It’s amazing to me that people argue organic vs. local when it comes to their food. Is organic only for those who don’t want toxins in their bodies, and local is reserved only for environmentalists who weigh their food miles? It’s actually best that we all strive to be eating Kind Food … ideally, local AND organic food, by choosing what’s in season, and shopping directly from farmers at a market or from their farm (if not growing it ourselves … let us know if you want resources to do so!).
To note, we know that this is not accessible to everyone … yet. But … when we are able to make better choices, and have the privilege to do so, we are, in a way, lifting everyone up and taking part of building a healthier food system for ALL.
Our grandparents ate “organically” and locally, and they cleaned without chemicals too. I always got along famously with my grandparents, so as they are amazed with the “progress” of our world, I am interested in some regression back to how they lived growing up. It’s great that we have a lot to share and learn from each other.
Now, let’s nip this argument in the locally grown, organically cultivated bud and move forward (or is that backwards?). Obviously, this could be a very long dissertation with sources and studies … I’m trying to keep it simple … if you can afford to buy local and organic, please do … and share with others too. It ALL matters, and everything is connected. Please add your comments and thoughts after reading my short list below … it’s great for us to be able to learn and share together.
Shorter time from farm to table (bonus if it’s from your own garden!).
Do your own taste test … as an aside, if your food needs to travel far, it’s bred to withstand a longer shelf life and is usually picked before it’s fully ripe.
Retains more nutrients and has less preservatives and additives because long distance travel is not required.
It’s environmentally sound.
Long distance travel requires more packaging, refrigeration, fuel to get to the table, and generates more waste and pollution (did you ever wonder how produce arrives from Mexico without bruises and without being rotten?).
Less middlemen, less marketing and less transportation costs.
Money stays in your community, creates jobs and supports local farmers.
Again, I suggest doing your own taste test … but without all of the synthetics, it’s just pure unaltered delicious food and you’ll taste the difference.
It’s environmentally sound.
My farmer friends have given me lots of reasons, but simply, crops grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and GMOs mean fewer of these items are being produced and fewer are being released into our air and water.
It’s taking care of our soil.
Healthy soil is everything. I’m not sure that anything matters more. It’s time to focus on what is regenerative.
It’s taking care of us.
Higher levels of vitamins and minerals … less exposure to synthetics, chemicals, and “forever chemicals”. Win. Win. Win. And imagine what the opposite is doing to/for us.
It’s important to note that there are many “labels” beyond organic (such as sustainable and regenerative), which can be meaningful and extra good, BUT no label, claim or certification means anything if they are simply empty claims. How can you know? Ask questions. Get to know the certifications. Spend time in TWIC. Spend time at the farmers’ markets and volunteering on organic farms. Get your hands dirty and nourish yourself.
Also, how do you define local? How close to home is local? So much is subjective … what feels good to you. The key is … be curious, ask questions, and if it feels good, then it’s good for you in this moment … and keep learning and using your new found knowledge to do better. Knowledge not put to use is useless, knowledge put to use is wisdom. Then pass it on.
Final words for now … remember, your money is your voice. With every dollar you spend, you are telling that farmer, or that restaurant, or that supermarket, or that company to make more of the same. YOUR wise choices are a benefit to us all!
Please also join us in The Kind Food Studio … click here to join.