The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Local vs. Organic

Local vs. Organic

Shoppers and Trends

August 24, 2008

Dear Phil,
My customers often ask me what’s better – to buy organic produce that has been flown in, or to buy non-organic produce that is grown locally. What’s your take on this?
When produce is grown locally, it is on the vine or in the ground longer than produce that is organic and transported great distances within the U.S. or even imported. Organics (or any fruit and vegetable) that has to travel long distances to market must be picked before they are ripe, therefore interrupting its natural growing cycle. The result is fewer nutrients and compromised flavor. So in that regard, local is preferred.
Also, let’s remember, the further an item travels, the bigger its carbon footprint. More shoppers are concerned about an item’s carbon footprint, which frankly is giving much more attention, and sales, to the “local” food movement.
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