Mothering Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,082 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, obviously the best choice is locally grown organic produce. But, if that's not an option which one would you choose and why? Maybe it's not as big a deal in the U.S. as it is in Canada (or at least where I'm from in Canada) but the same comparison can be made from state to state I guess. We have limited local produce which is only really available in the summer months. All else is imported. When I go to the grocery store I struggle with buying either the imported strawberries or the locally grown ones. I want to support local agriculture but don't want the pesticides
: .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,202 Posts
Local. Imo, the vitiamns you get from a fresh picked something from down the street can't even compare to a box of tired strawberries imported from China or other such place. We can easily get pretty 'clean' strawberries here in season. Not all small farms have the money to get cerrtified organic, but ime they are not using a heavy hand wrt pesticides.

In the summer months, I don't have to buy any produce at all from a regular market. My small garden and the local farmer's markets have every thing we need. A drive in the country here will produce an amzing amount of roadside food (and eggs!) from very small operations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,610 Posts
I go local, because I assume whatever nutritional value I could have gained from eating organic is cancelled out by the efforts to truck the stuff in from California or Mexico. And lord knows the environmental benefit is wiped out by the sheer amount of petrochemicals required to bring the far-away organic stuff to my door.

Besides, don't assume your local produce is all that drenched in pesticides. Oftentimes small farmers do use basically organic practices, but don't get the certification. I know that's true of a lot of small farmers in my area. One really great sustainable poultry farmer I know deliberately avoids the organic cert because of the hassle as well as the requirement that he would have to truck feed in from Iowa, when he get perfectly good feed (again sustainable, but not certifed organic) from a neighbor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
That is the ultimate question, isn't it? Have you been reading Pollan's book? That is what got me thinking about this question.

I haven't figured out the answer to my satisfaction. Organic local is always my first choice, and luckily we do have that choice during the summer, between our CSA and a local organic produce stand (outside Philadelphia). Of course some fruits/veggies are better/worse than others as far as pesticides (strawberries are bad, for example). So I try to keep that in mind.

I have also decided to put seasonality into the question as well. I figure if something is organic but not in season here, either it was stored for a long time while not being fully ripe (so probably doesn't taste good) or it is in season on the other side of the globe, and travelled a long long way. I am learning to actually skip over things, and not just compromise... It isn't easy (one exception is bananas once a month, my DD loves them...). I am going to try to do some canning/freezing of local organic seasonal produce this august.

If it is something that we eat a lot of (lettuce, onions, potatoes), I try to go for the organic over the local, just because of the nutritional value. If my DD (2 yrs) is going to eat a lot of it, I want to have as much nutrition in there as possible, ya know? But if it is a garnish or something we don't eat as much (red bell pepper) I will buy local conventional. Grains are very hard to figure out, because we really don't have local grains around here, just lots of corn. So our wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, etc, is not local, and I don't have much choice.

This summer I am very proud of myself that we are eating (almost) all of our CSA produce, and also buying the balance of our vegs from organic veg stand, and even buying raw dairy products and eggs from local farms, and bread from local bakeries. The only thing I go to the grocery store for now is cereal.

It is such a balancing act, isn't it? The local conventional uses petrol based pesticides, the non-local organic uses fuel for travel. What is better? I would like to say that nutritional is the most important, or natural resources are the most important, but it isn't black and white like that...

Oh well, maybe someday the whole earth will go organic and it will help us solve our dilemma! We can only dream....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,131 Posts
Ideally, both. However, it's just not convenient or realistic for us to find that - unless they are coming out of our backyard! So in the summer we go 100% local for all fruits and veggies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,881 Posts
I found this thread searching for something else...

For us it depends on the item. For produce that is notorious for being heavily sprayed I prefer Organic. Otherwise local tends to taste fresher. We're on a budget right now so these days we only buy Organic for items that are high on the pesticide residue list or items that just taste better Organic (example: baby carrots and bananas). Most local produce only seems to be available in the summer here.

I'm hoping to set aside money to join a CSA next summer so I can do some canning/freezing to hold into the winter.
:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,928 Posts
I would buy local. Organic is nice, but I always think of all the fossil fuel used to ship organic food to me from South America or California... I'd rather support local farmers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,671 Posts
For me it depends. I buy local eggs as opposed to organic when I can because I know the farm I buy them from treats the hens very well. And I love getting my blue, purple, and speckled eggs. If I could get local milk that I know came from well-treated cows I would buy it over organic.

The high pesticide foods like strawberries, I would buy organic over local. The lower ones, like onions, I would buy local over organic.

It really just depends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,881 Posts
I forgot to add, years ago I asked a farmer at the market if he sprayed/dusted his green peppers and he said no. After I walked away I heard his wife scolding him because he "did too" dust. I should have taken them back!
Our farmer's market is really skimpy so we'd have to drive 20 miles in any direction for a real farmer's market (some of the people are selling green giant out of the back of their vehicles
).
It's all a toss-up anymore over how much gas money I have or time/energy etc.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top