Rant - November 23, 2005 - Joanne

Why You Should Buy Local, Organic, Sustainable & Non-GMO

Why Buy Local?
When you buy locally grown produce, you're not only supporting your local farmer, you're also supporting the entire local economy. When you buy food at the the grocery store the majority of your dollar goes to middlemen (the retailer, the distributor and even food brokers).

When you shop at the farmers' markets the farmer receives 100% of your food dollar. When you buy local produce at your local supermarket the farmer doesn’t get 100% - but at least you are choosing to support your local economy (imagine where the farmer spends his portion of the dollar you put in their pocket – on local services, products etc. – it’s a cycle.) This single decision at the grocery store can and will make a difference.


Is Organically Grown Food Better For You?
It’s not just what it doesn’t have - organically grown produce has been tested against non-organically grown foods for vitamin, mineral, and nutritive content and consistently studies show that organically grown produce is higher in nutrients as well as lower in nitrates, heavy metals and other contaminants – like pesticides.

Plus organic producers are not allowed to use any Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs at any level of their production. If you are concerned about GMOs the only way to limit your exposure is to choose organic foods whenever possible.

Why Sustainable?
You can loosely define sustainable agriculture as farming that doesn’t use up resources faster than they can be replaced (such as: water, soil, labor, community support/services, etc.). Any type of agriculture that depletes or degrades its natural resources, and/or pollutes its environment, will eventually fail to produce results, and agriculture that isn't profitable will drive farmers out of business (this is a double-edged sword).

Agriculture that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is sustainable. But to accomplish that cycle a sustainable agriculture system must make sense economically, consider social responsibility, and be environmentally healthy. Sounds difficult? It is - and it’s a fragile system just as our environment is fragile.


Why Organic might not be better sooner than later…
The word organic is starting to become diluted. Big Organic has discovered that the word organic is something a cross section of consumers are interested in - and they are willing to pay more for a product if it is labeled organic. (25% more, on average.)

The standards by which a product is judged to be organic differ from state-to-state and federally. Also consider produce grown “elsewhere” like Chile or China - who's to say that it's subject to the same policing or stringent cross-checking that, for instance, California might impose. It is sufficient to say that all organic products and produce is not created equal. Buying organic means that you still must read your labels closely, know your producers and buy locally when you can.

I heard recently that a dairy in Colorado was given the organic designation for their milk although their cows never see pasture…how sad!

Dry Creek Peaches - Healdsburg


Interlaken Grapes
from Golden Nectar Farms - Windsor


Love Farms Tomatoes - Healdsburg


Robert Lambert's Stall
at the Marin Farmer's Market



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