The Conscious Consumer: A Canadian Perspective
The organic food culture in Canada is growing, as more and more of the population has shifted away from conventionally farmed food products towards all natural, organic food. Being a Canadian myself, I am one of these people who have started eating a mostly organic diet. I first got hooked on organic produce after I started growing some of my own vegetables. Once I tried my very first organically grown tomato from my garden, I was amazed by the difference in taste and consistency. The more I eat organic produce, the more I can taste the difference from non-organic food.
I believe the shift towards organic food stems from an individual’s broader environmental, health and social values. By buying organic food, you are enforcing responsible consumer behavior; supporting both personal and public welfare. For me, buying organic food means encompassing the wellness of myself, as well as of the producers, farmland, environment, the local communities and local economies. It’s a way to not only boost my own health, but also a way to have a positive impact on my social and natural environment.
I am from Vancouver, a city in Canada. One of the reasons there has been a big shift in organic food consumption in my city is because it ensures that the food is grown as locally as possible. This is important because by consuming organic food, we are supporting local farmers and adding to the local economy. It is also important to know where your food is coming from in order to ensure you are not ingesting any harmful additives, especially pesticides. Therefore, by eating locally grown, 100% organic food, the consumer is able to avoid the risk of excess pesticides.
Some people believe that there is no difference in the health effects of organic food versus non-organic. However, there are increasingly more scientific studies that show the detrimental health effects of pesticides found in non-organically grown food. Studies have shown that pesticides can lead to various diseases, for both the consumers and the farmers who use the pesticides. The use of pesticides in farming also has extremely negative effects on the environment, as it contaminates the soil, groundwater, air, soil fertility and other vegetation, and can also minimize the biodiversity in the area.
This is why there must be a larger shift towards consuming organic food. It doesn’t matter if you’re in India or Canada; our environment and our health should be important to all of us.
Written by: Cavell Bouman