I was listening to NPR's Science Friday on the drive back to Ames last weekend, and heard a very good argument regarding organic vs. local food production and consumption.
It seems like the majority of people eat organic for 1 or 2 (or both) reasons:
1. It's healthier for me
2. It's better for the environment
Science Friday pointed out that if you buy organic tomatoes in winter time, chances are those tomatoes are coming from a looooong ways away. In other words:
1. They are being picked way before they are anywhere close to becoming ripe. How's that for full of nutrients?
2. They have to be shipped a great distance, which means more fuel being used, more carbon dioxide production, and more pollution.
The guests on the program challenged listeners to try to eat more local foods instead, which also means seasonal foods -- so no "fresh" strawberries in winter. They also talked about and encouraged Community Supported Agriculture -- a program where you buy a share in a local farm, and in return you get fresh seasonal vegetables delivered to your door. If you ask me, it sounds like a great idea. I may have to try it out next summer.