Guest post by Christina Radisauskas
Last week I went to a film and discussion series entited “Label Me Confused: What organic, free range, and all those other words really mean” at a local theater. Several organic farmers gathered to discuss the benefits of choosing to eat locally produced and/or organic foods rather than typical supermarket fare. It started with the showing of the film “My Father’s Garden,” a documentary about the perils of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers (50% of the top soil in the U.S. is just GONE!). Afterwards, a panel of local farmers discussed the processes of becoming certified as organic farmers, and what the labels on the food we buy really mean. Of most interest to me was the question of whether buying certified organic food was better than buying locally produced food. The average food item in the United States travels 1500 miles before reaching the dinner table! And many local farmers use sustainable and/or organic processes on their farms. Becoming certified is expensive and time-consuming, and a lot of small, local farmers just don’t do it.
Here are some links of interest-
Sustainabletable.org – A site addressing many issues of eating, living, and growing sustainably. The ‘shop’ page is helpful in finding conveniently located stores that sell locally produced food items.
eco-labels.com – A site devoted to clearing up what labels really mean.
Short articles addressing local vs. organic foods: