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GET INSPIRED BY EARTH DAY

Earth day is a celebration that was started on April 22, 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. It was created as a teaching day to get the public more informed about the environmental impact humans were making and a way to bring together people who shared common concerns and values. Senator Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in September 1995 in recognition of his environmental work. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 89. Each year, Earth Day celebrations continue to grow.

There is no finer vessel for bringing the celebration of Earth Day to the people than a retail natural food store. The majority of the products sold at The Turnip Truck are all the beautiful end result of environmental legislation and activism that have occurred in the past 30+ years, much of which was born out of the Earth Day Movement.

To celebrate this day, we will have a plant sale with Tana Comer from Eaton Creek Organics at our East store, 8:30am -3:30pm. She’ll have some of the best organic vegetable, herb, and flower starts for your gardens. Come join us and help us celebrate Earth Day! We will also have some special Earth Day sales  at both stores, all month.

TreeTo ensure a safe and clean planet for future generations it is simply not enough to think about environmental issues for one day only. We must start thinking about ways to protect our environment every day of the year. Earth Day is an excellent time to reflect on this and evaluate how each of our own actions and daily routines impact our planet and try to figure out ways to make some adjustments that can benefit the environment.

Here are a few good resources in the Nashville area to help get you started:

Kilowatt Hours is a documentary by East Nashvillian and TT shopper, Jeff Barrie, and has become a national movement to promote energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.

Go Green Nashville is an initiative to reduce Nashville’s energy consumption by 5%. Homeowners and businesses in Nashville’s urban neighborhoods are encouraged to undergo an NES In-Home Energy Evaluation to decrease their power usage and to save money.
Urban Green Lab

Urban Green Lab will be Nashville’s first community center dedicated to sustainable living. They are building a state-of-the-art green building that will be a meeting place for students and adults to learn about everything from energy efficiency to urban agriculture. This new facility will be located in the Inglewood neighborhood and will facilitate a range of educational and social programs to inspire participants from all socioeconomic backgrounds to make sustainability a bigger part of their lives–in their homes, neighborhoods, and businesses.

East Nashville Cooperative Ministries has many opportunities for learning and volunteering in their organic community garden.  

Recycling links for the Nashville area:
http://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Neighborhood-Services/Recycling.aspx
http://www.nashvitality.org/active/being-active.aspx

Get familiar with Nashville’s parks and nature centers and better educate yourself about our area while enjoying the nature that surrounds us.

Have a wonderful Earth Day celebration . . . and by the way, we believe that one of the best ways to honor Mother Earth and yourself is to choose organic! It’s been estimated that if everyone in this country ate only organic foods (meaning we used no chemical fertilizers or pesticides in our farming practices) then we would actually use less oil than if everyone in the U.S. quit driving their cars. Think about that. It’s pretty remarkable, and something that is ultimately achievable.

Happy Earth Day!


THE PRICE OF ORGANIC PRODUCE

Perhaps the question that we all hear most often in the Natural Food Industry is, "why do organic foods typically cost more than their conventional counterparts?" This is a very legitimate question, especially in today’s economic environment. One of our organic suppliers, Albert’s Organics breaks it down in an easy to understand way. We thought we’d share it with you.

Produce
Organic Greens from Eaton Creek Organics. Photo by D.A. D’Elia.
  • Cost factors such as growing, harvesting, storage and transportation are generally higher for organically produced foods, as farmers must meet stricter regulations governing all of the mandatory steps. As a result, the process of organic farming is more labor and management- intensive, which results in higher costs.
  • Because organic growers do not use toxic chemicals, more labor (and thus a higher cost) is required to deal with weeds and pests in their fields. Organic agriculture tends to be on a smaller scale than conventional farming and thus organic farmers tend to pay more per acre to produce their crops - this according to Dave Decou of Organically Grown Company.
  • Because of their size, organic farmers can often face added distribution costs. There are typically many more stops and deliveries in the distribution of organic food than with conventional.
  • Historically, organic farmers have not received federal subsidies or price supports for their crops.
  • If organic farmers dropped their prices across the board to match conventional products, we would run the risk that some of the steps taken to nurture the soil may be side-stepped. If this happens, their farms will not remain sustainable in the long run.
Produce
Organic Kolrabi and Turnips from Delvin Farms. Photo by D.A. D’Elia.

It is very important to think of the long-term impacts of choosing organics. There is mounting evidence that if all of the indirect costs of conventional agricultural production over time, including clean up costs due to pesticides in our water and soil, loss of soil and medical costs due to illness from pesticides were factored in, that organic foods would actually cost less.