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Do you buy locally grown/organic food?
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21 / F / Michigan
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Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14
In my one summer class, we have been discussing the advantages and disadvantages of buying locally grown/organic food versus buying globally (essentially, just your typical food in the grocery store that's not from your local area).
We've talked about the growing trend of buying organic and how our agriculture is reverting back to how it was in the "good old days". It's actually pretty interesting because our technology has advanced so far (everyone loves getting those new gadgets and whatnot) and we've created ways to mass produce food. But with so much concern over GMOs and such, some people have started to buy only organic food and have strayed away from big name brands (such as Tyson). One question that popped up in my class was: If our agricultural past was so great, why were modern animal and plant breeds, long distance trade in food, and modern production and processing technologies developed in the first place? Just some food for thought (get it? )

When you buy food locally, you know where the food comes from and it helps out those farmers who may happen to be struggling to make ends meet. However, it's much more expensive and can be inconvenient to get (since you probably have to go out of your way to go to a farmer's market or something like that). I could go on and on about some pros and cons, but I'm more interested in what you all think.

Personally, I just care about the price. I'm a broke college student and I don't really have the luxury of going to Whole Foods and buying, what is usually overpriced, food. However, I do prefer the taste of organic produce (those honey crisp apples tho ). If I have extra money, I'll go out of my way to get organic fruits and veggies.

I'll shut up now--I'm just curious what your stance on this topic is. Do you only buy organic foods or are you like me and care more about whatever is cheaper? Or, do you just not care?
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22 / M / Los Angeles
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Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14
I believe you may be referring to the locavore movement. Defined by the consumption of food products cultivated and harvested from nearby locales and strictly based on appeal presented as ethical and advantageous, economically and health-wise, yet it is far from ideal. There a lot of economic reasons to dismiss the idea of locally grown foods as the primary source for produce, namely a problem of logistics and supply, and the negative externalities caused by a shift in agriculture industry. Firstly, locavorism differs from subsistence farming; the citizens of developed nations can be selective and partake in the fastidious luxury of locavorism, whereas a farmer (for figurative example) in Liberia or Pakistan can not. A locavore does not produce, but consumes while maintaining a conscience for reassurance. As a movement based on consumption, locavorism entails the need of a constant supplier. The problem of inexperienced growers arises. The options to attain and procure food are limited to select sources. Because of its decentralized nature, consumers purchase from a myriad of willing vendors. This leads to an ungovernable quality of standards or practices. Inexperienced and self-proclaimed growers may not be as skillfully suited to the task.

I can give many more reasons in opposition, but I prefer "to each, their own." A lot economics (not from a market/financial sense, but efficiency) gets involved.
Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14
I don't have enough money to buy organic or to make sure it is locally grown. It's too expensive and the farmers around here are extremely wealthy. They have some of the biggest homes and most expensive and numerous cars so I don't feel a particular need to help them out. My family has, and is expanding, our own garden where we grow various herbs and vegetables and even fruits like watermelon and strawberries. So even though it is in a very small number I guess we do still get the organic stuff from time to time.
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21 / F / Michigan
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Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14

Realtaliation wrote:

I believe you may be referring to the locavore movement. Defined by the consumption of food products cultivated and harvested from nearby locales and strictly based on appeal presented as ethical and advantageous, economically and health-wise, yet it is far from ideal. There a lot of economic reasons to dismiss the idea of locally grown foods as the primary source for produce, namely a problem of logistics and supply, and the negative externalities caused by a shift in agriculture industry. Firstly, locavorism differs from subsistence farming; the citizens of developed nations can be selective and partake in the fastidious luxury of locavorism, whereas a farmer (for figurative example) in Liberia or Pakistan can not. A locavore does not produce, but consumes while maintaining a conscience for reassurance. As a movement based on consumption, locavorism entails the need of a constant supplier. The problem of inexperienced growers arises. The options to attain and procure food are limited to select sources. Because of its decentralized nature, consumers purchase from a myriad of willing vendors. This leads to an ungovernable quality of standards or practices. Inexperienced and self-proclaimed growers may not be as skillfully suited to the task.

I can give many more reasons in opposition, but I prefer "to each, their own." A lot economics (not from a market/financial sense, but efficiency) gets involved.


Thank you for this well-thought out response--I definitely agree that the issue lies primarily with the economics aspect.
I'm still fairly new to the locavore movement, didn't even know that's what it was referred to as.
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21 / F / Michigan
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Posted 7/13/14

justanotherguy_2005 wrote:

I don't have enough money to buy organic or to make sure it is locally grown. It's too expensive and the farmers around here are extremely wealthy. They have some of the biggest homes and most expensive and numerous cars so I don't feel a particular need to help them out. My family has, and is expanding, our own garden where we grow various herbs and vegetables and even fruits like watermelon and strawberries. So even though it is in a very small number I guess we do still get the organic stuff from time to time.


