Apples to Apples: Still Debating Local Versus Organic

The local, conventional apple or the imported, organic one?

It’s a question I address in my book but never really come up with a final answer. And the more I see the two choices pitted against each other in the produce aisle, with no local + organic option around (apart from my CSA share which doesn’t give me everything I want each week), I feel continually conflicted about my choice to buy the organic fruit from Chile.

I am currently reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which is giving me a serious education on gardening, farming, and the importance of buying local and organic. In the book, Kingsolver frequently suggests that given the choice, local is the better option. Her reasons include the corruption of “big organic,” the fact that some local organic farmers aren’t officially certified, and the fact that between the two options, it may be an environmental wash considering all the fuel used to transport the foreign organics.

But I just feel like, for me, health trumps all else at the moment and I just can’t justify giving pesticides to my son.

I found this article from Time Magazine printed back in 2007 but still relevent. It’s the best exploration of the debate I’ve come across, and addresses all sides of the issue. But it still doesn’t really give a firm answer.

What do you think?

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