Local Food: Organic or Chemical Free?
If you are a family who prefers clean food without chemicals, then you've probably sought out organic foods. This is great with the exception that the organic food you are likely to be eating has traveled across the countryside to get to your plate. What's more is that it is most likely to have been imported from another country.
It's not my intentions to say that organic food isn't a healthier choice for consumption. What I am saying, however, is that much of our high impact food system might need a little more understanding from a consumers standpoint.
A loaded statement perhaps, but the reason your food is traveling thousands of miles is small farmers are just about extinct in the organic market place. Or are they?
The truth is, since the USDA now owns the actual word “Organic” in the marketplace, small farms cannot sell their products as organic without the seal of approval from the United States government. In order to achieve this stamp of approval requires mountains of paperwork and plenty of fees.
It seems to me that things are a little backward these days. I for one cannot understand why the chemical users are not the ones required to fill out the mother load of paperwork. Shouldn't that be, in order to justify the harm they indict on both the human body as well as the planet?
How long before big ag completely eliminates small farmers? Perhaps we may be able to help keep some alive by simply finding out where they are. Getting to know your local farmer really goes a long way. Frequenting the farmer's markets is a great place to begin.
It is still perfectly legal for a farmer to say that their produce was grown Chemical Free, No Pesticides, No Herbicides, No Synthetics used. Everyone I've encountered has been quite eager to share this information. They are very proud of those facts and rightly so.
Local food once made up strong and healthy communities across our great nation. One I personally desire for many future generations to come. May we all find a way to seek out our small local farmers.
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Thank you Pam for your fresh perspective on this. I agree. We don’t need a seal of approval if we take the time to get to know our local growers and their produce. I am lucky and thankful to have a small farmer’s market in the summer and lots of passionate small farmers all around my area that I can get produce from. It may take a bit more effort than just showing up at the grocery store, but our families and our communities will benefit from that extra effort.
I know it’s not produce, but this month my family is making that little extra effort to buy some small-farm raised beef. No hormones or antibiotics used, and it will go straight from the farm to the butcher. No feedlot. It’s amazing beef. We don’t even have to drain the fat! And with just a little saving ahead, we get ground beef, roasts, steaks, and more for the price per pound we would pay for ground beef in the store. 🙂
You’re welcome and it makes me so happy to hear you’ve found such fortune within your community. I’ve been finding the grassfed beef trend growing across the country. I still find the produce getting much harder to obtain. I’ve been finding several reasons for this, but that will be another story :))