If the option exists to buy food that’s both organic AND local, then by all means that’s the best choice in my book. However, it doesn’t usually work that way. With Wal-Mart trying to bring organic food to the mass-market, and so many of our veggies, especially out of season, being carted here to the midwest all the way from California, Mexico, or points further south, it’s not uncommon to find organic veggies in the supermarket that were grown by some agribusiness that was willing and able to pay the racketeer for an organic certification.
I read this article about new legislation banning GMO from a county in Oregon this morning. This would never happen anywhere in my state, Missouri. There are too many growers who are using GM seed. They have invested too much to change unless there is a damn good reason to do so, which there really isn’t (so far, sorry to say). Though, since the USDA and other regulating bodies have made organic certification requirements, maybe there should be a GM labeling requirement
Personally, I’m not really opposed to GMOs on the basis that they’ve been genetically modified. I’m opposed to the use of most chemicals they’ve been engineered to resist. However, it’s my understanding is that these crops are more productive, last longer in transit and on the shelf, and thus cost less per acre. With that knowledge, would I pick GM over organic?
When it comes right down to it, yes. I will buy GM food from a local grower before I’ll pick up anything that’s ‘certified organic’ and grown far away. My first priority is local, organic is secondary. The biggest part of being locivorous (I made that up), is doing business with people who are physically closest to you. If that means trading some of my garden’s bounty for that of a neighbor’s, that’s ideal. If it means shopping at the town’s farmers’ market, that’s great. If it means buying from the supermarket and the little card says ‘locally grown’, I might bug the manager to tell me exactly where, but that’s still good. If it says ‘Produce of Mexico’, I’ll leave it on the shelf, and probably still bug the manager to tell him he should carry more locally grown food.
What do you think about genetically modified organisms for food? Do you think they’re safe? Do you think the pesticides and herbicides they’ve been designed to withstand are safe?