We need to replace the term ‘organic food’ with something new, a concept that does not have such bad press and confusing standards. It is clear that we need a term that cannot be used as an instrument of propaganda by vested interests. It is worth noting the irony that the word ‘organic’ has its origins in Late Middle English via Latin from the Greek organikos ‘relating to an organ or instrument’.
I now offer the term ‘Sumbiosic Food’. Sumbiosic is derived from the Greek sumbiosis, meaning companionship, itself derived from the Greek sumbios, meaning living together, and the Greek bios, meaning life. Food is that which sustains human and other forms of life. We can now substitute the word organic with the word sumbiosic.
Sumbiosic Food, Sumbioculture and being a Sumbiovore
Sumbiosic food will be food that is produced by humans that enhances mutual interdependence between the non-living foundations of life (biogeochemical systems) and all species as living beings. In doing so such food production will conserve and maximise the living systems that constitute communities of life. Sumbiosic food celebrates the interconnectedness of life (living together) and rejects food production systems that; deplete the soil base, practice extensive monoculture, poison the food chain, render species extinct, introduce risky DNA into life that cannot be removed once introduced and emissions that create global problems such as Anthropogenic climate change. Sumbiovores will also take into account the cultural justice of endemic food production and consumption.
In order to build positive interconnectedness and genuine resilience in food systems, sumbiosic farming (the praxis of sumbioculture) will build soil fertility, support local and regional biodiversity, eschew poisons and toxins, practice polyculture, actively conserve water and recycle all forms of nutrients.
The consumption of sumbiosic food from sumbiosic agriculture will support human and ecosystem health and will nurture the maximum diversity of life consistent with the aim of producing food for humans (and other beings such as companion animals). It is a tougher ‘standard’ for food than ‘organic’ as organic systems can currently be monocultures and have no connection to the foundations of life in bio-regional contexts.
If you eat sumbiosic food you are a sumbiovore and can be described as a sumbiotarian if you support the whole system of sumbiosic food production and consumption within the broader category of sumbiosic human development. Being a sumbiovore is a value system that overides all other forms of ‘food-vore’ in the Symbiocene.