Buy Organic Or Shop Locally

Buy Organic Or Shop Locally
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The demand for and consumption of organic foods continues to grow. Once considered trendy and / or new age, both organic foods and the organic consumers are becoming a larger part of mainstream America. The organic demand is creating one of the fastest growing food sectors in the United States with rates in organic food sales averaging 18% per year (1998-2005). The largest organic portion being fresh produce, comprising 36% of retail sales in 2005. As more stores are becoming sensitive to growing demand, it's worth noting some differences in buying organic (non-local) or buying locally.

1. Buy LOCAL buy FRESH: One thing is for certain, buying locally allows you to eat fresh produce picked when ripe and ready for consumption. Often the color, taste and smell are far superior than organic (non-local) as they must be harvested prior to maturation. This can change the taste, smell and nutritional value of the produce.

2. SUPPORT local farmers: When you purchase produce from local farms, you pour dollars back into local economies. Stimulating your own regional economy keeps jobs in the area and ensures sustainability of your area farms.

3. BUY local and support the ENVIRONMENT: Buying local produce alleviates the excess travel burden on the environment. Fresh blueberries picked in Alaska must be hauled over 500 difficult miles before reaching markets in the contiguous United States. This burden includes packaging, possible refrigeration (coolants) and fuel for transport (and the subsequent exhaust).

4. Buy organic produce ANYTIME: One of the benefits of non-local organic produce is buying what you want when you want it. Because local farmers must plant seasonally, you may not be able to buy apples in January, unless you buy non-local organic. If you can fight your urges – buying locally might have another benefit: Creative seasonal cooking. There's a reason we crave pumpkin as the fall temperatures start to decline: Our memory cells tell us it's pumpkin harvest season!

5. Buying PESTICIDE FREE: Recent reports suggest great variety in organic labels. The FDA has recently attempted to clarify labels claiming to be organic. Typically organic refers to pesticide, insecticide, hormone and additive free products. For most accurate procedure, read labels and consult the company website.

6. COSTS Local Organic vs. Non-Local Organic: The costs of local and non-local organics can vary depending on season, recent natural impediments (think hurricanes and droughts) and supply and demand. To learn more about The Musts and Myths about Organic and Locally Grown Produce .

7. If you have to CHOOSE: If you have to be selective in keeping within a grocery budget, you might want to consider that certain organic fruits and vegetables are more easily penetrated by pesticides. ALWAYS choose these organics: Meat, milk, coffee, peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, strawberries, lettuces, grapes, potatoes and tomatoes. SAVE MONEY buying non-organic: Asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi fruit, mango, onions, papaya and pineapples.

As more stores attempt to purchase from local farmers, it is becoming easier to buy organic locally grown food. Decide what kind of shopper you are, shop organically / locally within your budget and congratulate yourself for taking an active role in your health!

Copyright 2008



Source by Brenda Mallett

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