This week is Organic Week across the country. Organic is one of those words that means many things to different people. In Canada we have national standards that set out in detail what the word means when used by certified organic producers to label their products – although I’ll be the first to admit that they are not light reading.
My appreciation of what organic is has come instead through building relationships with farmers around Whitehorse and learning their values and practices. Organic is about health, our own as well as the planet’s, and it’s about ethics. It’s about supporting ways of producing food that don’t compromise the fertility of the land for the future and that don’t harm the surrounding ecosystem. It’s about supporting the ethical treatment of the animals we raise for food and of the people who work on farms.
I want to know what I am putting in my body, where it came from, who was involved in getting it to me and how it was grown. Seemingly impossibly questions in this age of international trade and big business, but that doesn’t stop the asking. When I can’t grow something myself, my next best answer is to buy it from someone I trust. I am incredibly grateful to all of the fantastic organically-minded producers in the Yukon and constantly amazed by their commitment to their values.
So, hats off to you, GoOFY! For the sake of all of us, please keep doing what you’re doing.
(GoOFY stands for Growers of Organic Food Yukon)