A recent topic of discussion that I watched unfold regarding the all-important topic of food is one that I’ve given a lot of thought to and am constantly evaluating—“is it better to eat organic first, or local first?” In an ideal world the answer would be “both,” but it’s not as cut and dried as that.
Grocery shopping with me is pretty much a nightmare. I agonize over everything, not just what to eat but when to eat it (hybrid hydroponic tomatoes in January? That’s an easy one, no). Is it organic? Where did it come from?
I can spend ten minutes in the organic apple section looking to see which apples to buy. Even if organic, if they came from New Zealand or Chile, it’s better to get organic apples from the US—they didn’t have to travel as far to get here to Indiana.
What about local apples? Seems to be the best choice. But then there’s the issue of pesticides. Does consuming the pesticides on local apples outweigh the benefit of the carbon footprint created by organic apples coming to us from thousands of miles away? Further complicating the issue, I read that many organics do have chemicals used, naturally derived instead of synthetic, and many need to be applied in greater quantities.
And, as much as I try to garden and shop farmer’s markets in the summer, most of my diet really isn’t local.
I don’t know what to do about this. I’d love to hear readers thoughts on this issue. How do you eat?
On a similar thoughtful note, I was in a bookstore last week and saw copies of the Utne Reader, a magazine my friend Linda has recommended many times. I love to hold something in my hands even though I can read online, so I grabbed a copy. It’s wonderful and smartly written, and so I recommend it, too.
That same day I was in the library, so I checked and they have copies of Utne (and Current in Noblesville) there too. Sweet! Here’s gratitude for our library, which is pretty awesome and has just about everything I want, and hello, Mark! (One of the helpful and personable employees there.)
Thanks for reading me, and I look forward to your thoughts!