organic fruits and vegetables
are usually harvested within
24 hours of being purchased by
the consumer. Produce from California
can't be that fresh.
picked and eaten at the height
of freshness tastes better.
value declines, often dramatically,
as time passes after harvest.
Because locally-grown produce
is freshest, it is more nutritionally
percent of American adults say
they are concerned about the
safety of the food they eat.
They worry about residues of
pesticides and fungicides. These
materials are not permitted in
an organic production system
either before or after harvest.
Economic Health. Buying
locally grown food keeps money
within the community. This contributes
to the health of all sectors
of the local economy, increasing
the local quality of life.
farmers selling locally are not
limited to the few varieties
that are bred for long distance
shipping, high yields, and shelf
life. Often they raise and sell
wonderful unusual varieties you
will never find on supermarket
||Soil Stewardship. Soil
health is essential for the survival
of our species. Conventional
farming practices are rapidly
depleting topsoil fertility.
Creating and sustaining soil
fertility is the major objective
for organic growers.
||Energy Conservation. Buying
locally grown organic foods decreases
dependence on petroleum, a non-
renewable energy source. One
fifth of all petroleum now used
in the United States is used
in Agriculture. Organic production
systems do not rely upon the
input of petroleum derived fertilizers
and pesticides and thus save
energy at the farm. Buying from
local producers conserves additional
energy at the distribution level.
erosion; pesticide contamination
of soil, air, and water; nitrate
loading of waterways and wells;
and elimination of planetary
biodiversity are some of the
problems associated with todayís
predominate farming methods.
Organic growers use practices
that protect soil, air, and water
resources; and that promote biodiversity.
food processes donít reflect
the hidden costs of the environmental,
health and social consequences
of predominate production practices-
of, for instance, correcting
a water supply polluted by agricultural
runoff, or obtaining medical
treatment for pesticide induced
illness suffered by farmers or
consumers. When these and other
hidden costs are taken into account,
as they should be, locally grown
organic foods are seen clearly
for the value they are, even
if they cost a few pennies more.
||A Step Toward
Regional Food Self Reliance. Dependency
on far away food sources leaves
a region vulnerable to supply
disruptions, and removes any
real accountability of producer
to consumer. It also tends to
promote larger, less diversified
farms that hurt both the environment
and local economies/communities.
Regional food production systems,
on the other hand, keep the food
supply in the hands of many,
providing interesting job and
and enabling people to influence
how their food is grown.
on the Stewardship Ethic. When
you buy locally produced organic
food you cannot help but raise
the consciousness of your friends
and family about how food buying
decisions can make a difference
in your life and the life of
your community; and about how
this basic act is connected to