Monday, August 3, 2009

Buy Local vs Buy Organic

There's been a huge increase in the buy organic movement in the last few years. Even my local discount grocery store has a fairly comprehensive organics section. Everyone has different reasons for buying organic, but the most common are health (decrease the amount of chemicals consumed) and the environment (eliminate the chemicals used in the production process).

The other major green purchasing movement is to buy local. When buying local, you're not as concerned with organics, you're looking to minimize the distance your goods travel to get to your plate or house. Farmer's markets and craft shows are good sources for local food and goods. It's often difficult to tell where something has been manufactured if you're buying from a larger chain store. local or buy organic? I think that to get the most eco-bang for my buck, I'd like to try buying more local goods. I think that the resources used to transport goods between continents (and sometimes to transport the raw materials away and the finished goods back) has a larger impact on the environment than the difference between organic and non-organic products. Ideally, you can get local and organic.

When I was at the farmer's market a couple of weeks ago I picked up the card of a local beef farmer. Another benefit of buying local is that you can talk to the actual farmer or manufacturer. For example, this farmer isn't certified organic (that's pricey and takes a long time) but when you talk to him, you find out that his cows are hormone and antibiotic free and fed on all natural feed. I'd like to try buying a quarter of beef and have that last us through the year. We'll have the satisfaction of knowing that our beef has only traveled about 40 km to get to us, and as an added benefit, it should be less expensive that if we were buying certified organic meat. In order to take advantage of this local beef offer, we need a deep freezer (already have one) and we need space in the deep freezer - I'm betting a quarter of a cow takes up some space! Over the next couple of months I'm going to make a real effort to organize our deep freeze and use up some items to make space for the beef. It's probably a good idea to organize the deep freezer anyways....less chance of something ending up in a Food Waste Friday photo is I can keep track of what's in there.

No comments:

Post a Comment