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Why You're Better Off Buying Local Than Organic

A new study has determined that transportation of organic produce causes an environmental impact large enough to cancel out any benefits.

Researchers at the
University of Alberta in Canada collected shipping data on organic produce from six grocery stores.

They found that most of the fruit and vegetables had been trucked in, and that organic produce tended to come from farther away than conventional produce.

Organic mangoes, for example, were shipped from Ecuador and Peru, whereas conventional mangoes tended to come from Mexico.

The researchers calculated that the annual environmental cost for a city the size of Edmonton for transporting organic produce was as high as $175,000 Canadian, only slightly less than $183,000 Canadian for conventional produce.


Organic Consumers Association June 6, 2007 

Dr. Mercola's Comment:


The headline might have surprised you but it is indeed true. Buying local is becoming the new organic,  because far less fuel is wasted in transporting it to you, but more importantly, it is nearly always fresher, which means it is far healthier for you.

The above study from Canada confirms this because most organic foods tend to travel farther and the extra fuel has a negative impact on the environment.

Of course, this completely contradicts the philosophy behind organic foods, which is to grow food in a sustainable, healthy and earth-friendly manner.

So the idea that
organic produce is always better for the environment or your health is somewhat of a ruse, particularly if your organic produce is being grown in another country.

As always, the best produce options for you are the
in-season varieties that are grown locally (and many of them will likely also be organic). They're fresher, do not waste fuel being transported to you, and they taste like real, home-grown produce should: delicious!

The National Resources Defence Council (NDRC) also offers a great tool on their website that helps you determine what fruits and vegetables are in season in your state.

Two good ways to find local food are visiting farmers' markets and using
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in your area.  Additionally in the next year I am hoping to introduce an organic hydroponic growing system which would allow you to grow healthy vegetables in the comfort of your own home.

So stay tuned for that announcement.



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