Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Organic v. Local - The Healthiest Choices for Fresh Food: Not Always an Easy One!

Picking your battles when choosing organic over conventional (which often means locally grown).

It is important to be armed with the latest and greatest information so you can make the healthiest choices for you and your family.

I've done stories on this over the years, but some of my information is probably out dated. So, I'm glad folks like the Organic Center, a non-profit in Boulder Colorado is doing this type of research and sharing it with us! The Organic Center, which produces and disseminates peer-reviewed scientific research and information on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, has just published this very handy little pocket guide, Organic Essentials, to help identify the highest risk, pesticide-laden fruits and veggies while we are shopping.

The list is based on a pesticide-risk ranking system they developed, based on their 2008 report, Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option.

I'm always at a loss this time of year, with all the wonderful farmer's markets and locally grown fresh produce. I want to support local, but I also don't want to eat pesticides and a lot of the local farms still haven't gone Organic. However, I did learn last year, that in New Jersey, a great deal of farmers are transitioning, and while they can't say they are organic, they are darned close.

I think it is generally a good idea to meet your local farmers when you can and ask them how they produce their fruits and veggies and if they aren't organic, what types of pesticides do they use and are they transitioning to organic any time soon? If they aren't and enough people pester them with these questions, perhaps they will get the hint and make the move!

Happy fresh food shopping and don't forget to check out our Green Diva's Guide to Delicious Living food-related blog posts on GreenOptions.com's yummy food blog, EatDrinkBetter.com. We have great recipes and other foodie stuff.
Eat. Blog. Be Merry!
GD Meg


erika said...

I think people have to establish their own personal priorities, but I like to stick by this order, penned I think by Marion Nestle: Local organic, local conventional, non-local organic, non-local conventional. Where I lived I found it much easier to live on a locavore diet than on an organic one. Now I've moved back home across the city, away from the farms and markets so just eating local is a challenge. It's great to have realistic guides that aren't affected by politics and special interest groups.

megha said...

I have switched over to organic food completely.

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