Everywhere we look these days, we are encouraged to buy local. And with good reason. Locally produced foods help support local farmers and encourage a sense of community. Plus, they often taste great!
The question is, what does “local” really mean?
It’s easy to assume that “local” refers to products made near our homes without harmful materials. In fact, though, because the term “local” is unregulated, no guarantees can be made about where local products come from or how they are grown and processed.
Organic products, on the other hand, are required to meet strict standards. They must be made without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic engineering. Additionally, they must not undergo irradiation or contain ingredients made from cloned animals. Plus, careful records must be kept about every phase of organic production. This means that everything from the source of the seeds to the way products are placed on store shelves must be documented. Moreover, each of these steps must be verified by an independent third party.
So what should you do if you seek products produced nearby and that are processed in a manner you can trust? Buy locally produced organic products! In doing so, you can feel confident that they have been produced in a manner that not only supports local farmers and your community, but also helps to ensure product integrity from the farm to your family.