Farmers' Market/farming question re: IPM--are farmers markets better for produce than at grocery stores as a result? [moved from Boston]
I was hoping someone might be able to explain to me what IPM is? I like to go to farmers' markets to get veggies/fruits. I like to support the local farmers/farms and the produce I find tends to be fresher, not genetically modified/using huge doses of pesticides (unless I'm being lied to). Believe me, I'm not naive to think that I'm not eating pesticides every day on my veggies or thinking that local farms don't use them, but I noticed some of them stating they do IPM for pesticides and that is somehow safer/better? I know certified organic is the way to go if you really want virtually pesticide-free produce. My usual market is the Harvard U. Farmers' Market at the Science Center. I think there is only one "organic" farm represented there (Plato's), but their selection of veggies/fruit is minimal. I did see that Ward's Berry Farm and E.L. Silvia farms use IPM for pests. Is this a safe practice? Am I fooling myself that the farmers' market is a better place to get veggies/fruits? Is it any better than going to Whole Foods and buying conventional produce (I assume yes, even if just for the fact that the produce is traveling less to the farmers market than from California to Whole Foods plus you are helping the small business owner vs. a big company). Thanks for your help on this. Just trying to learn as much as I can about it all.
This issue is that undergoing "organic" certification is a time-consuming and expensive process. Many small farms that use IPM simply haven't wasted their time and money on going through the organic certification process, because what's the point if the only difference is that you get to use a buzzword that's rapidly becoming meaningless?