I know I’ve heard people recently talking of buying organic produce and buying locally but I never realized how much it can make a difference, and further, how not-that-expensive it could really be. I remember back at university thinking that buying organic local veggies was ridiculously overpriced, and perhaps it was, or I was just poor, so it seemed very expensive. But recently I have been looking online at locally delivered organic produce and it only runs in the $20-40 a week range. That certainly doesn’t seem overpriced to me.
A number of companies now offer a “box” option of organic, local veggies. They send you boxes of veggies and fruits that are in season and available in that week, which allows farmers to harvest the vegetables that are ready and have a market for them. This supports organic farmers and provides a local market for their produce. I know some people think “well what if I want arugula and they don’t offer it that week” but to me, I love the idea of them sending me a wide assortment of random veggies that I might never choose for myself. It broadens my veggie consumption and provides me with the excuse to find new recipes, be surprised and try new things.
Buying locally helps the environment because it minimizes the fuel costs associated with transporting foodstuffs around the world on ships and airplanes. Buying organic helps because it preserves soil in any areas where it is used, allowing continued use of the soil to grow more food. This is in contrast to farming that occurs in areas such as deforested rainforest, where the soil is not conducive to growing crops and farming sugarcane there only is effective for 3-5 years before the soil erodes or loses all its nutrient value, or both. Organic growing also maintains healthy ecosystems around the areas that are being farmed, because pesticides and herbicides are not leaking into the water supply and being consumed by humans and the surrounding animals. Although there are these reasons and many others, it seems to me that for a few dollars more, wouldn’t you want to support farmers who are trying to make a difference to the planet we live on, have non-carcinogenic food items, and preserve the soil, water, and your own surrounding environment? Everyone always complains that bad things are happening in “their” neighborhoods. Buying organic local food items is your chance to help change things directly in “your” neighborhood!
Check out these cool websites (I was incredibly surprised how many companies are out there at the click of a google search engine):
http://www.localfooddirectory.ca/foodshed/geobrowser/ (takes a lot on your brower but good site for finding local food)