What does “local” food really mean? Why is “organic” important to us?
Why Buy Local?
- To support farmers in our community – We know our doctors and our dentists; let’s get to know the folks who grow our food.
- Reduced carbon emissions – Long-distance travel from industrial farms relies on massive amounts of fossil fuels contributing to climate change and poor air quality.
- Keep your dollars in your community – Buying direct from farmers or from locally-owned businesses that carry locally-grown food helps build a stronger local economy.
- Variety – Small local farms offer local produce. Be sure to ask about our heritage varieties!
Big, industrial farms usually grow only one kind of vegetable in any one field to maximize yield to reduce expenses.
- Freshness – Picked when ripe, at peak flavour potential, and do not travel far or long, so all the freshness is maintained.
- Nutrition – Picked when ripe, at peak nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables that are packed for long distance travel are harvested before they’re ripe, and before nutrition and flavour are fully developed.
- Nurturing and protecting our local food supply – Losing farmers from our community also means losing farmland to urban expansion. Help us maintain sustainable food practices.
How do we define Organic?
- Certified Organic
- Organic growing based on farming methods
- Ecologically Responsible based on farming methods
Why Buy Organic?
- Your health – Pesticide free food. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides have been proven to cause ill health effects in humans, particularly in children.
- Soil, water & air conservation – Natural fertilizers and non-chemical pest management options are used in balance with resources and the environment. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers contaminate our soil, air and water, affecting our resources, our health, and the health of local wildlife.
- Greater nutritional value for your dollar – Natural fertilizers provide macro- and micro-nutrients required by plants and are required for a plant to develop its nutritional properties and flavour.
- Soil stewardship – Fertilizers used in organic farming are natural, including animal manure, compost and crop rotation that includes green manure. This adds nutrients to the soil as well as structure, which helps with moisture retention and reduces soil erosion. Synthetic fertilizers do not replace the soil structure.
- Reduce carbon emissions – Organic farmers use a variety of methods to control pests, including companion planting, attracting pest predators, using nets and cloches as a physical barrier, crop rotation and manual removal.
- No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – GMOs pose risks to ecosystems, threaten biodiversity, wildlife and sustainable forms of agriculture. Source:Greenpeace
- Reduced reliance on large agri-busness – Organic farmers collect/trade/buy locally-produced seeds. Keeping our local genetic diversity and seed saving from plants that grow well in local growing conditions results in healthier crops.