Organic food: it’s better for our planet, better for our health, and better for the farmers. Buying organic can seem like a big investment, but it is all about value. Something to keep in mind: Organic means that your produce is likely “kinder”, but it does not mean “better” and does not guarantee quality. Not all organic food is created equal.
Yes, that tomato may be free from pesticides, but who picked it? Where was it grown? How many hands touched it before you are eating it? What business does it support? Is it a packaged good that is truly healthy, or just made with kinder ingredients? Certified organic produce can still be grown on massive farms where workers are over-worked and under-paid. Produce may be shipped thousands of miles to get to your local grocery store, responsible for the emissions of unnecessary greenhouse gas (and compromising taste). Organic potato chips are still chips and likely not as healthy as eating local, organic potatoes. Organic produce at grocery stores often is over-packaged (we will never understand why organic bananas and avocados need to be sold in plastic when they have nature’s packaging!).
We are so tired of hearing from people that organic isn’t better. It is. We are generally outraged when media only takes into consideration the nutritional value of organic produce and food, because it involves SO much more than that for all of us.
Our best suggestion to buy the best of organic? Buy certified organic produce directly from your local farmers at the Farmers’ Market (and then shop local independent stores where you can buy local and organic produce first).
Here are some resources to convince you further to buy organic:
1 / In Toronto, we are blessed to have so many Farmers’ Markets, year round. Here is a list of our favourites. (Important to remember, not all farmers’ markets are created equal either!)
2 / Confused about buying local or organic first? Find out what Lisa thinks.
3 / Your grandparents, and even your parents, may have never purchased certified organic food, but they grew up eating more local and more organic, just because that was what was! Our food and our world is very different today. Here are 9 things you should know about GMOs before you fill your shopping cart with them.
4 / Visit these great retailers in Toronto to explore the best in truly natural and organic groceries. But still – read your labels and trace your food back to where it came from.
5 / Organic matters. Period. It isn’t just about you, it’s about ALL of us. Please care. PLEASE. If you haven’t yet seen this Tedx Talk on The Empathy of Food by Anna Lappe, please watch it, and then share it.
If you want to know more, our last Monthly RoundUp (not the Monsanto kind), was All About Food – you can read it here.