Saturday, July 26, 2008
So I get a phone call the other day. "Thank you for calling The Cooks' House." I say. "Are you 100% organic? I only eat organic." Comes the reply. "Excuse me?" "Organic. I ONLY (emphasis hers) eat in places that can serve me organic foods, and it is very difficult to find those places in Traverse City." "Um, we serve locally grown products...." "Yes," she interrupts, "but are THOSE (emphasis hers) products organic?" "I can't guarantee it." I reply now becoming increasing irritated by THIS (emphasis mine) interrogation I am currently enduring, "You see," I continue, "we place our emphasis on supporting the local farmers. I do know they all are very conscientious about their growing practices and most of them practice organic or natural (meaning they don't use traditional pesticides) methods." "S0 you don't know how the farmers grow the food you sell?" "Not to the extent that I can guarantee what is organic and what is not. Like I said, we are trying to support the local farmer, and the ones we buy from practice very ecologically safe growing methods." "I guess I can't eat in your restaurant because you don't know if what you serve is organic or not." "No, I guess you can't. And I hang up. I suppose when she got off the phone she probably grabbed a wine glass, farted in it, and proceeded to smell her own fart and languished in it's fragrant aroma. I on the other hand was happy she did not find us up to her standards and thus saved us the hassle of having to serve her. Organic or not organic? This is the question. I don't fault those who try to use only organic. It's a great idea but not always feasible. I have the privilege and the opportunity to know almost all of the farmers and producers of everything we buy and have talked to a few of them about their growing practices. There is a common thread found with those who are not "100% certified organic". It's to damn expensive of a process to get the certification from the governmental agency that regulates it. So what these farmers, ranchers, and producers have opted for is calling their product "natural". I have stopped worrying about organic and have placed my focus on finding those individuals who practice sound methods, what ever label it ends up getting. My concern and focus is on the local, not the organic. I find it much more ecologically sound to buy a naturally grown (insert item) from the area then buying an organic one shipped in from (insert growing area not in the area). Feel free to snub your nose at me, but make sure that glass you use is made using fair trade values.