Although I am hesitant to fan any embers -- I know there are quite a few out there -- into flames, it might be worth your while to pick up the March 12th issue of Time magazine. There is a cover article on organic vs. 'buy local.' A couple quotes:

"In the end I bought both apples (organic vs. 'conventional New York state local'). They were both good, although the California one had a mealy bit, possibly from it's journey." (Is the author English -- a "mealy bit?")

"Eating locally also seems safer. Ted's (an upstate NY diversified producer) neighbors and customers can see how he farms. That transparency doesn't exist with, say, spinach bagged by a distant agribusiness. I help keep Ted in business, and he helps keep me fed -- and the elegance and sustainability of that exchange make more sense to me than gambling on faceless producers who stamp ORGANIC on a package thousands of miles from home."

Now, I have been trying to fully explain the phenomenal direct-market sales many Massachusetts apple growers -- and I understand it was beyond MA too -- had last season. I know the weather was good, and that makes a huge difference, but I am starting to think the buy local campaigns are really kicking in? I found the article interesting, and reasonably balanced, and something we should all be paying attention too.

If you did not catch his drift, the author clearly thought buying 'conventional local' was preferable to buying agribusiness 'organic' -- particularly if the petroleum environmental cost was figured in.

Any embers glowing brighter yet?



Jon Clements
Extension Tree Fruit Specialist
UMass Cold Spring Orchard
393 Sabin Street
Belchertown, MA  01007
VOICE 413.478.7219
FAX 413.323.0382
IM mrhoneycrisp
Skype Name mrhoneycrisp


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