Saturday, 14 March 2009

Is Local the New Organic?

Aside from asking why everything has to be the "new" something, my first reaction to this question is NO. Local is not the new organic, in fact these two don't have to replace each other at all. I'm not sure why the media has positioned these two eco methods against each other, because they don't have to be constantly in opposition. On many farms the two co-exist quite peacefully and in harmony. Yes, it's true folks, your food can be local AND organic!

Undoubtedly the question of whether to buy either local or organic was first posed because, unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world where every store carries every product in both local and organic varieties. So the solution becomes much more complex than a simple rule of always buy local or always buy organic.
For instance, if you have an affinity for tropical fruits, such as pineapple, your decision is an easy one; you must buy organic because local will never be an option (until you move to the tropics). However, if on your next trip to buy apples (a fruit that is grown here in Canada), you find the only two options are conventionally grown local apples and organic apples shipped from China, leave that store immediately! These are NOT your only options. Instead, visit your local farmer's market or community supported agriculture farm (CSA) and pick up some delicious passport free local organic apples.

Rarely is anything in life as easy as "always do this", and our food choices are no different. Don't listen to the supposed environmental expert on tv or in the newspaper that is telling you to forgo one for the other. Instead decide for yourself how to make the best choices for a healthy diet and environment.

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