That is a very good question. I have asked myself this same question and though I think it is very important to support your locals, I would still choose organic because it is more important to eat healthy. If you can avoid pesticides and chemicals, but can’t manage to buy it from your locals, then find other ways to support the locals. Either way, I think it is more important what you are consuming.
I guess it depends on what you are looking in for your food. If you are looking for food that is going to be lower in cost, and have a lower carbon footprint, then buying local is for you. If you are looking for food that is way good for you then organic is for you. I am a big fan of local produce, but there is really no bad choice here.
Very good question! I would buy locally from organic farmers. This would help support small farms, and the local economy. So much of the “organic” market of today is being taken over by large corporations. This almost defeats the entire purpose. Supporting local farmers helps them fight against big agr-businesses. It would be smart from an environmental, nutritional, and economic perspective.
I think it all depends on what you are eating. It can be hard deciding between lowering your carbon footprint and protecting your personal health. When it comes to produce, I try to only buy fruits and veggies that are grown in the US, and choose organic when I know that specefic food is known for having a high pesticide content. Unfortunately, this can really limit my choices.
I think one of the best solutions is to grow your own food. You don’t need to have a lot of land, let alone a backyard. There are many things you can grow in a small pot on your windowsill including tomatos and strawberries! YUM!
It should come as no surprise that I agree with all of the posters in that making this decision depends a lot on your personal lifestyle choices, moral code, politics, etc. In my personal opinion, if you have to choose, I think you send a better, more effective message by buying organic.
Looking at the debate of organic v. local from a political perspective, the simple act of buying food becomes an extremely potent political act which is one of the few ways for a consumer in a capitalist system to impose his or her will on larger corporate organizations. Buying organic informs national corporations of the standards you set for them, and gives them a cost incentive to meet those standards. Thus by buyng organically, you not only act to protect your own and your family’s bodies from pesticides and hormones, but also the bodies of millions of other families and communities across the nation and the world.
Of course, buying local sends another, more aggressive message to national providers (“we don’t need you” instead of “we need you to reform”). But I think that this message can be politically dangerous because it dislocates major national companies from the demands and standards of individual communities, disconnecting consumers in that area from the power of purchase they previously held over larger corporate market players.
This is only one stance on it, and not everyone agrees with it! (I’m sure there are endless people out there who say that if you’re going to vote with your dollar, a vote for organic is more destructive than one for local, etc.). And of course there are a ton of other stances to take, such as the economic/social (supporting your community/local economy through local), macro-environmental (reducing carbon footprint through local), micro-environmental (improving personal health by removing toxics through organics), and many others.
The link cited below is a good start towards informing yourself on the many sides of this complex debate. Ultimately, eating organic or local are both good, constructive choices to better your eating habits and practive living green, so choose whichever you ultimately find most appealing to your politics or morals. The most important thing here is being educated on both sides — once that’s accomplished, you can’t make a bad decision!
Farmer’s markets.. in my experience, most of these suppliers use organic methods anyways, so you get the benefits of both.
I would choose local. I think thegoldenticket has the right idea here in utilizing farmer’s markets. A lot of times these vendors go to 5 or more markets a week and actually grow/make their own produce. There is no middle man; you are putting your money directly in the hand of the person that made your food. I believe on lowering my reliance on different countries and different regions for food; simply eating what is fresh and available locally to me. This is my choice for sustainability and supporting my local farmers. I do have to say that I live in an ideal location in California so I have access to a full range of seasonal fruits and vegetables and many local producers already believe in organic farming… but this is why I want to support them!!
I would choose organic because as meg707 said, it’s important to eat healthy. Also, sometimes out-of-season produce can’t be found locally, so I buy these items from an organic market. However, many local farmers grow organic produce, especially those who sell their goods at farmers’ markets. Also, at farmers’ markets, you have the opportunity to talk with the growers and ask them about their organic farming practices, or persuade them to grow organic produce.
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