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The Organic Dilemma | Local vs. Organic

Posted By GreenChef Staff Monkies On March 5, 2007 @ 12:00 pm In G Living | No Comments

Time Magazine just published a long 5 page article on the debate of what is the better choice, local or organic. Ideal of course is local and organic. Thanks to Jonathan for the tip.

“Not long ago I had an apple problem. Wavering in the produce section of a Manhattan grocery store, I was unable to decide between an organic apple and a nonorganic apple (which was labeled conventional, since that sounds better than “sprayed with pesticides that might kill you”). It shouldn’t have been a tough choice–who wants to eat pesticide residue?–but the organic apples had been grown in California. The conventional ones were from right here in New York State. I know I’ve been listening to too much npr because I started wondering: How much Middle Eastern oil did it take to get that California apple to me? Which farmer should I support–the one who rejected pesticides in California or the one who was, in some romantic sense, a neighbor? Most important, didn’t the apple’s taste suffer after the fruit was crated and refrigerated and jostled for thousands of miles?

In the end I bought both apples. (They were both good, although the California one had a mealy bit, possibly from its journey.) It’s only recently that I had noticed more locally grown products in the supermarket, but when I got home I discovered that the organic-vs.-local debate has become one of the liveliest in the food world. Last year Wal-Mart began offering more organic products–those grown without pesticides, antibiotics, irradiation and so on–and the big company’s expansion into a once alternative food culture has been a source of deep concern, and predictable backlash, among early organic adopters.

Nearly a quarter of American shoppers now buy organic products once a week, up from 17% in 2000. But for food purists, “local” is the new “organic,” the new ideal that promises healthier bodies and a healthier planet. Click Here to continue reading the rest of this 5 page article on Time.com

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