Thursday, March 18, 2010

Which is more important – local, organic, or cheap?

When making your choices in the produce department, which is most important to you – that the item is grown locally, is certified organic, or is inexpensive?

Locally grown produce can be found in season at several outlets – small grocery stores, farmers markets and farm stands. Not only are you adding dollars to the local economy, you are getting the freshest produce available.


Reduced carbon footprint through less transportation


May be more expensive than foreign alternatives
May contain herbicide and pesticide residue

Certified organic produce can be purchased from as varied a landscape as from your farmer down the road to multi-national corporations’ newest offering in the grocery aisles. The produce is certified by an independent third party to be grown in accordance with rules such as prohibited use of chemicals.


Lower probability of herbicide and pesticide residue
Environmentally responsible


May be the most expensive option
May be transported a great distance

Inexpensive produce may originate locally or not, and may result from over supply, seasonality or low production costs.


More produce can be purchased if the cheapest options are chosen
Every penny counts, and it’s just lettuce


May not be the freshest or most environmentally responsible
So which is more important to you when you go shopping – local, organic or cheap?

1 comment:

  1. I like to buy organic if possible, and with a reasonable price range. I tend to think it's better for my kids. In the summer- I like to go to the local farmers markets and buy local produce. It always tastes so much better when it's seasonal. Sometimes organic local produce, if we're lucky. But alas, often, just go for what is on sale at the local grocery store- especially in the winter. It doesn't seem fair that it costs more to eat healthy...


I'd love to hear what you think.