When organic food isn't

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My thinking is this: by the time that organic carrot, lettuce, or apple comes from California -- and it seems all Whole Foods produce comes from California -- it had might as well be dipped in diesel fuel, and that's not even considering the water politics of our largest state. Local farmers markets are better, but unless you want to subsist on apples, leeks, and winter squash there needs to be another option.

A certain "gigantic" local grocery chain with the charms of a Turkish prison, on the other hand, takes the trouble to sell local produce, albeit grown by conventional agriculture. The counterintuitive choice is the environmental choice. So I hold my nose. Literally.

Haven't thought about the fuel you need for food? Read The SUV in the Pantry

3 Replies to “When organic food isn't”

  1. I wasn’t aware that all organic produce sold at Whole Foods was from California. Quite a bit of that sold at my Food Coop is also, but by no means all. Some is grown in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    I’ve read an occasional article about the desirablity of food being grown veganically rather than organically, but have yet to see produce that was certified veganic.

    John

  2. I’m with you, Scott. Years ago, my partner and I were hanging out at this vegetarian event with an organic farmer. Someone asked the farmer which was better, local or organic, and he said that he would buy locally-grown conventional produce before he bought California organic, because of all the fuel it took to ship produce 3,000 miles. Although he went on to add that what you should really do is buy local organic produce that will keep well, and store it to eat all winter — you know, like leeks, apples, and winter squash. And it’s real tough storing months worth of veggies if you live in an apartment, as we now do. Worse yet, at this time of year it’s tough to find any local produce around here, except cranberries (and how many cranberries can a guy eat?). So we’re stuck buying California-grown organic. Sigh. You DC residents have a much longer growing season than we do here in southeastern Mass….

    P.S. Ya gotta watch Whole Foods. Sometimes their signs will say “Locally grown,” but when you read the little stickers on the produce, it’s from California.

  3. It seems a lot of the organic produce here in California (at Whole Foods in particular) is from Chile or Mexico, especially during this time of year. In San Diego some of the Mexican produce might count as local but even Southern California produce is 600 miles from here.

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