Lately, there's been a spate of good news about organic agriculture. The movement is growing and gaining speed quickly. The power of the people is working!
But first, the bad news...or rather, one of the reasons the world is realizing it needs to change for the better: Researchers are now saying they are 99 percent certain that hormone-disrupting chemicals in our environment are not only causing neurological conditions (ADHD, autism), obesity, diabetes, and male reproductive disorders, but they are also costing us at a minimum $146 billion dollars a year. (Note: It's rare for researchers to ever use the terms "certain" and "99 percent.")
Yes, that is bad news, but the bright side is that these findings will hopefully be a catalyst for change. And luckily, there's good news too. In fact, there are 5 bits of GREAT NEWS in the headlines that show we're heading in the right direction:
Two million of the world's 1.5 billion farmers are now producing organically, with nearly 80 percent based in developing countries. India boasts the most certified-organic producers, followed by Uganda and Mexico.
Report by University of California-Berkeley says diversified organic and agro-ecological agricultural systems CAN compete head-to-head with conventional [aka chemical] agriculture.
Survey reports a more than 14 percent increase in organic-cotton acres planted in 2014, representing the largest total cotton acreage planted in this country in almost 20 years. This is significant, as U.S. organic-cotton growers have dealt with tight seed suppliers, persistent weeds, and a shortage of labor.
Research results showed that among individuals eating similar amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who reported eating organic produce had significantly lower organophosphate pesticide exposures than those consuming conventionally grown produce.
U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), a nonprofit group opposed to GM food, is asking university administrators to turn over correspondence between a dozen academic researchers and handful of agricultural companies, trade groups, and PR firms in order to document links between universities and business, "especially looking to learn how these faculty members have been appropriated into the PR machine for the chemical-agro industry." Many researchers are awaiting advice from university lawyers on how to respond.
Plus, this: Organic can help you lose weight?
And for final inspiration, here's a story that Time.com ran highlighting five times that consumer pressure changed business for the better.
It's working, people. Keep it up.
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com