Could China be in the midst of an organic revolution? Chen Shuaijun sure thinks so. After packing his bags, quitting his job and moving from Shanghai city to Chongming Island, the 30-year-old banker has returned to his family’s roots in farming. Using his business background as an advantage in this budding industry, both he and his wife seek for a life with safely sourced food.
Organic and locally sourced products have been on the rise in western countries, filling aisles with misshapen vegetables, free-range eggs and shampoo made from all natural ingredients. China, however, has failed to catch onto this popular trend, still making grocery shopping a laborious procedure for the eco-enthusiasts out here (its hard enough to find fresh juice, let alone organic fresh juice). Propelled by these limitations, new-age, younger generation farmers are tending to our freedom of choice in the supermarket by teaching hired peasants to grow food without pesticides and harmful fertilizers.
And, from the Washington Post article on them, it seems to be fulfilling in more ways than one:
This summer, [Chen’s wife] harvested their first tomato of the season. And she described the pleasure of biting into the red fruit and realizing for the first time what a real, unadulterated tomato tasted like.
“There’s nothing like that,” she said, “in the city.”
Chen and his wife only symbolize a small taste of the organic movement, more promising signs are seen in Heilongjaing Agricultural Reclamation Zone’s construction of green food production bases. Used as a method of “greenwashing”, this vast 11,500 sq km span of organic farms is sure to win over some organic conscious consumers. With further encouragement from organic hungry customers, we can only hope for the luxury of choosing between the grass-fed, locally sourced cow’s milk and melamine-tainted powdered crap.