Organic, local and sustainable — simply the right thing to do

After spending the last five days in Florida and visiting one of the Frank Oakes’ establishments on three of those five days — I have finally become inspired to get serious about organic, local and sustainable agriculture. Over the past fifty or sixty years, we have all been programmed to buy our groceries based on appearance, price and shelf life.

Organic, local, picked fresh daily by people who care -- This is the kind of food that I want to eat -- every chance I get.

While the packaged goods are always touting the health benefits on the front of the box or can, the real “nutritional” story is told in the little “Nutrition Facts” box on the back of the package. And, with the exception of whole grain rice, dry legumes and whole oats; there are precious few products “with a label” on them that are worth eating.

The clever food marketers have come up with powerful formulas that create just the right combination of ingredients to make us crave those highly-refined products. The primary ingredients are white flour, sugar, salt and oil. In our 4-Leaf system, ALL of those “non whole plant” items must be eaten as a part of only 20% of your daily calories in order to achieve a 4-Leaf score.

Frank Oakes -- an organic pioneer in Naples, Florida -- is making a difference. In fact, he has made a difference in my life.

Sadly, the produce departments with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables has been the victim of clever marketing with the same three goals: appearance, cost and shelf-life. The missing ingredient here is nutritional excellence.

We have all been programmed to seek the lowest possible price, especially if an item looks better in the store. I have been a victim myself. But, thanks to Frank Oakes of Naples, Florida, I have turned over a new leaf and, beginning today, here is what I am going to start doing.

  • Visiting more farmers markets every chance I get. We have a few year-round markets in southeastern Connecticut believe it or not.
  • Shop more at the local grocers who specialize in more local, fresher, organically grown produce.
  • Looking for the organic label when buying groceries at the major chains.
  • Resisting the temptation to buy the cheaper bananas even if they actually look better than the organic ones.

Shopping at the Oakes Farm Market on Davis Blvd in Naples

Now that I have been reminded of the tricks that our food marketers play on us, I simply must start doing the right thing. Eventually, the rising price of oil is going to force us back in the direction of local, organic, sustainable methods of farming and distribution. We, as a nation, will not enjoy the transition — but we will gradually regain our health because of it. 

J. Morris Hicks, now shopping for local, organic and sustainable produce.

So why wait for the expensive oil to force us to do what we know we should be doing now? It may appear to be costing us a little bit more money, but our bodies and our environment will know the difference. As I said at the beginning of this blog — it’s simply the right thing to do. You may enjoy this earlier related blog:

What is the future of food? — Take a look at the past.

If we want to see sustainable organic agriculture become a reality, then we follow advice Gandhi;  “We must live the change that we wish to see in the world.”

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Organic, local produce, Sustainability. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Organic, local and sustainable — simply the right thing to do

  1. Stan Huff says:

    Thanks for helping to lead the way. One person’s resolve, heard and shared by many, reinforces them all.

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