September 21, 2010 | General

Editorial: Power Of Organics: Take 3

BioCycle September 2010
Nora Goldstein

In 2005, BioCycle began using the phrase “Power Of Organics.” It was the theme of our exhibit for trade shows, the cover of our Media Planner and we even made lapel pins. Why? Because the Power of Organics pretty much sums up BioCycle’s core message. The word “power,” when coupled with “organics” has multiple meanings. The strict interpretation — actually generating power, heat and fuels — is featured in each issue’s BioCycle Energy section.
Then there is the more figurative definition, such as the power of processed organics in the form of compost to build healthy soils, filter storm water, sequester carbon and provide plant disease suppression. Or the power of microorganisms in raw materials and end products to remediate contaminated soils. Or the power to support an ever-growing industry of processors, marketers and equipment/service providers — all who create good green jobs. Or the power to move cities and communities around the world toward a durable state of sustainability.
The reason this editorial is titled “Power Of Organics: Take 3” is because this is not exactly new text. The first editorial, “Power Of Organics,” ran in February 2005. The second, “Power Of Organics, Revisited,” was published in May 2007. So this is Take 3. And the take home messages in both of those editorials apply equally today (although the urgency of acting is greater) as when they were written.
While searching our archives for those editorials*, we also found one titled, “Power Of The Organic Force,” written by Jerome Goldstein, our founder, in July 2008. The editorial discussed a book that Jerry edited in the early 1970s, The New Food Chain. Jerry contributed a chapter titled, “Organic Force.” The 2008 editorial featured excerpts from that chapter. Here are a few highlights:
“It only takes a very few words to describe what organic means in the garden … or on the farm. The explanation begins with the soil, gets into the compost heap, the natural cycle, the need to return garbage and sludge and wastes back to the land … and the personal health benefits that go with eating quality, nutritious food.”
“In the past few years, some grandiose concepts have been getting mixed in with the compost heap. … To many people, it’s still just a pile of garbage and manure …. To others, it’s a vision of a society in harmony with the environment.”
“Organic force is developing models for the survival of mankind. It shows how ecology can be blended into daily living without doing anything special. This organic force may very well be our best reason to be optimistic at this time.”
That was 1973. After 37 years, we are still optimistic. More and more people recognize both the literal and figurative “Power Of Organics.”

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