Yesterday, complimenting the fruit and vegetable man at Stop & Shop for having such a wonderful selection of organic fruits and vegetables, Marash Girl launched into a discussion about the cost of healthy eating. How could folks afford to pay more than twice as much for a fruit or vegetable that was "organically" grown? Did that mean that only the middle class or more precisely the well-to-do could afford to eat healthy in the latest way? What did that mean for the poor? Were the wealthy going to live longer and healthier than the poor because they had the money to purchase foods that were organically grown? And if that was the case, what were we saying about our "democracy"? Is it a real democracy when some folks cannot afford to live in a district where their children can attend good schools, learn about foods that have not been chemically treated, and then get jobs that can pay for those foods?
The fruit and vegetable man swallowed hard and said, I buy organic milk for my children. . . For my children . . .
How much money does the fellow working in the Stop and Shop vegetable section earn? And how much does buying organic milk stem the tide against disease borne of eating non-organically grown foods? And what, in reality, are organically grown foods?
When Marash Girl and Marash Boy summered on top of Wilbraham Mountain, they planted vegetables, never sprayed, fertilized only by a crop of winter rye every winter to replenish the soil, compost, and crop rotation for good measure . . . They harvested peaches from peach trees that had been planted in the 1940's and had never been sprayed. . . . however, they did not live in isolation. The fallen neighbor sprayed his peach orchard regularly, even when the wind was blowing . . . He was acres away, but then, how far does the wind blow?