There are many reasons to buy local, organically-grown produce. One is that the food is fresher and often picked at its proper harvest time (i.e. ripe instead of being picked weeks early and ripened off the vine or with chemical means), it’s often cheaper, and it’s always a good idea to support independent farms that are often small or family-run. Another great reason is that many farmers have switched over to organic methods, and you’ll find farmers that have always done things this way. USDA organic regulations still allow for certain chemical pesticides and so on, but a farmer who follows a “beyond organic” approach without any certification is fantastic and often cheaper than the health store.
Anyway, this post is a short one because I just want to share with you some good food resources AND an investigate news report on Whole Foods being exposed for its sub-par sourcing of so-called “organic” food. Check out the news video here. All the more reason to buy local.
On a sidenote, my grandparents used to enjoy busting my imaginary balls about how they never bought organic and they turned out fine blah blah blah. Sound familiar? I told them, quite pointedly, that they grew up without the option of organic versus conventional. All they had was organic! It just wasn’t labelled that way because no one did it any differently. (DDT and other crap pesticides didn’t get put into use until about 1940.) Besides, there are just too many benefits to consuming foods grown without pesticides to even have an argument about it. You can pretend all you want that those pesticides and fungicides and herbicides aren’t getting into your body and having an effect, but the fact is, organically grown produce allows you to avoid burdening your body with unnecessary chemicals.
If you just can’t afford organic produce, look closer. Check out local community farms and agriculture shares (CSAs), farmer’s markets, and health food stores. Organic food is not much more than conventional. A bunch of organic kale? $2. A bunch of organic spinach? $2. A pound of organic green apples? $1.49. That’s what I bought this past Saturday, along with a box of micro greens, yams, garlic, zucchini, and more. All from my local farmer’s market, where I spent a grand total of $20. I can get a week’s worth of produce from my local CSA for $15. Seriously, it’s cheap. Big cities have farmer’s markets. If you live in the boonies, you probably have farmland around you. Seek out the local farmers. If you have a big backyard (or even a small one), grow your own food. It’s fun, it’s easy, and there are a ton of resources to help you out. Even people who live in the desert (like me), grow food and develop farms and have thriving (albeit small) farmer’s markets.
Quality Food Sources & Locators:
U.S. Wellness Meats (where I buy my beef and lamb if I can’t get it local)
Vital Choice (where I buy my salmon)
Resources to Grow Your Own:
I’m starting my own tomatoes and grapes in the tiny backyard again, and some herbs on the kitchen counter. Growing my own food is so satisfying, and so is buying from farms where I know how the plants are grown and harvested. What are you going to start growing this year?