Lexicon of Sustainability
Watchword: Organic

Watchword: Organic

To draw attention to the best and brightest ideas in sustainability, the Lexicon of Sustainability's Food List project defines the words that are integral to a healthy, transparent, and accountable food system. Each week, we explore a new word through artwork, films, recipes, and written works. See all Food List words here.

Organic: Farming using natural systems and inputs with a view toward a sustainable future. Apart from not polluting the soil, the aquifers, and ourselves, growing organic ensures that you are building soils for future generations, and doing so in a way that maintains a balance of critical natural resources.

Warren Weber (pictured below) has the oldest continuously certified farm in California.

"There is a fundamental difference between the organic movement and the more recent organic industry. We need to dig deeper and look beyond narrow legal definitions to find a philosophy that truly addresses a system of agriculture that is incredibly complex and multidimensional." —Michael Ableman

Short film: "The Middle Way" by The Perennial Plate

In the aftermath of the food scandals that have been running rampant in China, Lifen Yang, owner and chef of Tusheng Siguan, is part of an effort to bring healthy and organic food to Kunming, a city in the Yunnan Province.

Watch her story:

Recipe: Organic Banana Bread

Conventionally grown bananas are loaded with pesticides. By buying organic, you can comfortably indulge in every bite of this timeless favorite, perfected by Chef Ann Cooper. 

Why do you buy organic? Tell us in the comments below.

For the past three years, the Lexicon of Sustainability has sought out the foremost practitioners of sustainability in food and farming to gain their insights and experiences on this important subject. What began as a photography project to spread their knowledge has grown to include short films, study guides, traveling shows, a book, and a website where people can add their own terms to this ever-evolving lexicon. See more at www.lexiconofsustainability.com

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