Buy Organic, Buy Local, Buyer Beware

6 04 2008

By Derek Beres

Whenever possible, I buy organic. This is not just confined to food, but extends to any materials, clothing and household products I can purchase. Yet like many consumers, I am often confused by the available choices, as it has become harder and harder not to buy organic. Like many important terms, once the economics of the idea prospered, it became a vague and often meaningless adjective.

This is not to say that there isn’t integrity in adopting a lifestyle by which you know that the least possible environmental damage is being done in the manufacturing and growing of your purchase. I’ve worked and been around enough people and companies in the natural foods and sustainable living world to know that good intentions abound, and ecological promises are oftentimes followed through. There are a lot of people fusing philosophy and economics in creating a sustainable environment. The hard part is deciding which companies are doing so when two dozen choices stare at you from supermarket shelves.

In general, I adhere to one of Michael Pollan’s golden rules: buy locally. Just this morning I walked through the Union Square Farmer’s Market, which not only informs me of what marketers are gearing up for Spring, but also of what crops are actually available at the moment–not imported internationally or trucked from California. Granted, I too enjoy eating strawberries in March, but knowing the real cost of those berries (including transportation fees, read: gasoline), I often seek out another sweet. When I see “locally produced” signs in Whole Foods, I tend to pick up that product over another, if the product seems of worth.

To read the full article on Reality Sandwich click here




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