Barefoot by the Sea: Local or Organic (or a Mix of Both?)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Local or Organic (or a Mix of Both?)

This is a question for you...do you focus on organic or local food?  Which is more important to you? Since I'm in New Hampshire, it's not possibly for me to buy locally organic items year round and as the Spring approaches, I contemplate purchasing local or organic.  For me, local wins most of the time. We are lucky to have some new, local options and tend to purchase my produce, eggs and occasional meat or chicken there.  Therefore, we try to eat seasonally as well, which is fine with me!  Think about it, have you ever really had a good tomato in the Winter?  I've had fleshy, white-ish tomatoes that most certainly do not scream "Summer".  I did can salsa last Summer but not enough to last through Winter.  Still it was nice to crack open a jar on Superbowl Sunday that was fresh and good.   Overall, I feel better about purchasing local produce within reason - I'm careful to get to know the farmers I buy from and their practices.  I also am careful to avoid the dirty dozen products and whenever possible opt for local and organic.  As a reminder, the "dirty dozen" include a list of the foods that are more likely to have the most pesticide residue and therefore, it's more important to buy organic when you can.  They include: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Imported Nectarines, Imported Grapes, Sweet  Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Domestic Blueberries, Lettuce and Kale/Collard Greens.  Luckily, there is also a list of "Clean Fifteen", a group of food that is typically lower pesticide...you can check out that list here.
Another question....will you subscribe to a CSA this year?  We subscribed to a CSA (for those of you not familiar with the term, read more here) for three years and enjoyed the variety of produce.  Still, I found that I was going to the Farmer's Market to pick up my items and purchasing more there.  In addition, I found that the greens were fifthly, requiring a lot of time after washing and patting dry.  I did enjoy it though and have fond memories of watching my then FOUR year old bite into a fresh piece of kale.  My old blog, Simplistic Girl talked all about my experience with the CSA.  I have to admit, I just reread some of my old posts and it looks very tempting.  However, our favorite farm no longer offers a CSA.  So, I tend to make weekly trips to the Farmer's Market (we have two that run here in the Summer), make trips to support our local farms and work longer hours in our OWN GARDEN!  Last year we had great success!   
I know this - I am wayyyyy more concerned about food and health than ever.  I want to ensure I am giving my children the best options possible when it comes to the food they consume.  It's tough to navigate it but I'm getting better. There is so much information out there, it can literally make your head spin.  Luckily, there are a lot of excellent resources that help make navigation a little easier. I've also started listening to Simple Mom's podcasts which provide more thoughtful information.  I also love to test new recipes found over at 100 Days of Real Food and Weelicious!

Let me know what your thoughts are and how you navigate through the plethora of information out there!  It's tough raising little ones these days!

3 comments:

  1. Love your thoughts on this! The culture of local food in our area has changed so much over the past several years. At first, we had a CSA (which we loved!), and then a farmers' market moved into town, which I tried to visit weekly. Now we have a local co-op as well as an indoor farmers' market 6 days a week. Add to that my own garden, and eating seasonally is the way to go for us. I still obviously buy groceries at the regular grocery store, but find that I can buy most everything we want from one of the local markets instead. Now if I could just figure out how to grow avocados and citrus in Maine, my life would be complete :-)

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  2. You are SO good at this....you are always encouraging me to be better! Okay, so I definitely focus on organic. Mostly because it is convenient, especially with TJ's right down the road. We love farmer's markets in the summer but everything always seems WAY overpriced.....do you notice this when you buy local??

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  3. I am with you on local first. I just don't feel as good about an organic item that traveled hundreds of miles, in most cases anyway. We did try a CSA with a meat program, and honestly I wasn't that impressed with their quality. For the veg CSA's living where I live, it is easier to go to the farmers markets, and more fun for me! So excited for my regular farmers market to open on May 3rd. There will probably not be much available yet, but that doesn't keep me from being anxious!

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