How You Can Help

“We all can be part of the answer to the world’s problems… this film can be a piece of that solution by helping people understand that the choices they make are important.”

–       Co-Producer and Florida Organic Growers Executive Director Marty Mesh

What’s ‘Organic’ About Organic? is a call to action.  We want to not only educate audiences on the importance of organic food, but also help initiate the change needed to bring about stronger organic regulation and progressive food policy.  One of the best ways to be part of the organic movement is to join the film’s Screen & Green campaign that asks organizations and individuals to host screenings of What’s Organic About Organic, combined with a “green” action such as hosting a post-screening panel discussion or a volunteer day.

There are also many ways to promote organic farming practices beyond hosting a screening of What’s Organic About Organic? As the film provokes further questions, the first step to change is to develop greater awareness.  Here’s a list of options for action that Shelley has compiled since living in New York City while producing the film:

Ways to Take Action for Sustainable/Organic Living in NYC:

  • Increase your awareness of the externalization of costs in conventional food production
    • Pollution of air & groundwater; consumption of fuel, loss of topsoil & soil health; health risks associated with exposure to toxins for farm workers & citizens—chemical & pesticide “safe” levels are determined for adults not children; detriment to biodiversity—GMOs;
    • There are many resources out there—one of my favorite websites is the Center for Food Safety: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/
  • Make a commitment to support or volunteer for organizations that advocate for organic farmers.  The Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY (NOFA-NY) won my heart with their Farmer’s Pledge: http://nofany.org/farmerspledge.htm
  • Grow your own organic food
  • Talk to farmers at greenmarkets
    • Find one in your NYC neighborhood at: www.grownyc.org/
  • Join a CSA—Community Supported Agriculture
    • Like a subscription, you make an investment at the beginning of the season, then get to eat fresh, local, seasonal veggies all summer!  Go to www.JustFood.org to find one in your neighborhood.
  • Compost your food scraps—we generate an incredible amount of waste that can be recycled into productive, nutrient-dense soil!  Plus, it’s empowering to convert your trash into a treasure!
    • You can start a worm bin at home or drop off scraps to a garden or greenmarket location—find vermicomposting resources & map of drop-off locations at: www.lesecologycenter.org
  • Eat organic/local/sustainably-produced food—ask for organic food at restaurants & places you shop!  NOFA-NY has a
    • In 2006, 38% of organic food sales were from grocery store; studies have shown that if 12 people make a request for a certain product, managers will usually accommodate.
    • Get a group of neighbors together & ask for organic/local/sustainably-produced products at your grocery stores!
  • Find a farmer from whom you can buy your Thanksgiving turkey/holiday food.
  • Join a community garden
  • Talk to your child’s school about local school food initiatives, school gardens & get involved! http://www.farmtoschool.org/

Larger Sustainable Agriculture Issues to support:

  • More funding in the Farm Bill for
    • NOP staff/enforcement of compliance
    • Organic Certification cost share programs
    • Risk Parity for Crop Insurance
    • Research on organic productions, specifically soil health/global warming relationship & biological synergies, economic research
    • Organic/sustainable farming programs at State Ag Schools
    • Incentives/resources for farmers to learn how to transition
  • Check out the Organic Farmers Action Network where you can sign up for updates: http://ofrf.org/action/action.html
  • Do you or someone you know want to learn more how to grow organically & start a farm?  Check out www.attra.ncat.org for free information on learning organic/sustainable growing practices.

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