The Validity of Organics

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Buying food is a necessity, unless you’re fortunate enough to grow everything you need. We all do it at one point or another, and likely have our own system for deciding what to purchase. But how to prioritize (“Do I buy local, organic, or just whatever is there?”) is another matter all together. Let’s see what, arguably, the most well-known person in the food revolution has to say about it.

When Michael Pollan writes about food, people read it. This much we know is true. And have you seen Botany of Desire on your local PBS affiliate (or Netflix)? It’s incredible. The man knows how to make food talk positively scintillating, in our opinion.

A couple of weeks ago, he was interviewed on PRI’s The World about the validity of the organic label.

Thankfully, he points out that the organic label is, for the most part, something we as consumers can trust. But when it comes to buying an organic product produced thousands of miles away (like organic strawberries from China), Pollan encourages the consumer to think about the impact of that product. Though it’s organic, the fuel to ship it so far overseas negates any positive impact that buying organic could do.

This is exactly the kind of thing we think about while shopping. Sure, organic Gala apples are on sale for $1.39 a pound—but they were shipped from New Zealand. Instead, we’ll opt for the locally-grown, conventional fruit available on the next aisle. We like to stick with our SOLE Food mnemonic, choosing only sustainable, organic, local, or ethical foods.

How do you weigh your options?

(Image: Flickr member Tim Psych, licensed under Creative Commons)