Am I organic?

I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a craft goal to only use “green” materials: organic and/or local and/or socially responsible yarns, for example. I think the trick in accomplishing this is to identify all the choices available to me so I know it’s doable, which I’ve started to do with my “green supplies” list. Turns out there are more choices than I had previously thought and I think I’ll be fine.

In fact, before I had really just considered organic cottons and the like. But come fall I’ll get to experiment with what seems to be a wealth of organic wools, which got me thinking…I’m a vegetarian, so I’m completely familiar with organically grown crops: tomatoes, apples, cotton and the like. But an organically grown animal? We grow animals?

It’s just weird terminology, but yes…I guess animals can be “grown” organically. Organic livestock must conform to these requirements:

  • Livestock feed and forage used from the last third of gestation must be certified organic;
  • Use of synthetic hormones and genetic engineering is prohibited;
  • Use of synthetic pesticides (internal, external, and on pastures) is prohibited (sheep cannot be dipped in parasiticides (insecticides) to control external parasites such as ticks and lice), and
  • Producers must encourage livestock health through good cultural and management practices (organic livestock producers are required to ensure that they do not exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals graze).

So, awesome. But this brings me to my question…if animals can be organic, am I organic?

1. I eat organic. But not everything I eat is organic…and I’ve definitely as a child (and maybe even as an adult) eaten my fair share of processed grossness. Pesticides and all that good stuff have definitely made into my system. I think I get a NO on this one. Sad.

2. I definitely don’t use synthetic hormones and don’t think my parents had me genetically engineered. But I eat cheese and yogurt…I don’t drink milk or put it in anything, but I’m assuming all those crazy hormones are in the 2 former dairy products. Damnit. Another NO.

3. I don’t think I use synthetic pesticides internally, externally, or in my home…I think I’m safe in this one. Finally, a YES.

4. I’m an urban dweller, so I think I often live in areas where the carrying capacity for humans could be considered to be exceeded–especially when factoring in the huge ecological footprints of cities, which are dependent on amounts of land far exceeding the city limits. But, I think cities are the most sustainable model for human living given that we’ve probably exceeded the carrying capacity of the globe with our 7 billion or so people. I also I’m culturally sensitive and manage my life pretty well–good cultural and management practices, yes? So, I defy my first point and give myself a YES.

    This is pretty simplistic analysis of my organic-ness. But with a 50% I think I fail.

    Maybe I should tell my boyfriend I’m not organic. He’s really into being healthy.


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    One Response to “Am I organic?”

    1. Nadine Fawell Says:

      Hee hee! The amount of processed sugar I ate last week, I am sooooo not organic. Also, I am too fond of air travel. That certainly doesn’t make me local. Hmmph.

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