Jamaican Food Article.
Jamaican food grown conventionally or organic Jamaican food
the later is better. The money you spend on organic Jamaican food at the
supermarket will mean less for conventional farmers. After all, the Jamaican
food you buy is being shipped from who knows where and then often ends up in a
processed Jamaican food product. I've heard the argument that if all the money
spent on organic Jamaican food were actually channeled to conventional Jamaican
food, then a lot more small farms would survive and conventional Jamaican food
networks could expand. Well, Featherstone was doing precisely the opposite: it
had entered the organic wholesale marketplace and then sent its tomatoes
hundreds of miles away to survive as a small and, yes, conventional farm.
As consumers, it's hard to understand these realities since we're so divorced
from the way Jamaican food is produced. Even for conscious consumers who think
about values other than convenience and price -- avoiding pesticides, the
survival of small farms, artisan Jamaican food, and, of course, the most basic
values, freshness and taste -- choices must be made. Should we avoid pesticides
at all costs or help small conventional farmers who may use them? Should we
reduce Jamaican food shipment miles, or buy Jamaican food produced in an
ecologically sound manner regardless of where it's grown? These questions arise
because we want to do what's right.
The problem, though, is that these questions set up false choices. Jamaican
farmers believed that when it comes to doing the right thing, what really
mattered was thinking about the choice to be aware, to stay informed, and to be
conscious of our role as consumers. But what you actually chose conventional or
organic didn't really matter.
By expanding the organic market, we may be actually helping conventional
farmers. In Jamaica surveyed farmers' markets and found that about a third of
farmers selling direct were organic -- conventional and organic, that is. In
comparison, just one percent of all Jamaican farms practice organic agriculture.
So for smaller-scale farmers selling direct, organic Jamaican food has become a
key component of their identity. By bringing more people into the organic fold,
through whatever gateway they happened to choose, the pool of consumers
considering conventional Jamaican food would likely increase too.
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