Bauman College Programs

Author Topic: Organic or Local?  (Read 4720 times)

Offline StacyP

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
Organic or Local?
« on: June 17, 2007, 10:21:29 PM »
I am taking a poll: Would you buy organic strawberries from China or local strawberries that were not certified organic?

I was listening to a great program today on KQED radio regarding the subject of food regulations. Was shocked to find out that organic strawberries sold at Trader Joes are from China. The question is; are there organic standards on par with the United States?

Offline Marlina E

  • Associate Director
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • Bauman College Online
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 10:40:03 AM »
I would definitely buy local if I was pretty sure that the farmer was practicing organic standards but not USDA certified.  I would not buy either if the choice was organic from China or local conventional.  I am lucky to live in an area with lots of local organic strawberries.....it is much harder for those who live in other places.  They should pinpoint what stuff can be locally attained, maybe they will be eating other berries or fruits.  Stay local as much as you can!  It is important to try and assess where the food is coming from.  Last night I was at the local store and wouldn't buy the organic blackberries from Mexico.  I just won't.  I have to wait until our local crop is ready (though I really wanted them).
BA Environmental Studies UCSB
Nutrition Consultant

Offline kvallejo

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2007, 09:08:54 PM »
I am shocked to hear that Traders is selling organic strawberries from China.  That is scary.  This has been a big eye opener for me.  Thanks for the information.

Offline Sondra Barrett

  • Former Bauman College Faculty Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
    • Sondra Barrett  Mystic Molecules
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 05:02:43 PM »
A few weeks ago I bought organic garlic from trader joe's.  when i was checking out the checker remarked that this was cheaper than the conventional garlic.  ?? When I got home I saw that it, too, was from China.  So it becomes even more important for us to really read labels to see where a product is coming from.  I make a practice to NEVER buy food from China, particularly after the latest food scare, and their execution of their minister of food inspection.

Sandy
PhD, Biochemistry, University of Illinois Medical School
Post-doctoral fellow, Immunology-hematology UCSF
Teaching bodymind medicine since 1988.
Mentor:School Garden Network"cooking from the garden"
Teaching NE and NC at Bauman since 2007

Offline StaciS

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2007, 09:58:24 AM »
StacyP-

The choice is obvious for me.  I always try to buy local, or better yet, grow it myself.  Anyone who shops farmers markets or is involved with CSAs knows that it is the best produce money can buy, certified organic or not.  Support your local farmer! :D

Cheers,

StaciS

Offline DeniseM

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 10
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 01:13:05 PM »
Hi,  I would definitely buy local even if not certified organic.  A lot of local farmers grow organic though they don't go through the three years and much paperwork to become certified.  At least you can have a conversation with the grower-(a plus).
And organic from any country even though certified is always a question.  As "organic" becomes more of a marketing tool for big agri-businesses, can we really be sure of any of it.  I say local, seasonal, organic is the way to go.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 02:29:56 PM by Marlina E »

Offline Marlina E

  • Associate Director
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • Bauman College Online
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 02:32:27 PM »
Yes!  You know, I was just noticing that the can of Trader Joes Black Beans says they are a product of China...that really made me stop and think.  I know the stuff about can linings and such, but I do sometimes use canned beans.  That new discovery though makes me want to source organic canned black beans from the US.  And yes, of course, I should cook my own.  I know someone who makes a big pot on Sunday and then has it for the rest of the week....somehow I can never get it together to be so prepared in advance....so until then, I will source as local as possible.
BA Environmental Studies UCSB
Nutrition Consultant

Offline MiraD

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
    • Grains&More
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 07:21:24 PM »
I have to say that as much as I prefer organic, especially for fresh food, I would go for local.  Although local organic would be the #1.  It is my experience so far that most local farmers in my area, CT, do grow with low or no chemicals so I consider myself lucky in that regard.

Offline jodi f.

  • Curriculum Consultant
  • Staff
  • *****
  • Posts: 2789
Re: Organic or Local?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 08:51:28 AM »
Phew! The wild blueberries I got from TJ's are from eastern Canada, but thanks for the TJ heads-up. I'll keep my eyes open from now on.

I'd also like to pass on another China alert. I live in a small town, where the closest natural foods grocery store is 50 miles away, so we belong to a food buying club--a co-op. We get food delivered to us by the former Mountain People's Warehouse (UNFIW, now). They deliver to groups in northern CA, too, as well as being one of the two main distributors for Whole Foods and all the natural foods stores. One of our members ordered a 5lb bag of organic black beans. I happened to look at its label: grown in China. So all that stuff in the bulk bins? Do we ever even think it might not be U.S.-grown? Heads up! Maybe we all need to organize a letter writing campaign.

And it's not just the questionable agricultural practices associated with China that bother me. I don't want my food coming from that far away. I don't want to be responsible for using that big a load of petrochemicals. I realize that some things may be grown on the opposite coast of this country, or maybe in Hawaii (I like the occasional pineapple), but halfway around the world makes me uneasy. (Wait a minute. I'm the one who mentioned liking to source glandulars from Argentina or New Zealand. Oh well, I guess I have different rules for different things).