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A duh moment - buying local doesn't necessarily mean buying organic

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  • A duh moment - buying local doesn't necessarily mean buying organic

    A note to those who, like me, assume that if you buy produce at a farmer's market, it must be organic: Don't assume anything. I bought a half peck of gala apples from my local farmer's market this weekend. They looked so appetizing that on the way home, I polished one off on my shirt and dug right in. It was delicious. And not even five minutes later, I got a crushing headache. I'm convinced there was Something Nasty on the apple -- pesticide of some sort -- so I'm using a fruit-wash spray to cleanse the remaining apples before I eat them (or give them to my kids to eat).

    I could be completely wrong, of course. But it's still a word to the wise: just because you get it at a local market, that doesn't mean it's organic. It just means it's local.

    Sigh...
    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

  • #2
    Been there too...Had it happen with bad meat once:-(
    Free your mind, and your Grok will follow!

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    • #3
      Yes! There's no requirement for the produce to be organic. I would guess the majority of it is not. Also don't assume eggs are organic or free-range. The quality ranges from bad to excellent. I learned to look for certain sellers.
      Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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      • #4
        It doesn't even mean it's local. I know a roadside stand in VT (next to a farm, unattended) that has a mix of things the farmer grew, things trucked up from farms farther south and things from the same wholesale markets the grocery stores use. The corn especially, before it's ripe locally, comes from NJ, then CT and MA and finally VT as the season progresses.
        Last edited by IvyBlue; 09-20-2011, 09:07 PM.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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        • #5
          I never trusted those damned farmer's markets.

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          • #6
            I could be completely wrong, of course. But it's still a word to the wise: just because you get it at a local market, that doesn't mean it's organic. It just means it's local
            Apples are particularly difficult to grow organically, so yes, ask first.

            I recall asking a farmer at the market whether the tomatoes I was looking at were such and such heirloom. He looked at me with a sly grin and asked " what kind do you want them to be?"
            Last edited by Adrianag; 09-20-2011, 11:54 PM.

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            • #7
              Sometimes local is better than organic and vice versa. Your call.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                It doesn't even mean it's local. I know a roadside stand in VT (next to a farm, unattended) that has a mix of things the farmer grew, things trucked up from farms farther south and things from the same wholesale markets the grocery stores use. The corn especially, before it's ripe locally, comes from NJ, then CT and MA and finally VT as the season progresses.
                I live in Wisconsin, and we have actual farmer's markets where the sellers all grow/raise/make whatever they are selling, be it fruit, veggies, bison, elk, beef, apple butter, eggs, whatever. As mentioned, the items may or may not be organic, but you can be assured that all are local.

                We also have any number of roadside stands where you can find out-of-season produce (corn and tomatoes in May) and all sorts of stuff that just plain doesn't grow here (pineapples???!!)--these places generally have items displayed on an old haywagon and in bushel baskets, apparently to give the impression that some local farmer DOES grow this stuff. More than a few folks seem to swallow that--recently a seller at a farmer's market told me a shopper had complained b/c there was no pineapple available. Unfortunately, an AWFUL lot of folks have no clue about the seasonality of produce or where it can be grown.

                I grew up on a dairy farm, and you have no idea how many people think cows just "give" milk--they have no clue that the cow has to give birth to a calf every year, that the milk produced is for the calf and that the cow will only "give" milk for so long before milk production tapers off and she has to have another calf. I'm not condemning dairy farming; I'm just saying that many folks are so far removed from the actual sources of food that stuff like this never occurs to them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by honeypig View Post
                  I live in Wisconsin, and we have actual farmer's markets where the sellers all grow/raise/make whatever they are selling, be it fruit, veggies, bison, elk, beef, apple butter, eggs, whatever. As mentioned, the items may or may not be organic, but you can be assured that all are local.

