Locally grown (not organic) v. Organic (not locally grown) ... which do you prefer?
- ipsedixit Sep 8, 2006 05:19 PM
Personally, I opt for the locally grown produce even if it's not organic. Just tastes better IMO.
Locally Grown. Buying Organic Produce that comes from far away, say Chile, seems to counteract the positive value of organic farming. And alot of organic farming now is done on such a huge scale, there isn't much less environmental impact than conventional growing. And most local growers are smaller and can give more attention to their fields, which can mean less dependence on chemicals anyway.
Plus you're supporting local agriculture.
I don't think it's a clear cut either/or thing. I buy locally grown produce from small scale, usually family run farms who use environmentally sustainable, artisinal agricultural practices. Whether those farmers are certified organic is irrelevant. If given the choice between a peach grown on a local, 10,000 acre peach "farm" or a peach grown on an organic farm in Chile, I would buy neither because both are tasteless. Instead, I'd go to my farmers' market and buy a peach from Ram Das Orchards which grows the best darn peaches I've ever had.
locally grown is my choice. If it's organic too (such as from my CSA) even better.
Somewhat wrote that produce after several days is not a vegetable, it's compost. Organic agribusiness trucked across the continent is not something to be valued. (Agribusiness has co-opted the "organic" label, but that's a rant for another day)
I think the buzz word "organic" has become generic. We should be looking for produce from "sustainable" farms that are local to your area.
Everyone is SO obssesed with "organic" everything. Guess what folks... its ALL "organic", if you take the term literally. A vegetable is a vegetable, its a carbon-based life-form food item, blah blah. (Remember HS Chemistry class?) Well, maybe not some of those new chemical sweeteners and fats, which are made in a laboratory, those are "inorganic".
But the original poster here hits the other major point on the head, and a few of the followups also. "Organic" produce from some far-away country, is generally several days old, having been handled, packaged, shipped, stored in cold refrigeration, bounced, jostled, crossed time zones, handled again, maybe inspected, shipped some more, sat in dirty trucks, stuck in cold storage again, before finally making it to the grocery shelf. Who really wants to buy a lettuce that was actually picked LAST WEEK ??
Local produce, on the other hand, is often picked just hours before being brought to the local farm market. Perhaps its not "organic" meaning pesticide- and chemical-free, but it also grew in the dirt in a field close to where you LIVE. Like it used to be in the old days. I saw a program on tv, where they were discussing the early age of canned foods, and how people before that usually ate whatever vegetables grew IN SEASON in their backyard, and went without when the season ended.
Think about that also... how many people (I live in New Jersey) are able to grow tomatos in December? or lettuce for that matter, or anything else. Sure, Chile or Peru, maybe even California, but not where I live !!
Finally, as someone else said, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS. Its a dying art, a dying business, a whole different world. Those giant corporations may be able to produce mass quantities of (tasteless) vegetables that are all exactly the same size, color, etc. Those corporations can rely on massive profits and subsidies and sponsors, and probably farm (or buy) stuff to keep profiting all year long. But the farmer down the road from us who plows his own fields and picks his own vegetables, he has a family to feed and support.
(Oh, and i DID grow up in New Joizy, so a tiny bit of pesticides on the non-organic produce I buy, well, heck that really doesn't worry me too much).
Oh and NYChowCook i LOVE that line you quoted:
"""Someone wrote that produce after several days is not a vegetable, it's compost"""
Usually I just buy whatever looks the best...not sure how often I choose local over organic, or vice verse. But I think you all are underrating organic--I don't buy it because it's a buzz word, I buy it because the pesticides taste funny, and moreover, if you eat a lot of produce it really isn't good for you to eat all those pesticides and growth hormones you find in non-organic produce. Then again, we don't get too much non-local produce where I live in California, so maybe I just don't know how bad non-local can be. :)