Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Sunday,
Dec 21st
Home Columns Jewish on Earth Tu b’Shevat and the environment

Tu b’Shevat and the environment

E-mail Print PDF

It’s cheaper to buy local, organic foods than industrially produced ones — except the savings are invisible.  Invisible, that is, to anyone who doesn’t buy, handle or grow them.  Local and organic was all our ancestors ever knew — even up to our grandparents’ time.

Then came farming’s “Green Revolution” of the 1950s, with “miracle” chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and “factory” farming.  And with it, a host of hidden costs that you don’t pay with local, organic foods.

This Tu b’Shvat, let’s celebrate those savings:

• no costs for air, land and water pollution, or soil erosion;

• no costs for food-borne illnesses and health care system burdens;

• no costs for feeding antibiotics to fish and animals, nor for antibiotic resistance in animals and humans;

• no taxpayer subsidies to agribusiness, fossil fuel, drug and water industries; and

• no reduced nutrition levels in fruits and vegetables.

So, what make these cost ?savings “invisible”?

First, the agribusiness, water, drug and fossil fuel industries hide them on their balance sheets, which makes their operations look more profitable.

They simply don’t account for the costs of soil erosion, pollution cleanup, accidents and illnesses, food recalls, nutrition losses or human antibiotic resistance — until an incident occurs that they must pay for.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN's print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Right-wing extremists from around Europe meet in Milan

Marcy Oster The gathering was organized by the Italian far-right party Forza Nuova as the first meeting in Italy of a new far-right, pan-European party called “Alliance for Peace and Freedom.” ... [Link]

Israel destroys Gaza cement factory in retaliation for rocket attack

Marcy Oster Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not ignore the firing of even one rocket from Gaza on Israel. ... [Link]

Obama signs law strengthening U.S.-Israel alliance

Marcy Oster The 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States. ... [Link]

Kindertransport documentary selected for permanent preservation

Marcy Oster Oscar-winner “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” has been selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry. ... [Link]

From the Archive: Cuban Jews under the embargo

Gabe Friedman While Fidel Castro’s 1959 ascent to power had a catastrophic effect on Cuba’s once friendly relationship with the U.S., the revolution’s impact on the island’s Jewish population — an... [Link]

‘Ida’ makes Oscars shortlist

Gabrielle Birkner The Israeli entry, ‘Gett,’ is out of the running, but a Polish film about a would-be nun who discovers her parents were killed in the Holocaust was among the nine foreign films that advanc... [Link]

Tampa-area agency head dead in murder-suicide

Anthony Weiss A Florida Jewish agency head who had been deeply involved with caring for migrant children was found dead with her longtime partner in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide. ... [Link]

A military miracle: Hanukkah care for U.S. armed forces personnel

Raffi Wineburg For the last seven years, Kosher Troops has been sending care packages to American-Jewish servicemen and women across the globe. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com