                  We also have any number of roadside stands where you can find out-of-season produce (corn and tomatoes in May) and all sorts of stuff that just plain doesn't grow here (pineapples???!!)--these places generally have items displayed on an old haywagon and in bushel baskets, apparently to give the impression that some local farmer DOES grow this stuff. More than a few folks seem to swallow that--recently a seller at a farmer's market told me a shopper had complained b/c there was no pineapple available. Unfortunately, an AWFUL lot of folks have no clue about the seasonality of produce or where it can be grown.

                  I grew up on a dairy farm, and you have no idea how many people think cows just "give" milk--they have no clue that the cow has to give birth to a calf every year, that the milk produced is for the calf and that the cow will only "give" milk for so long before milk production tapers off and she has to have another calf. I'm not condemning dairy farming; I'm just saying that many folks are so far removed from the actual sources of food that stuff like this never occurs to them.
                  I'm guilty of the cow thing. Now that you mention it, it's blatantly obvious when you thing about other mammals like humans, dogs, and cats. I feel stupid now lol.

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                  • #10
                    As for produce, if you can, grow your own! A friend of mine and I do this, though it looks like he is going to give up on the extreme nature of the garden (it was pretty big) because he is going to school. Ours are grown wild. We set and forget. No fertilizers other than compost from grass and no pesticides or herbicides (other than creepy crawly eaters, our hands, and his cat).

                    It doesn't take much either. One plant, which will cost you about 50 cents or so (depending when you buy, get them early in six packs for like 3 bucks) and will yield much fruit. One or two pieces of fruit and you've broke even, especially if you are buying organic. You can grow them in pots even. It isn't all that much work really, especially if you spend a little extra cash on things like weed blankets (which we plan to do next garden season). A tiller can be had for a day for about 40 bucks, craigslist is also a good place for them.
                    Last edited by JHen; 09-21-2011, 04:48 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Don't beat yourself up and just give em a good wash. In the book, Mark says local is better than organic anyways so you did well!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by June View Post
                        Don't beat yourself up and just give em a good wash. In the book, Mark says local is better than organic anyways so you did well!
                        What is Mark's reason for this?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dado View Post
                          What is Mark's reason for this?
                          I don't have my book on me at the moment, but I believe it was something about the distance traveled and nutrient ratio. I will look it up when I get home, but he had produce ranked in the book based on these things. Local AND organic #1, then so on.

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                          • #14
                            Here I found it on the website:
                            Is Organic All It

                            Homegrown reigns supreme, of course. You ever eat a big, plump juicy tomato that’s been showered with love and daily attention as it’s allowed to ripen on the vine by a home gardener? There is simply no comparison. It practically becomes a different organism altogether. But few people have the time or the space to produce enough vegetables and fruit to sustain a Primal diet.

                            Local farmers’ market fare is next. Big cities pretty much always have them, and they’re beginning to pop up in smaller markets, too. If it’s environmental impact you’re worried about, local apples trounce those organic Fujis from Chile. If it’s better taste you want, you’re better off buying spinach from the farmer who lives with her crops and takes personal pride in their quality. She earns her living based on a small, committed cadre of customers who intensely care about taste. They could hit up Whole Foods for bagged spinach, but they go to the small, local farmers’ markets for the experience and the superior quality. The farmers, then, have an obligation and a powerful financial motivation to improve the taste of their products. Take the local Santa Monica Wednseday farmers’ market, for example – all the local chefs stock up there. You’ll see their carts piled high with fruits, veggies, and local meats. These guys’ primary (perhaps only) concern is quality, but you don’t see them prowling Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. They know quality and where to find it, sort of like when you’re stuck in the wilderness and follow an animal trail to a watering hole. Wild animals know the wilderness, and chefs know food quality.

                            After homegrown and local, regular store-bought organic is best. They may not have any appreciable advantage when it comes to vitamins or phytonutrients, but they will be cleaner, and organic produce generally tastes better than conventional produce.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dado View Post
                              What is Mark's reason for this?
                              In addition to keeping money in your community and encouraging local farmers to stay in business, the product does not have 1,500 "food miles" on it, on average, and is not 7-9 days old, losing a lot of nutrients along the way.

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