Making a case for organic foods

For college students, money is always a high priority. Students want to get it quickly, save it wisely and still have fun spending it. What do most students do when they go to their local grocery shop and buy their meats, dairy, fruits, and vegetables?

“I always buy organic food because I have allergies to processed food and I am lactose intolerant so it makes me feel better when I purchase local food,” sophomore Alex Lemon said.

At local stores like Vons or Trader Joe’s organic food is always available, but sometimes the prices can turn students in the direction of conventional foods.

“I love Trader Joe’s and the fact that in small portions its reasonably priced,” Lemon said.

At California Lutheran University on Saturday Oct. 4, the wellness program will be hosting the Fall Farmers Market. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Swenson center fresh fruits and veggies will be available for purchase by cash only.

“We have seven local booths in addition to performances by three CLU musician groups,” said Cal Lutheran intern of the Wellness Program, Tianna Pasko.

This gives students the opportunity be able to purchase locally grown produce without driving to the store.

“I like eating fresh food because it makes me feel better than eating processed food so I am really excited for the farmer’s market,” junior Katie Mussell said.

When shopping is done wisely, prices may fit comfortably in your budget. When organic food is purchased at farmer’s markets money can be quickly saved.

Pasko also finds that other than prices, it is always important to support your local community in any way possible. Purchasing locally grown produce is a great way to step in that direction.

“We have invited local booths from Simi Valley, Moorpark, Westlake and Agoura Hills. This will give our students more knowledge about farmers markets outside of the Thousand Oaks area,” Pasko said.

At farmer’s markets the food is generally less expensive than in the grocery stores because the local farmers sell their food directly to you.

A farmer’s market can lead to an enjoyable afternoon involving the taste of local and fresh grown produce. The fruits and veggies are always fresh at farmer’s markets because they are grown typically during the correct season, which also puts them at a bargained price.

Sometimes organic food can lead students, friends and family to question what the true beneficial facts are of making the change. Organic simply means that there are certain agricultural guidelines to be followed in order to be labeled.

In 2010, Cal Lutheran created a garden on campus called the SEEd Project. According to Cal Lutherans sustainability website, they did this to take a chance at growing their own fresh food to support the cause in encouraging others to do the same. If you would like to help or simply donate to the SEEd Project you can contact Sam Thomas at 805-493-3693 or [email protected]

According to helpguide.org, crops must be grown in soil that has no modifications to it meaning the farmers are not allowed to use any pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. They also explain that organic livestock must be able to go outside, be fed organically, and must be given no antibiotics, hormones, or animal-by-products.

“Locally grown organic products are fresher. Not as many pesticides or chemicals are used on local farms, which reduces the risk of salmonella,” Pasko said.

There is a farmers market every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the end of the parking lot of The Oaks Mall.

 

Erin Chisolm

Senior Writer

Published October 1, 2014