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Has the Recession Taken Its Toll On Your Eating Habits?

If the answer is yes, you would obviously not be alone, so there are no shockers in this bit of news: Organic farmers, reports the New York Times,...


If the answer is yes, you would obviously not be alone, so there are no shockers in this bit of news: Organic farmers, reports the New York Times, have been hit hard by the recession, and many appear to be giving up certification and natural farming techniques for more conventional (and probably more pesticidey) farming. My heart goes out to the farmers, many of whom overhauled their practices just recently to keep up with the growing demands of the market, only to have to now 180 for financial reasons.So it's bad news for the farmers, who are losing crops and income, and it's bad news for the rest of us, too. Not on principle (I'm not one of these organic-or-bust girls), but in terms of our health. Farmers who are constantly inhaling and touching and absorbing toxic pesticides are even more screwed than the rest of us who merely eat them, so it was encouraging when the signs of mainstreaming organic were abundant.Some think this line of thinking, when taken to its Alice Waters extreme, is elitist. I generally agree with most of the things that come out of the mouth of the most democratic food-lover in the world (Mr. Bourdain), but I differ slightly with his take on organic. I think food zealotry is worthless, but it's pretty hard to argue against the idea that everyone wins when organic (and fresh, and local, and healthy) goes mainstream. It means food gets cheaper, more widely available, and healthier. All good things.As for me, I used to try to eat organic wherever possible, and have scaled back like everyone else. But I'm still a vote-with-your-wallet girl, so I have tried in these tougher times to keep my fridge full of whole, clean vegetables and fruits, ideally from the farmer's market. But I've also been eating lots of rice-noodle soup packs that cost 89 cents.What about you? Have your eating habits changed?Image: Tim Boyle/Getty via
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