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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Local vs. Organic: I Choose Organic – Here’s Why

For several years, the local food movement has been gaining some serious momentum. Supermarkets are pushing locally-grown food and restaurants insert “local” into their menus as often as possible.

I have a good friend of mine who proudly and constantly tells me that he is eating local food all of the time. When I hear this, I just kind of shake my head. Why do I have this reaction?

While this issue is very complicated and the circumstances of every single piece food is vastly different, there is a lot more to this than many people realize and “local” isn’t necessarily better.

Yes, local food means that it has traveled a lot less (within 150 miles seems to be the accepted range) than something that has been shipped across the country.

Local also “supposedly” means that the food has been produced in a sustainable manner rather than from some industrial food operation.

But how do we know this? We don’t. There are no standards for local and there is no certification for local. There are, however, strict standards for organic and USDA organic certification.

Unless I am at a farmer’s market where I can look the farmer in the eye and ask him about his production methods, I just don’t know how local food has been produced.

How do I know that the farmer 20 miles away isn’t spraying his kale with toxic pesticides and polluting our water?  I don’t.  And this matters to me as I am gravely concerned about the abysmal quality of our water supply.

Furthermore, a New York Times op-ed piece by James McWilliams pointed out that lamb shipped from New Zealand to England caused much less impact to global warming than British-produced lamb.

Does this mean we should abandon “local”? Not at all.

This was simply one example and other examples may prove “local” to be much better for the environment.

MY TAKE

If I can buy local and organic, that is what I do and it is the best of both worlds.

I want to support local food as much as I can and will buy food at farmer’s markets where I have an incredibly high degree of confidence that the food is grown “cleanly”, even if it is not certified as organic.

However…..

1) Local food doesn’t necessarily mean better for the environment. In fact, it could be worse.

2) Local food doesn’t mean organic.

3) Supporting organic production and organic farmers is very important to me.

It goes without saying that local vs. organic is not a cut and dry argument, but I prefer organic over local because there are standards and I know what organic means.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Organic Milk – The Most Important Product a Family Can Buy

For people who are new to organic or have very limited financial means to buy organic, the one thing that I always say is the following:

The absolute number one priority in your household should be organic milk for your kids.

Even if a family thinks that organic food is out of their budget, organic milk cannot be compromised under any condition.

Organic milk is about the health of the kids, and that comes before everything else.

THE SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS OF HORMONAL MILK

Approximately 20% of the milk in the U.S. is hormonal milk. But what exactly is hormonal milk?

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A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Buy Organic – Conventional Tea Contains Illegal and Highly Toxic Pesticides

While we constantly hear about the tremendous health benefits of drinking tea, one thing that almost never gets mentioned in this message is just how critical it is to drink organic tea.

In a recently released report called Tea Steeped in Toxics, the excellent non-profit Beyond Pesticides gives us an inside look at what is going on in the tea industry. Needless to say, what they uncover is very ugly and very scary.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

My Latest Concoction – Organic Black Sesame Seed Milk

Earlier this year, I wrote a post talking about the tremendous health benefits of black sesame seeds.

I love putting them on quinoa, millet, and on my salads, and they add a whole new dimension to whatever food that I am eating.

Since Brazil nut milk and cashew milk are two drinks that I make quite often, I started asking myself “What if I made a milk out of organic black sesame seeds?”

My immediate thought was that the taste would be too harsh or too strong, and that I would need to use a lot of honey or organic palm sugar to even it out.

Over the past week or so, I have been experimenting with black sesame seed milk and much to my surprise, I have been thrilled with the results.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink