WWU's GEF Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm Pilot

Is “Organic” Worth It?


For this week’s challenge I drew inspiration from our Energy Star certified refrigerator. As it’s one of the few appliances that can’t be unplugged between uses, it’s incredibly important for a refrigerator to be conducive to a sustainable lifestyle. This prompted me to start thinking more about the sustainability of the foods I eat and what else I could do to reduce the environmental impact of my diet.

While I generally eat breakfast and lunch at one of Western’s dining halls, dinner is a meal I typically prepare myself. For my meals, fresh produce is a must, so I decided to buy only organic fruits and vegetables for a week.

There was a pretty decent jump in price (depending on where you shop). For instance, at Fred Meyer, regular cabbage was priced at $0.79 per pound while organic cabbage was priced at $1.29 per pound. A jar of organic chicken bouillon was about $5 and half a gallon of organic milk was on sale for $2.99.

For me, these prices seemed pretty steep and I couldn’t help but question if the extra cost was worth it. So I did a little digging into the importance of organics. Through my research, I came across the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, an organization established in 1972 and has since worked to promote agricultural sustainability and awareness.

I was immediately impressed by the statement on the IFOAM website that designates the organization as “the only international umbrella organization of the organic world, uniting an enormous diversity of stakeholders contributing to the organic vision.” It also states that IFOAM is established in more than 100 countries around the world.

But what struck the deepest cord for me, was the list of principles IFOAM operates by.

1. Principle of Health

Organic Agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.”

2. Principle of Ecology

Organic Agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.”

3. Principle of Fairness

Organic Agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.”

4. Principle of Care

Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.”

Earth is a beautiful and delicate place. Keeping these four principles in mind can help remind us all that each one of us plays a part in keeping it alive. I want to continue learning about sustainable agriculture and I hope others do as well.

For more information about the IFOAM, check out its website.

(By the way, a cup of organic ice cream is wonderful company if you’re single on Valentine’s Day)

See you all in the next one,

– Libby

If you want something local and deliverable to your door, check THIS out!

While organic produce is one thing that can be very beautiful to create and uphold, we as the SEED team have discovered this article on Organic meats, specifically the Cruel Truth Behind Organic Chicken.

On a lighter note, Bellingham will have local options that are easy to pick up at a new local butcher shop Carne. They will be opening soon and offer as local as possible, grass fed meats!

Thanks for reading,



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