What is the Difference between Conventional and Local Organic Vegetables?
Even though it is still surprising to me and most of my friends why people still need an explanation of why local organic food is better and a healthier choice, I wanted to explain my thoughts on this subjectâ€¦ why I choose to go with local organic foods.
As an environmentalist vegan raw foodist, it is pretty obvious to most of why I choose organic vegetables. However, I always think that even if I didnâ€™t classify myself in those categories, vegan, raw foodist, environmentalist, I would choose organic vegetables for the following reasons. Organic grown vegetables donâ€™t contain chemicals, have higher amount of nutrients as supposed to conventional, and are great for the environment.
Not Food, Chemicals!
Conventional farming uses soil that has been extracted of natural minerals and fertilized with chemicals. They are also sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides are chemical compounds used to control insects and other organisms that may reduce agricultural productivity; most are toxic and are sprayed on our food! Herbicides are chemicals that kill weeds and plants. Conventional vegetables have to be washed with soaps and special cleaning liquids to remove residues of the pesticides sprayed on them. What is the point of eating anything if you are not getting anything good out of it? Have you ever wondered why all the tomatoes in the conventional isle of your local supermarket look the same? Like clones of each other? Well most crops are genetically engineered to grow faster, cheaper, and last longer. They have spent at least 2 weeks in the back of a truck from the moment they were picked from the farm and arrived to a distribution center where they will be dispatched to a supermarket. Most conventional vegetables are tasteless, not ripe, and go bad very quickly. Yes they are cheaper… in the short term, in the long run, you wind up paying more because they go bad sooner and they wind up in your garbage as if you were throwing money away. Â Local organic vegetables last longer because they are fresh and given to you right from the farmerâ€™s hand.
It is also known that most nutrients are missing in conventional vegetables, therefore causing one to get hungry faster and not prevent sickness because of missing antioxidants. When unripe vegetables are picked and packed to be transported, their growth stops. They can no longer absorb nutrients from soil even though the soil is filled with chemicals as I mentioned earlier. Nutrients are important because frankly if I would waste time and money eating something that is not giving me my ROI, I rather not eat and live on supplements! Yes taste is important too and therefore if you have ever compared organic strawberries and conventional ones, you know that organic strawberries are super tasty! Nothing compares to a wonderful organic cucumber from the farmerâ€™s hand.
Save the Planet One Carrot at the Time!
So why do organic vegetables help the environment and conventional vegetables do not? By reducing the consumption of conventional vegetable and food, the pesticide and herbicide production decreases as well. In addition, most conventional food travels about 1,500 miles to get to a distribution center; this means a truck in using that much gas to get pesticide unripe food to your refrigerator. It also requires packing which most times is not recyclable or compostable and therefore adding to more garbage in landfills that will take more than a lifetime to decompose. Local farmers do not use packaging and most times donâ€™t transport the vegetables to sell them. Organic farming does not use pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds. The fertilizer used in organic farming is most times produced by the farmer from compost or bought from other organic farmers.
I have more reasons why local organic food is the best. It supports local farmers, and therefore supports local economies, not to mention that you know where you food came from and didnâ€™t spend weeks in the back of a refrigerated truck. Of course, if you donâ€™t have a local farmerâ€™s market, the organic food at your local supermarket is probably as good as conventional minus the pesticides.
I have chosen these three reasons because they are the most common for everyone to make the choice to turn to local organic food, no pesticides and chemicals, more nutrients, and environmentally friendly production. In general I can understand why people still buy conventional food. Organic vegetables are more expensive and one has to find the right place to buy them. I consider it an investment in my health, less time at doctors and less money on pills and medicines. However, each person has to decide what is better for them. I do hope that with these words, people reading my site can get a general idea of why I chose organic over conventional.
Vote with your money!
Additional Reading and References
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the Worldâ€™s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
The Newmanâ€™s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman
Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day by Grist Magazine
Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability by Greg Horn
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman
[…] food is a way to green your kitchen! Buy organic food and hopefully from local growers. Buy more vegetables and fruits instead of pre-packaged foods that […]