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The Organic Import

Organic simply means any of the variety of non genetically modified (No-GMO) food product(s) grown and/or containing ingredients that have been produced without the use of antibiotics, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. Organic agriculture is also directly related to the wellness of our environment as conventional agricultural practices are known to erode soil, create superbugs, contaminate bodies of water, deforest, and kill other species.

Most consumers and supporters of organic agriculture have the environment and their personal health in mind and are willing to pay a premium for these products. However with so much unlabeled and mislabeled produce in our markets, it’s very easy to over look the energy embodied in these food items. Even if you stumble into whole foods (especially in the winter) you’ll find that most of your “fresh” fruits and vegetables have been imported from unimaginable lengths!

Your New Zealand apple didn’t make it hear on a wind-powered boat or a solar-powered plane, but instead on a gas guzzling vehicle of some sort. Yes, it’s fossil fuels that keep food imports (organic or conventional) going strong. Who would’ve thought so much guilt could be brought on by a bag of veggies!

Knowing the above, it’s still hard to give up some of my favorites (mangos, bananas, advocados, etc.) because they aren’t grown anywhere in my city, state or even the surrounding states. But I’m such a foody and a sucker for good grub that somewhere in my head I justify the polluting system while chomping down on a big ol’ organic banana. I love them I do!

So the chances of me going completely local are pretty slim, but what can I do to reduce my impact? Farmers Markets are amazing events in that they bring the best small local farmers to your door step who are truly passionate about what they do. Many own just a small amount of land and work to prolong it’s life by practicing sustainable agriculture, or at least minimizing pesticide use. There’s always an abundance of organic or low spray fruits and veggies, you know where it came from, and if you don’t, just ask! The farmer who grew it all is right there! You’ll find most farmers market vendors don’t come from very far at all! If we work to buy the majority of our produce from these groups, gas guzzlers will feel the blow.

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