Organic v. Locally grown ~ - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: would you rather buy organically or locally grown produce?
organic 11 30.56%
local, regardless of whether it's grown organically or not 16 44.44%
other 9 25.00%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-05-2004, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i prefer to buy locally grown produce whenever it's available, regardless of whether it's organic or conventionally grown. this supports the local economy, minimizes the amount of pollution being produced from shipping food from far away, and the food tends to taste better because it's able to be picked fresh and ripe.

of course, when locally grown organic produce is available, and i can afford it, that's definitely my first choice.

what would you choose, and why?
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:04 PM
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I prefer local. I can't afford organic with the amount of fresh fruit and veggies we go through. I prefer to go the the Farmer's Market, in the summer, and buy locally or at least within the next province (B.C. Okanogan fruit is great). I buy eggs from a guy my husband works with, they are true free range and hormone free. I also know a lady not to far away who grows organic and her produce is what the regular stuff costs me in the store, but she serves most of the local restaurants and does'nt always have stuff available.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:11 PM
 
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I chose other because we only eat organic, sourced local with only 2 exceptions....avocados and bananas.

I work at an organic food market that specializes in organic locally sourced produce so that gives me an in of sorts.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:19 PM
 
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I chose other because I struggle with this. My goal is really to buy _either_ organic or locally grown, but sometimes I get neither! I'm working on it... I'm reading a book called "Ecofoods" that has a great discussion of this...
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'll have to check that book out Marisa. i've never heard of it.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:34 AM
 
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Well I prefer to buy locally grown organic and if that is available that is my #1 choice. We shop at the farmers market every sat and not all of it is organic but I feel good buying it anyways....its ovioulsy better nutrition, better quality, support local economy, etc

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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Old 07-06-2004, 03:11 AM
 
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I voted "other" because it depends on the produce. For items that tend to have lower pesticide residue (such as blueberries), I'll go with local over organic. But for items that generally have high pesticide residue (such as strawberries) I'll pick organic from afar over local and sprayed. This is especially true if it's a food that my kids will be eating lots of. (Strawberries! ) Of course, local *and* organic is better, and grown in our own garden is the best!

Here is a link to a website that ranks produce by results of pesticide residue tests in case anyone is interested:

http://www.foodnews.org/reportcard.php

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Old 07-06-2004, 03:19 AM
 
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I voted other because my first choice is organic and local. There are a few things I will only buy organic, local or no (bell peppers, grapes, strawberries, etc). Ideally I would like to buy all of my produce at the farmer's market because you can talk to the people who grow the food, and many times I've found that although they don't have the organic seal, their produce is organic, they just can't afford the certification because they're too small of an operation.
But as the organic revolution grows, we have to be careful of who we're buying from, or all the small independent organic farmers will be ousted by huge evil organic corporations.

Mama to 3:
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Old 07-06-2004, 03:38 AM
 
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I also, buy 99% organic only and always try to buy locally-grown food. While we use WF more often than we want to because it's so close, I try to buy our produce always at some of the smaller HFS because all of their produce (unlike at WF) is locally-grown AND organic. We also do the farmer's markets. Here in CA, it's really easy to get both in the same produce. I can imagine that it's harder in some of the more mid-country states.

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Old 07-06-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
i prefer to buy locally grown produce whenever it's available, regardless of whether it's organic or conventionally grown. this supports the local economy, minimizes the amount of pollution being produced from shipping food from far away, and the food tends to taste better because it's able to be picked fresh and ripe.
Yeah, what she said.

During late summer, we eat produce almost exclusively from our garden, and are trying to get better at freezing & canning.

Keeping busy with 2 boys & 1 girl ('04, '06, '08)
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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I try to buy local organic, but when not possible I get just stright local.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:28 AM
 
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as there has been some research lately to say that organically grown produce isn't all it's cracked up to be. apparently because of high crop yields they often don't let the produce grow to proper size? maybe someone else can elaborate more. i'm kind of freaked out now and don't know what the hell to buy! though i'd sooner love to buy local because i am on a tight budget.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:33 AM
 
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I'm for organic, I think the pesticides are worse for the environment than local is good for the economy. I do buy local organic fi I can find it, and I usually can- but if not I go organic. It is important to me.

jill, are you talking about the process of putting sulfur on apples to control the blooms?
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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wanted to add that mass produced organics may not be as good as small farmed produce- which to me is ideal- but IMO the lack of pesticide use is HUGE and even if organic mass produced food isn't perfect it is the better option for me.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well, i guess i should have clarified that at least w/ my local farmers, they minimize their pesticide usage... while they aren't "true" organic, they aren't riddled w/ pesticides like commercially produced store produce.
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:42 AM
 
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well, just to be a total downer here, even organic lettuce has perchlorate (rocket fuel) in it. the EWG has a report about it. it's in a lot of the water supply out west (from texas to california). i've been buying local hydroponic lettuce instead of bagged organic stuff from the HFS. i try to buy organic from our local farmer's market as much as i can and our local coop. i was just talking to DH about how i want to go to the farmer's mkt with a wad of cash to get enough food to freeze, too. we belong to a local organic CSA, too. unfortunately we don't have a lot that is compatible with a garden (too much shade and trees), plus with a baby i wasn't in much shape this year to put one in anyway. i did get a few veggies in containers on the deck, but it really doesn't get enough sun to produce much. our dream is to move to the mts and farm organically. maybe before too long.

