Local vs Organic

I saw Food Inc, last night and, predictably, loved it. After the movie, we went to a thai restaurant next door for dinner. During dinner, my friend Emily and I were discussing local food vs. organic food. I said that I had heard that you buy local over organic and she said that she hadn’t heard that and why would that make sense since a lot of the local farmers aren’t organic and therefore use chemicals to spray their plants. And I didn’t know. There are the issues of using oil to move the produce around the country and the food not necessarily tasting so ripe, but are those more or less important than eating food sprayed with chemicals?

I read an interesting article on the question – here. The author poses the same question and ultimately comes to the realization that he likes knowing where his food comes from and he likes it to taste better.

I think Michael Pollan talks about it in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I read it a while ago, so I could be wrong, but is organic just another food trend? I mean, I buy organic vegetables, have started buying organic milk and I get it for those types of things. The produce hasn’t been sprayed and the cows don’t have antibiotics and growth hormones in them. But what about other stuff? It seems like everything is labeled organic now and really, what does it mean? Do I need to buy organic cookies? They’re still cookies. It’s so confusing to me and I feel like I am at least moderately read on the subject.

In the movie, they talk with someone from Stonyfield Farms, specifically about how their products are sold at Walmart. Yes, I think it’s good that these products have become more available to the masses. Walmart almost seems like a good guy in the movie; the masses want organic and the largest retailer in the world is going to give it to them. But when all these companies are owned by huge corporations now – General Mills owns Cascadian Farms, Kraft owns Boca, Kellogg’s owns Kashi etc – is what you and I might think of as organic, really true? Meat is labeled as organic and the cows are still treated horribly. When a huge corporation takes over an orgnaic company, who is to say that they are going to still run the company in the same way that it had originally started.

Here is another interesting article.

I’m not really sure what I’m even trying to say here! It really is hard to wrap your head around. I’d love to hear your opinions.

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2 responses to “Local vs Organic

  1. i followed what your saying, no worries. i find myself questioning the same things. Organic seems to be a label on everything these days. Cookies, cakes, etc. So you are getting organic ingredients, but these ingredients are still butter, sugar, etc. I try to buy organic when I can, but also like to buy produce at the local farmer’s market. I figure if I am going to pig out on cookies or cake, I don’t think I am helping myself out much by getting the organic kind…

  2. Lizzy – exactly. Except you worded that way better than I did!