I’ve been at this a long time. Saying it like that makes it sound like I am old, but I’ve been part of a movement since before I could walk, so then yes it has been some time.
My parents were organic farmers and they started in 1975. That was almost 40 years ago! Even before ’75 they were macrobiotic practitioners studying away with other yin/yang hopefuls chewing brown rice together.
The organic food industry is now worth over 30 billion dollars!
It’s almost hard for me to make the jump. When did it get so big?
Back in the early 80’s only a handful of people cared about organic.
Back then it was just us. There were other farmers of course but we could point to them on a map.
In the mid 80’s we left the hustling and non-bustle of our small upstate New York town for better opportunity in what my Dad liked to call: The Rotten Apple, New York City. For several years my parents, me (I was 13 at the time), my younger siblings and a few hired helpers made the trip several times a week to New York City to make more money and move our produce. We farmed about 20 acres at the time.
My first memory of my Mom having a conversation with a customer about the fact that our produce had no pesticides was in the Union Square farmers market. The person commented about how important it was. Even though this was almost 30 years ago, I am pretty sure that the customer commented back about how it was better for your skin. Which is kind of odd since the most important thing you should be thinking about with pesticides– is endocrine system disruption and essentially… disease and cancer. But we didn’t have the phrase endocrine system disruption then or at least the public didn’t.
Bring it to this day forward. A group that does important activism and education around dangerous chemicals: The Environmental Working Group is having Endocrine Disruptor Week–a week of posts about chemicals to avoid on Facebook.
Times have changed for sure. It’s hard to say if things have gotten better. You might assume that it has with the vast spread of the organic movement, but at other times it seems we have more pressing needs then ever to live healthy in our environment.
It was simpler then when it was just me and family, some dirty carrots to wash and a drive from the farm to New York City.