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Old 07-07-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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I voted organic. I'd love to have a supply of local organic, but like someone said - organic is not exactly plentiful in the midwest US!
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
well, just to be a total downer here, even organic lettuce has perchlorate (rocket fuel) in it.
ok, if we're going to start being nitpicky: all of our environment ~ from the air to the water to the food we choose, be it organic or not ~ is contaminated with the falllout from the nuclear blasts that were so many years ago. the strontium-90 is still in everything we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. there's no escaping it.

woo perspective.




it kind of sucks when you think about it, doesn't it?

we can try as hard as we want to not pollute... to support sustainable farming... to avoid pesticides and herbicides... to purify our water... but in the end we still live in a thoroughly, incurably, polluted world.
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Old 07-07-2004, 07:09 PM
 
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I’m concerned with imported produce as well. I know that in Santa Cruz we would buy locally from organic and non-certified organic farms with absolutely no problems. My understanding was that they were organic but in the process of becoming certified. I also assume that some really small scale farms weren’t even interested in the certification.

Okay, besides that, I think I’d usually go local. I started thinking about this because there’s fruit growing all around us ~ cherries, plums, berries, apples ~ all available to pick. I have absolutely no idea if they’re technically organic although I seriously doubt that they’re sprayed. Actually, I’m wondering if a long living plant can *become* organic if it wasn’t always grown that way. Does anyone know?

Edited to add:

I grow my own veggies also but I'm not even sure if I'm organic because i buy some transplants from a conventional nursery.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
well, i guess i should have clarified that at least w/ my local farmers, they minimize their pesticide usage... while they aren't "true" organic, they aren't riddled w/ pesticides like commercially produced store produce.
Just wanted to remind folks that if the farmers are not organic, then there is no
accountability for their pesticide use, and the fact is, that we don't know about
the quantity or the kind of pesticides that they use. They simply don't have any
responsibility to tell us the truth. This is particularly true for
certain more expensive foods to grow organically, such as strawberries. We recently found out that
one of our favorite PYO local strawberry patches (and one of the largest) is also
the absolute worst offender in the area when it comes to pesticides. THey are
also the ones who have "kids" days and seem to be a crunchy-granola place.

Inthe summer it is easy to find local organic and to grow my own (albeit not organic).
The rest of the year, we buy organic when we can afford it for most veggies (esp. greens and roots),
local for a few items, and conventional for a few select items (avocadoes, tomatoes, peppers).

Just a warning for those who are growing their own foods--make sure you have
your lead tested before you grow items that will "suck it up." Or do a raised bed
for those veggies/fruits that your little ones eat frequently.

Ciao!
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to remind folks that if the farmers are not organic, then there is no
accountability for their pesticide use, and the fact is, that we don't know about
the quantity or the kind of pesticides that they use.

... and of course that there's no harm in talking to the farmers about their own practices.
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Old 07-08-2004, 02:56 AM
 
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I am going to go buy some locally grown produce tomorrow from our farmer's market. Then I'm going to walk from there and get organic fruit from Trader Joe's. They just started carrying it and it's so cheap there.

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Old 07-08-2004, 04:26 AM
 
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I wanted to add a question about what constitutes organic. In the US we used to find some produce that wasn’t sprayed with pesticides but the farmers had used non-organic fertilizer, which disqualified them for certified organic status. Not that this is a small thing but I do think it’s largely an environmental issue in which case “food miles” vs. fertilizer use needs to be weighed out.

I think this is a seriously good question, Klothos! I’ve known about this problem for quite some time but I haven’t researched it lately. I was reminded of another issue that relates, which is of eating seasonal foods. Anyway, I didn’t find any concrete advice on this(although at first glance it seems to lean towards local) but it is definitely a serious issue to consider.

I found some links: (bold mine)

"Even "in season," a local organic product may not always be on the shelf. So shoppers are often faced with the dilemma of which to buy - organic or local. I have concluded buying local supports our NOFA values (support of our endangered local agricultural base, movement toward sustainability) more than buying non-regional organic."

http://www.nofamass.org/news/12990300.php

http://www.ifoam.org/orgagri/regionalseasonal.html

http://www.consciouschoice.com/issue...ganic1510.html

http://www.student.city.ac.uk/~rc313...r-version.html

http://www.thespleen.com/agriculture...x.php?artID=66

http://www.healthmatters.org.uk/stories/sexton.html

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Old 07-08-2004, 05:58 AM
 
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I am lucky. All the local produce sold at our Farmer's market is either organic or hydroponically grown. We have year round warm weather, so our farmer's market is year round. I go on Saturdays to stock up. But in between i can get it at our commissary. So many farmers in hawaii grow organically that is just how they do it. We just bought a new house, but when we sell and move, we want enough land to grow our own organically.
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