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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Organic food infiltrates Tucson

    Ashley Sanders, a studio art sophomore, eats organic because she has special dietary guidelines she must stick to and going organic has helped her stay within them.

    “”I eat organic because of my health,”” said Sanders, who has type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. “”All of the stuff in non-organics isn’t good for my body.””

    But organic foods aren’t just for health nuts or people with special needs.

    The USDA holds organic products to stringent standards. The product must be made of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients and not undergo any radiation or chemical pesticide treatments in order to be labeled organic.

    Emily Rockey, a plant sciences senior, and Myles Lewis, an agricultural business graduate student, sell plants with the Horticulture Club by Old Main on Fridays. The two couldn’t be more different in their views of organic foods.

    “”I like that I’m not putting artificial ingredients into my body,”” Rockey said. “”I like to know that I’m just having that apple and whatever nature put into it.””

    While Rockey boasts her appreciation of organic products, Lewis is not impressed.

    “”I looked at the USDA Web site for what makes things organic,”” Lewis said. “”A lot of it is nutrient-based. They say if you mine (nutrients) from the ground then it’s not organic, but in my mind that’s the best, most natural thing you can get.””

    Still, some students see more worth in organic foods than a lack of chemicals.

    “”It tastes better,”” said journalism sophomore Maren Jansen over a cup of tea. “”(Organic foods) also promote sustainable farming practices. If we want to keep our farmland viable, organic is the best option.””

    The Organic Trade Association notes that organic foods help keep soil healthy and protect water. The focus of organic farming is practical use of land, so by supporting organic food, you support sustainable farming,

    Jansen added that due to necessity, she purchases some non-organic products.

    While some things just don’t come organic, price is another factor for some students.

    “”It does get in the way,”” Rockey said. “”I have a little list on my refrigerator that tells me which (fruits and vegetables) are the highest in pesticides, like apples and raspberries. And the ones that are lower in pesticides, those are easier for me to buy non-organic and I feel OK about it.””

    With the option of picking and choosing which organic foods are worth investing in, going organic can be made to fit most college budgets.

    For those interested in joining the green-eating movement, organic options are plentiful. Each Friday Campus Health hosts a Farmers Market on campus, which features organic foods, and with retailers like Whole Food, Trader Joe’s and the Food Conspiracy Co-Op on Fourth Avenue, organic foods are right at your fingertips.

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