Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Treehugger: Organic vs Local at Whole Foods

Treehugger is another one of those new-to-me blogs that I picked up on from browsing blog award nominations. This question strikes a chord with me: Organic vs Local at Whole Foods

Which brings us to the question: [given the variables of] freshness, price, and energy conservation, should a New Yorker just instinctively choose organic, even if the produce comes from Chile? ::Slate Magazine
I say, buy local.

A similar question about who to support has been kicking around my head recently. We've recently started shopping at Trader Joe's, but I have real reservations about their business model. I think they are attempting to apply industrial food production methods to a debased form of "organic" produce as defined by the USDA. My gut tells me they are not that much better than Safeway in terms of the environment and sustainable practices. So my question is, when is it OK to buy from Trader Joe's and when should we take our business to Rainbow Grocery?

So far, in my mind, the answer is that our family really benefits from some of their frozen and prepared foods as well as their meat and poultry — it makes the difference between eating out of the house and ordering out. But the produce, dairy, bakery, and other stuff we should get from Rainbow, or Good Life, or the farmers' market. Let Trader Joe's keep us from Whole Foods. But we can support better practices elsewhere.

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