Optimally, if you’re buying local organic produce, you’re doing a great job eating right. Most think that they’re saving themselves by buying organic and saving the environment and boosting the local economy by buying local, and while this is true, this isn’t the entirety of the situation. It’s important to distinguish that the order of priority in consuming foods should be as followed:
- Wild – difficult to find, but the best choice due to lack of cultivation and higher antioxidant levels.
- Local Organic – superior choice for taste, nutritional value, and safety.
- Local Conventional – superior to remote organic due to freshness and ideal picking time.
- Remote Organic – below local conventional because of compromised nutritional value from premature picking.
- Remote Conventional – try to avoid due to diminished nutritional value and pesticide risk.
- Genetically Modified – don’t even think about it!
Optimally, everyone should growing their own wild sources of produce and buying local organic, but it can be a tall order for some due to availability or price. When faced with the decision to buy local or organic produce, opt for the local. Many experts advocate conventionally grown local produce over organic produce grown remotely. Because local produce doesn’t have a long travel time to get to the consumer, the consumer receives a fresher product, not only tasting better, but also in its nutritional prime. Organic foods from distant lands are less tasty and nutritious because of their premature picking and long transit time to market. Remote organic produce must be picked prematurely so that the time it takes to reach the customer, it is closer to its prime. Not only that, but when you take into consideration the environmental impact, having the produce shipped from afar is bad.
But what about the pesticides from local conventional produce? Local farmers are less likely to use offensive growing methods like the larger commercial operations. Since they aren’t producing the enormous quantities that the commercial sources are, you can be nearly certain that your local produce is of a higher grade. There is more attention given to each crop as opposed to the mass of crops. Because there isn’t such a large mass, the need for enormous amounts of pesticides decrease. Again, local organic would be the best option giving you ideal picking time and no pesticides, but most of the time local conventional produce will have considerably less pesticide and higher nutritional value. For a list on which foods contain more pesticides and which contain less, check out Foods you should and shouldn’t be eating organic.
Also, remember the difference between different organic labels- you may not be getting what you think you are. The USDA has identified three categories for labeling organic products:
100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.
- Mark’s Daily Apple
—– If you enjoyed this article, please be sure to subscribe to my weekly mailing list by clicking the Subscribe button at the top of the article and be sure to become a fan of Arturo’s Diet and Exercise Forum on Facebook- Your FREE online personal trainer/fitness consultant.