Thursday, July 07, 2005

Organic food: corporate vs local

As mentioned in the previous post, it's tough to compete against subsidized food, especially when you live in smaller population centres and have to get your produce to market. Now, the small organic growers are up against a growing corporate organic sector. To get the picture, take a look at the current chart of "who owns what".

If you are looking for food grown with care, these days the organic label is no guarantee. In my opinion, and for many other reasons, local is the way to go: buy from people you know or at least people you can talk to. This is why I built a web page for South Cariboo Produce, locally grown or raised food. Here are some of the reasons why buying local, whenever possible, makes sense:
  1. Produce is fresher
  2. Fruit which doesn't have to travel can be picked riper
  3. Fuel/transport costs will inevitably increase as our fossil fuels become scarcer
  4. Supporting local food supplies now will enable them to be there in the more challenging days to come.
  5. Reduce pollution by reducing transport distances
  6. Keep your money local, thereby supporting and building your community.
If you live in the BC Interior and would like a similar page, I would be willing to put it together at no charge, using information you provide. Go to JN Web Design and e-mail me from there.


mrG said...

Another interesting twist to this: We wonder why youth today is so adverse to healthy snacks, and why they show problems indicative of obesity -- could it be simply that they have very limited experience of good-tasting produce? I recently purchased some Red Delicious apples from a major chain, and they looked really good, but the skin was thick like plastic (bred for durability in transport) and the meat was a tasteless pulp. I wonder if, when parents hand these to their kids without actually trying the fruit themselves, could we be programming the children to associate these foods with sub-standard qualities? We all remember what fruit tasted like, so we may even compensate from memory when we taste them, but raised on corporate stores, our kids have known nothing else.

Jeffrey Newman said...

In "the old days" kids wold steal apples off neighbour's trees. Eiether our children aren't hungry enough or,as you say, apples ain't what they used to be. There's a lot of evidence in favour of the latter.

Of course, fruit that has been picked long before it ripens and has been on the road or in the air for days or weeks is going to lose a lot of any flavour it might have started out with. So, buy as local as you can.