Thursday, August 23, 2012

Organic Farming and Food - Why Bother?

Organic Farming and Food - Why Bother?

                I want to begin answering this great question by starting with a quote from Pope Benedict on subsidiarity, which deals with keeping responsibility local.  The Pope writes, “We are all responsible for the protection and care of the environment … it is important for everyone to be committed at his or her proper level.
                How then can we be committed to helping protect the environment on our proper level?  I want to share the story of my family’s organic farm as an example.

                My parents stopped using agricultural chemicals early into their farming career.  Their decision arose from this very simple consideration.  If a corn plant is surrounded by dead weeds that have just been sprayed with herbicide, do I think that corn plant has not been affected in some way? 

While none of us want to directly ingest herbicides or other chemicals, we do eat plants that have been directly exposed to such chemicals.  This is the concern of organic farming and food – what we do to the soil impacts us, our children, and future generations.

How then can we at St. Francis shoulder our share of the responsibility? Here are some helpful questions to ask ourselves.

Do I take responsibility for the foods that I eat and how they are produced?

How do I care for my lawn and garden?
                - Lawn-care typically applies chemicals at 3 times the rate of agricultural use.[1]

Do I take responsibility for my own body and health (the most immediate gift God gives any of us) for His greater glory and service?

Gary Koenigsknecht on behalf of the Sustainability Team

1.  “Turfgrass revolution: measuring the expansion of the American lawn.” Paul Robbins, Trevor Birkenholtz. <>.

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