- Relative Risks -- The truth is that we are exposed to many chemicals and potential pathogens in our modern world. Choosing to expose ourselves to a few less chemicals is certainly a valid lifestyle, but should be considered in light of the relative risks and inconvenience, especially in light of the entry of big business into the industry and the debate over organic health claims.
- Relative Benefits -- Simply buying "organic" is not enough to embrace the philosophy. Discretion is required when choosing from which producer to buy. Big producers drawn to the product for profit rather than philosophy may compromise the very values the consumer thinks they are promoting. Likewise, buying organic fruit that hails from a producer in California is of questionable value when you consider the nutrients lost and the fossil fuels used in transporting the product to Michigan.
- Buy Local -- Many of the arguments against "organic" foods are addressed by buying seasonal foods from smaller, local producers. For instance, there are little transportation costs, either in terms of money or nutrients. A local producer is more likely to embrace the organic philosophy than its big-company counterpart. Best of all, you're supporting your local economy, something that is sorely needed in Michigan right now.
Wherever the truth lies in the ongoing debate, organic products are becoming more widely available, especially as national chains realize the demand for them. While Kroger and Meijer may provide an organic section, however, there are entire stores/markets devoted to organic products in the Detroit Metro Area.
- The Organic Myth, Business Week website (Cover Story, October 16th, 2006)