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If you had to choose between local food vs. organic food....

Poll Results: Organic vs. local

 
  • 15% (18)
    I would buy the organic food.
  • 82% (97)
    I would buy the local food.
  • 2% (3)
    Other
118 Total Votes  
post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Which would you choose? We're talking fresh produce or meat.
post #2 of 26
I'd go local and ask a lot of questions. A lot of farmers don't certify organic because it is VERY expensive. Organic certifications are not all they're cracked up to be, anyway, especially from the USDA.

I buy about 85% local and I'd say nearly all of it exceeds organic standards. I buy mostly directly from farmers, and I ask them a lot of questions about their growing practices.

My two cents.
post #3 of 26
I said local because local food doesn't have to be trucked from so far and ditto to the pps reasons.
post #4 of 26
Local. Not transporting it so far reduces the cost of the food. The husband is amazed at how low our grocery bills are getting as we find more food locally.
post #5 of 26
Defintately local for reasons already mentioned. I am not gung ho organic because of our financial circumstances, but I prefer to buy local when I can and try to make an effort.
post #6 of 26
I voted for local, which is mostly true. The one exception I think is with strawberries, which I'll only buy organic. I don't often buy them when organic + local isn't available (we're planning to pick a BUNCH this week and freeze them), but if I have a need and the options are organic from california versus local conventional, I go with the California organic.

We still can't buy all local living where we do, but we do the best that we can.

Lex
post #7 of 26
Local for all the same reasons already stated
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRJmama View Post
Local for all the same reasons already stated
ditto
post #9 of 26
yes, local..
I do buy lemons and sometimes other fruits that dont grow here in VT. It is definitely a plus to know your farmer! We have great access to veggies in season (and for storing and freezing), milk and meats. Local and organic- or better than organic, but not certified. Some people dont certify now because the USDA controls the certification which is watered down- and many of the uncertified folks exceed the certification requirements.
post #10 of 26
I make this choice every day. I can't afford to go all organic, or even mostly organic. Local produce is fresh, in season, higher quality AND less expensive.

I do buy bananas and citrus fruits, which don't grow locally, but in general I buy as much produce in season as possible. There isn't much in the way of meats or dairy that's NOT local, or at least regional, unless I want to pay 3X as much for UHT organic milk (and I woudn't want the UHT milk anyway.)
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmama33 View Post
I'd go local and ask a lot of questions. A lot of farmers don't certify organic because it is VERY expensive. Organic certifications are not all they're cracked up to be, anyway, especially from the USDA.

I buy about 85% local and I'd say nearly all of it exceeds organic standards. I buy mostly directly from farmers, and I ask them a lot of questions about their growing practices.
My two cents.
What specific questions do you ask?
post #12 of 26
Local!
post #13 of 26
Local, with lots of questions: Do you use pesticides? Do you use GMO seeds? Do you use herbecides? If the answer to these questions is YES, I keep looking. If the answer is yes to the middle, I don't come back, irregardless of what I find elsewhere. If its yes to the others, I might come back depending on what I find elsewhere.

I will *NOT* buy GMO foods any longer. Pesticides, Herbecides, OK. Fine, if thats my only choice, locally. But GMOs I will *NOT* buy. Period. There is just TOO much at stake in this world to support GMO crops!!
post #14 of 26
Like pps I go for local with lots of questions. I also grow alot of my own produce, then it's organic and really local
I have found that many of the smaller farms and ranches are very concerned with raising healthy food without hormones, chemicals and other nasties. I wouldn't have guessed it but after talking to some at the local farmers market and at farms, I was impressed by how many are very careful with what they use.
post #15 of 26
I would have voted local, but I said other instead. the reason is, I would bu organic strawberries form cal instead of the ones here in NY sincethey are highly sprayed. Deffinatly organic and local is best. I would also prefer organic to local with apples too.
post #16 of 26
I buy local organic whenever possible. Growing up next door to my grandmother who gardened, I shudder to think of how many pesticide covered things I ate. I know many small source famrers are leaning towards more consciencious practices, but local doesn't always mean good for you in my experience.

I buy local organic first then organic from where ever second. Then the preference steps down to non-organic local and then plain non-organic.
post #17 of 26
Local nearly every time. With meats, though, I am not interested in hormone-added or grain-fed meats even if they are local. I'd rather do without.
post #18 of 26
Organic would have to win over local. I eat organic for my health.

OTOH, I am privileged to live in an area where its super easy to eat local and organic so I have never been faced with that choice.

No matter what, I stay from the dirty dozen, local or not. If its not available locally for the season, I wont buy it.
post #19 of 26
For animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs) I ask about what the animals are fed. Are they pastured? If yes, are they 100% grass-fed? If no, then what is the percentage of grass-fed and what is the percentage of supplemental feeding, and what is the supplemental food? (For example, even the best of farmers in the upper plains states can't keep their cattle on pasture in the dead of winter, so they feed alfalfa or grains. So I'd want to know what, where they get it, is it GMO, is it organic, does it contain soy, etc.)

If the livestock is grass-fed (which I want), is the pasture sprayed with any chemicals at all? If so, which ones and why? (My beef farmer sprayed a bit this year for the first time in years because he had a noxious weed that was killing his cattle and he couldn't get rid of it. He did his research, chose the most ecologically sound product he could find, and I know all of that because I talked to him about it.)

I ask about routine use of antibiotics, hormones, etc. I ask about butchering practices.

For produce, I ask where the farmers get seed. Do they save it themselves? If not, where do they buy it? Is it GMO seed or from a company that sells GMO seed?

I ask if/what they spray on their plants, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, etc. I ask about fertilizer -- I don't want to be eating petroleum. I ask about the sustainability of their practices.

Most of the farmers I know are happy to talk about their growing practices and are very much concerned with the life of the small family farmer, which is not at all enhanced by most modern factory farming practices. They're concerned about the sustainability of the practices they employ because the land is what keeps them in business, and if the practices can't sustain the land, they'll be standing in a food line, themselves. Most of them are also concerned about good nutrition and providing good product. Most of them don't mind me asking a million and one questions.

Check out www.naturallygrown.org -- its certification standards are excellent, and a good place to get an idea of what you want from a farmer. It's "a non-profit alternative certification program tailored for small-scale, direct-market farmers using natural methods."
post #20 of 26
Local-

---economically it's usually less expensive, the money stays in our community and goes to a neighbor (or near neighbor), and it supports smaller farms.

---uses less fuel/creates less pollution since produce isn't shipped/cooled as far or for as long.

---produce is generally fresher since it can be picked closer to being "ripe"...instead of being picked "early" so that it will withstand shipping better.
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