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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 Wine — Does it Contain Sulfites?

In wine, there are naturally occurring sulfites and added sulfites. The naturally occurring sulfites are a by-product of the fermentation process and it is nearly impossible to have a sulfite-free wine.

Winemakers have been working with sulfite agents, added sulfites, for hundreds of years. They were originally introduced in Europe as a preservative and are used to prevent spoiling.

It is possible, however, to have a wine that is free of added sulfates and that is organic wine. The four main attributes of USDA certified organic wine are:

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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.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Support Organic – The 59 Pesticide Residues Found in Our Water Supply

When people talk about organic food, we mostly focus on the importance of eating food that is free of synthetic chemicals, genetically-modified ingredients and artificial growth hormones.

Yet, what we also need to be mentioning is that conventionally-grown food means that our soil is getting sprayed with an astronomical amount of toxic pesticides, which ends up polluting our public water supply.

According to the EPA, we use about 1.1 billion pounds of chemicals per year, 80% of which are used for agricultural purposes.

And what impact has this had on the quality of our public water supply?

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Organic Food is a Must for Pregnant Women

According to research recently published in the Environment Health Perspectives, pregnant women who are exposed to organophosphate pesticides have a very, very high probability of having kids who suffer from ADHD.

The study tracked Mexican-American women in Salinas Valley, CA who were exposed to high levels of pesticides and then diagnosed their kids when they were between 3 and 5 years old. The results were not good and also not in the least bit surprising.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink