Where can you Buy Organic Food?
You can buy organic food at many different places.
You can buy organic food from local farmers. But you can also buy food from stores like Kroger. The foods you get from these stores have probably traveled hundreds of miles. I’m going to tell you about the advantages of buying locally grown food. Not all people buy from local farmers. I’m also going to tell you what most people do, and why some people can’t buy locally.
How Buying Locally Helps
Usually if you buy from large grocery stores the food you get there has traveled about 1,500 miles. This means that a lot of gas is polluting the air. All this pollution is causing global warming. If global warming gets worse we might all be in danger. Also the world’s oil and gas supply is no longer plentiful. So if you keep on using this valuable supply it will run out faster. If you buy locally, the food will not have traveled hundreds of miles. This means transporting the food has not used up a lot of gas or contributed to global warming. Why buy from large grocery stores when you can help prevent global warming and help save gas by buying locally?
When food is bought from large stores, as I mentioned earlier, it’s traveled hundreds of miles. Not only is this bad for the world, it’s bad for the food. When food is just picked it is fresh. But after about a week or so it is not fresh any more. After food has arrived at large stores, it needs to be unloaded and then emptied into bins where customers will buy it. All this takes enough time and in the process, the food looses some of its freshness. But at local farms, the food only needs to be put on display. It doesn’t have to travel about 1,500 miles. This leaves the food still fresh when you buy it. The food is better quality, and that’s another reason to buy locally.
Farmers may have fresh food that has not traveled many miles, but they still need to be supported. The farmers need customers to buy from them. It’s easy for large grocery stores to make money because they are usually popular. If local farmers don’t have any customers they cannot stay in business. This is another reason why you should buy locally grown organic food.
What People Actually Do
What people do varies widely. Some people, like my friend Anne’s mom, buy straight from the farm. Anne’s mom works at an organic farm, and she buys food and even milk from the farm. But a lot of other people, including my mom, buy organic food from large grocery stores. My mom goes to the grocery store because it’s closer to where we live. There are other reasons why people buy from non-local stores. For example, some people go to work for a long time. When they come home, the farm stores may not be open. People who don’t like the rather higher prices of farm stores will go to grocery stores with lower prices. There are other places to buy organic food. Some people might even grow their own food in their own garden. In 2005 the Hartman Group asked a lot of people where they bought organic food. When the Hartman Group typed up the information they got from the survey, the percentages looked like this.
Grocery store = 58%
Natural-food store = 49%
Farmers Market = 15%
Superstore = 15%
Club store = 7%
Other = 13%
Where Organic Farms Are in the U.S.
Organic farms can be plentiful in one state but scarce in another. Organic farms can be found in the less mountainy part of the United States. Farmers like these places because there are very few hills and it is easy to plant, plow, and harvest crops. Also if farmers grew crops on hills, then when it rained the water would go from the top of the hill and pour down only one side. This would leave one side dry. Since most mountains are in the western U.S., most organic farms are in the mid-west and east. There are also clusters of organic farms on the west coast. So if you live in mountainous, western states like Utah, it may be hard to find a local farm to buy from.
Why Locally Grown? LocalHarvest. http://www.localharvest.org/
Why Eat Locally and Sustainably Grown Food? Because What We Eat Matters. LocalHarvest. www.reapfoodgroup.org/Why Buy Local.htm