and excuses himself to the bathroom to escape, while GMO cannot believe his tastebuds, is madly in love, and stays in his seat planning their future children’s education. If you get some Spanish, it’s really worth watching!

That ending sums up, to me, the most important and fundamental truth about sustainably grown food: It tastes better, and thus is a joy to eat. The video expresses another truth: we can discuss organic and GMO food all we want, we can cite studies and specialists, but it is not until we actually try an organic tomato or carrot that we understand the difference, and, once we do, we want to marry them forever.


Next: So why aren’t we talking more about pleasure in the sustainable world?

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eating for Health, Food, Fun, Green, Life, , , , , , , , , ,

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3:22PM PDT on Jun 19, 2015

Thank you Molly.

10:04AM PDT on Sep 7, 2014

Sustainability!!! I've noticed only some things taste better when "organic", but the reason I try to buy as much organic as I can is because I worry about pesticide over-use and run-off (think Lake Erie this past summer) and GMO's.

4:19PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

I haven't noticed the taste being any better, but I do think it's better for the health of our ecosystem. Thanks.

8:02AM PDT on Sep 22, 2013


7:27AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:18AM PST on Jan 17, 2013


10:32AM PST on Nov 9, 2012


1:19PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

good read, thanks!!!

5:15AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

Sustainability is important, and I do also think organic tastes better.

3:29PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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