Is Organic better than Local? A Comparison of the Two

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Is Organic better than Local? A Comparison of the Two

How we should nourish our bodies is one of the few ethical questions we have today in the cooking world. In recent years there has been an increased rise in industrially produced food through the use of chemical enhancers and protective pesticides. However, many people are now looking for more organic alternatives which is food produced free of any chemicals. Many people who have embraced the organic food into their diets claim that the food tastes better, is richer and more like nature originally intended.

 

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Most chefs are currently trying to follow the trend by using organic produce where possible. However, they might have to rethink their loyalty to organic produce especially for places further away from natural food suppliers
Whereas, restaurants in favorable areas such as California make it quite easy for them to acquire organic produce from their farmer’s markets and local providers.

How Far Will You Go for Organic?

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Produce that requires to be transported between long distances are not only expensive due to the added transportation cost but may also suffer in terms of quality due to generally being picked before they are perfectly ripe or delivered long after being harvested. The best answer, of course, is to buy locally produced organic food whenever possible. In doing so, you get the best of both sides: naturally-grown, delicious produce with no artificial toxic chemicals to be warried about. Also, food that is grown near to its point on sale and consumption reduces carbon foot print, supports local communities, and seasonal eating.

Making the Hard Choice: Organic vs. Locally Grown?

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Regrettably, the challenge of ethical eating extends beyond the boundaries of California to other more climatically problematic regions. For instance, in Montreal, Canada, cooking organically means having to procure produce that’s been transported from far away. Restaurants that want to procure organic strawberries before local produce is available have to resort to purchasing strawberries from other distant climates. Guaranteed, the products might be meet FDA organic standards and free of pesticides, but the issue of the carbon footprint resulting from the transport process needs to also be taken into account.

 

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As Michael Pollen so fittingly stated in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, “in what sense can a plastic box of salad on sale in a Whole Foods store thirty-five hundred miles and 5 days away from its origin truly be considered organic?” Decreasing our carbon footprint as a result of shipping organic produce has been highlighted as one of the ethical impasses that must be considered when working in the food industry.

Let’s Think Seasonal and Local

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Our seniors from another generations will tell you stories about the pleasure they had growing up and waiting for rhubarb, tomato, or asparagus season.

 

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Today, almost all (and the number is ever growing) produce is available all year-round; as a result, restaurants are able to acquire produce from around the globe. Now might be the best time to take a step back and re-think our approaches toward food. Possibly, instead of simply serving the latest culinary trend, serving local and seasonal products should be preserved as the truest backbone of the modern-day culinary approach.

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