My letter to Organic Style

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From my letter to the editors of Organic Style magazine:

Thus far I’ve enjoyed the first two issues of Organic Style. Though it’s a little “slick” for my tastes, I’ve enjoyed most of the articles and applaud you for covering white tea in your Nov/Dec 2001 issue. White tea is my favorite kind for its subtle flavor alone, and its health benefits, even beyond green teas, are good to see in a publication of your scope.

One issue I feel I must bring up, though, is with your article “The Problem with Poultry.” While free-range chickens, or “organic” chickens may be slightly healthier, from an ethical standpoint they are really not much of an improvement over factory farmed poultry. The end result is the same: the chickens are killed for food and whether they’re allowed to walk around before they’re slaughtered is a way to make people feel less guilty about eating animals. If someone is truly concerned about ethics with regards to their eating habits (and, indeed, their health), then a vegetarian or vegan diet is the way to go.

Free-range farming isn’t for the welfare of the chickens: it’s just a poor way for humans to justify eating animals.

Study: organic better

Organic Food is Better for You, UK Farm Group Says

I always had trouble believing the organic naysayers that insisted that fruit and veggies treated with pesticides were as healthy as any organic offering. Here’s a report in favor of organic farming that goes so far as to say, “Eating organic is neither a fad nor a luxury, this comprehensive scientific assessment shows that it is a necessity.”

Organic dairy

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Regina’s Vegetarian Table, as many of you will remember, is one of the few shows I anxiously await each week (though it seems to be off of its normal schedule right now). Right now, Regina has a good article on her web site supporting organic dairy products.

It makes me really happy when I’m in Giant and see what I consider to be an “average American” reach for the organic milk even though it costs a little more rather than the store brand. It’s not just about health (connections have been made between the use of bovine growth hormones and early puberty in children), but about the choice to support sustainable agriculture and farmers that treat their dairy cows humanely.

And it’s easy to find. In Giant, they carry two different brands of organic milk. For a half-gallon, one costs about $3.50 and the other about $2.95. Hopefully more varieties of organic cheeses will become available soon.