Organic vs. Zero Food Miles

Based on targeted marketing and the preach of pro-environment organizations, we all know that eating organic and local foods are important for the health of our ecosystem as well as our intestines… But in the battle between local and organic, which is ultimately a more important philosophy to follow??

Let us create a hypothetical situation: I am at the grocery store, and I see a tantalizing mountain of organic cherries imported from Michigan. I think to myself “Oh good, I am going to buy these cherries because paying the extra $3 is worth it to help the environment and to evade Parkinson’s from pesticide ingestion!”

…..But wait, right next to the pile of organic cherries is another pile of cherries grown in a non-organic farm just a few miles from my house. Automatically one might think “No, these are not organic and the organic man would be mad if he knew I had the option to purchase the ‘better’ choice and I didn’t because I found a less expensive option”

Although the cherries grown miles from your house are not organic, they are local, which means the amount of fuel used to transport them to your grocery store was much lower than those flown in from Michigan. It seems that buying non-local organic vegetables kind of contradicts the purpose of buying organic and supporting the environmental movement in the first place.

So I ask my readers, what do you think is more important when buying produce? Local or Organic?

(of course if something is both local AND organic you find yourself in an ideal situation, though this is not always the case)

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3 thoughts on “Organic vs. Zero Food Miles

  1. Brian

    I think that supporting local is more important simply due to the fact that it is probably more likely that it would be easier in the long run to convert local agricultural communities over to organic practices than it is to try and construct entirely new organic communities.

    1. I’m with you there Brian. Also, Local is easier to regulate… organic seems like this intangible and overly simplified term that large corporate farms like to use to bump up their prices… of course there are also honest organic affairs, but these are few and far between when it comes to the habits of mass consumption 😉

  2. the daily sloth

    Since I’ve read that local food can produce MORE greenhouse gas because of how it has been produced, even more if you live up North like me (Montreal), I’m confused. Also, it depends of the veggie. Some are going to be fine if they are not organic. Other, like strawberries and celery are going to be full of pesticides.

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