Of organic compost, and of meatlessness

The business about what gets called “organic” when it comes to compost horrified me so much that I asked for guidance from my new best friends at the appropriately-named farm & garden suppliers Integrity Sales. They were helpful and sympathetic. The key, they said, is to look for OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certification (was relieved to discover my favourite soil amendment, Sea Soil, is OMRI certified.. and guaranteed free of sewage sludge).

So I guess “organic” is one of those loophole words, like “fair trade“, that has been pounced upon for marketing purposes. Anyone can use the word, and a lot of opportunists will do so, counting on public ignorance of what it should properly mean, to make a quick buck. So you have to be alert and remember to look for certification.

Bernadette posted a link to the Meatless Monday website: a grand idea, I thought. It describes itself thus:

Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Our goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

Which, given what I’d read in Food Matters, by Mark Bittman, back in January (he quoted an FAO statistic, that “global livestock production is responsible for about one-fifth of all greenhouse gases – more than transportation”) is a nice, easy-to-remember way of reducing consumption. (Hopefully people are not simply replacing meat with fish in this day and age.)

I’d think the meatless Mondays should be added to any meatless Fridays our Catholic friends might already be practising, of course. And speaking of religion, anyone wanting to go for the weight control and health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet should be aware that the people studied for this (Cretan men in the 1960s) were actually eating very little meat to start with, and reducing their meat consumption in large part because of the numerous fasting days prescribed by the Greek Orthodox Church.

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