Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Organic versus Local

Slate has an interesting article highlighting how the store "Whole Foods" has been misleading its customers by emphasizing the "local" aspect of food, when in fact, most of its food comes from far away (but is organic).

A couple of things come to mind. While Whole Foods may be misleading people about the locality of the origins of their produce, organic is better than non-organic (all else being equal). It's entirely unreasonable to expect a nation-wide chain (they're even in the U.K.) with 181 stores to buy food locally. People want to buy tomatos year-round, and it's just not possible to grow them "locally" year-round, especially for such a large company.

So, if you really care about this, go to a smaller, local, shop that actually can provide you with organic and/or locally grown food. Our co-op provides us with that information for all produce. Find a co-op near you.

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