Why Buy Local Organic

An overwhelming majority of adults and Boomers, present company included, budget their food shopping trips more strictly in today’s weak economy.  This goes for the local food-movement or sustainable –food movement type or locavore (one who only eats food grown locally).  Although these smart shoppers seek more value in health and nutrition of what they eat for less money, they don’t want to compromise on the quality of the food they buy; so they continue to purchase organic foods.  However, what this majority is likely to be unaware of is that there’s a critical need to know what’s behind the “organic” label adhered to that bunch of broccoli.  There is an important difference between buying local organic and mass organic.  The former is a sustainable food while the other is not.

“Why does it matter?” you ask.   Well, an organic food is produced without synthetic fertilizers and is regulated by the FDA before it earns that label, while sustainable food means the conservative way food is produced by enriching soil (retaining soil moisture and its fertility) and conserving water, not heavily reliant on a non-renewable energy source like petroleum to enable food to reach you.

Buying produce with the organic label isn’t necessarily locally grown as well, and consequently doesn’t help to bolster the local economy, unless the produce is purchased from your local farmers market or from a Whole Foods store in your area.  On the other hand should you shop the organic label at Frye’s, Wal-Mart, Albertson’s, or Safeway you’ll get produce from big, mass-organic farms to meet mass organic demand leading to exported fruits and vegetables out of places like Australia, Argentina, and China.  Obviously much petroleum is used on that imported produce…not a sustainable farming practice at all. Likewise, trucking produce across the country in energy-consuming vehicles is not a sustainable farming practice either.   All issues aside,the top benefit of buying local organic is that quality and shelf life is better and longer.

By the way, if you happen to be at an U-pick farm and hear someone say that being a ‘locavore’ is actually healthier than eating organic, say, “Not necessarily so, ‘cuz I know the difference between local organic and mass organic!”

Sustainable farming is central to my campaign in Arizona or local fresh sustainable food for the community, for everyone.  I am a sustainable organic farmer and proud of it.