For me, it's surprising that the farmers near you are wealthy--the ones in my area are definitely struggling economically. Many farms go through foreclosure and are put up for sale. Guess it really depends on where you live.
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22 / M / Los Angeles
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Posted 7/13/14

Tsukiou wrote:


Thank you for this well-thought out response--I definitely agree that the issue lies primarily with the economics aspect.
I'm still fairly new to the locavore movement (didn't even know it was called that). Didn't even know that's what it was referred to as.


np, it's refreshing to see the forum topics branching out.

Posted 7/13/14
lol the eggs don't taste any different
Posted 7/13/14

Tsukiou wrote:


justanotherguy_2005 wrote:

I don't have enough money to buy organic or to make sure it is locally grown. It's too expensive and the farmers around here are extremely wealthy. They have some of the biggest homes and most expensive and numerous cars so I don't feel a particular need to help them out. My family has, and is expanding, our own garden where we grow various herbs and vegetables and even fruits like watermelon and strawberries. So even though it is in a very small number I guess we do still get the organic stuff from time to time.


For me, it's surprising that the farmers near you are wealthy--the ones in my area are definitely struggling economically. Many farms go through foreclosure and are put up for sale. Guess it really depends on where you live.


Yea. If it were different and they were struggling I might actually try to buy from them more to pitch in despite how little it would help but when all of the farmers names are famous for just being completely loaded.....
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20 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/13/14
Well I don't eat anything that grows out of the ground so no...
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48 / M / Within the Empire...
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Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14
I live in a neighborhood that has a lot of "Neo-Hippie" types and the prevalent attitude around here heavily promotes the whole "buy local" mentality. But I've always wondered "what exactly IS local"? Someone could tell me "oh these green beans come from a local farmer in the nearby town of such & such", and that town is like 50-75 miles away. Before the invention of the internal combustion engine and modern roads, that wouldn't be considered local at all, as it would be at least a couple days journey to go that far.

The supporters of the "buy local" movement all seem to throw out lines like "buy from people in your community", "support your local industry", "buy from people in your area", "buy from your neighbors", "buy from people you know"...etc..

But I'm always like "what is MY community?" This produce may have come from a farmer in a neighboring town, but honestly I don't know anybody from there. I've never visited that town. Heck I live in one of the biggest cities in America. There are plenty of people in surrounding neighborhoods that I don't know, let alone across town or in the outskirts. I honestly don't know any of these people, but clever marketers always show a pleasant smiling face of some total stranger in a poster holding some produce with a tagline saying that he lives in a little town just a few miles over.

My thinking is that when you get right down to it, most anyplace in the world is local to somebody. If the produce I buy comes from another state a few hundred miles away, but then my job transfers me to said state, then how is that food suddenly better now that I live closer to where it's grown? It's the same exact food from the same farmer, just that he is now maybe a few dozen miles from my home rather than a few hundred. But I guess now he is my "neighbor" and I can trust the quality of his produce more than when I lived in another state.

Of course there's the whole energy saving argument that it saves energy buy not having to transport produce over such long distances, but my thinking is unless you stop ALL long distance transportation of food (logistically impossible for most I'd imagine) than you're not really helping the environment much. Sure you might decrease the amount shipped long distance if you and a lot of other people only bought locally, but think about it.....isn't transporting a truck that is only half full of produce wasting a lot more energy that if it was completely full?

There was an anime called 'No-Rin" that aired this past Winter that addressed some of the same issued of organic & traditional versus inorganic & modern agricultural methods. It's not available here on CR, but in America it's available on Hulu as well as Funi's site. You might want to check it out. Granted it comes across as a very silly and ecchi series at first, but in later episodes they do address some of these issues. In some ways even more interesting that "Silver Spoons" was on these kinds of topics, which really surprised me.
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69 / M / Limbo
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Posted 7/13/14
If I happen to be at a Trader Joe's or something I'll shop there! Do I care? Not really... I'll just as easily buy a hyper, hormone-mutant super lettuce if it means shaving time off shopping duty. Farmers markets win though. Delicious honey and hot chicks.
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21 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/13/14
No, that's for rich people.
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 7/13/14
Nah, well if you count when the grocery store says, "locally grown" then sure I buy local. Do I go out of the way to go to a farmers market? Nope
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21 / F / Michigan
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Posted 7/13/14

KaiserSosei wrote:


You bring up some really good points--in this day and age, local could essentially mean almost anywhere (we have to technology to get to one place from another in no time at all). And with some local food producers, they use greenhouses in the cold months in order to continue growing food. But greenhouses use up a lot of energy just as transportation does (though, solar panels are a great way to combat that need of energy for a greenhouse).
This whole topic is just a never-ending pro-con; you can figure out a solution for one problem, just to end up with another problem.
I appreciate your response, and I'll have to check No-Rin out.
Posted 7/13/14 , edited 7/13/14
because sometimes it's better to import from a country where they specialize in that thing. like if you want to buy wool or sheep meat... wouldn't you want to buy it from Australia or NZ... because we specialize in sheep .... (don't take my word for it, i'm just using this as a wild example).

like if you wanna drink coconut, you can't really buy them locally in Australia, since it's not a tropical country (some parts of it is tropical, but it's mainly... non-tropical). you have to import them from somewhere tropical...
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