Organic vs. Local: What’s the difference?

Lindsay Bridges

| 2 min read

Many people aren’t aware of the difference between organic and local food. In TIME Magazine’s recent poll, 23% of people think that local produce is always organic, but in reality, local produce does not have to follow the same regulations as organic produce. So which one is healthier? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for in your produce.
For those who are trying to decide between organic and local, here are a few facts about each to help make the decision a little easier:
Organic Produce:
  • Does not contain chemicals and has little to no pesticides
  • Can be purchased in bulk – if there’s something you like to eat a lot of, the better option would be organic
  • Organic farms help create jobs
Local Produce:
  • Contains more nutrients
  • It’s fresh – local food is harvested the day before it’s sold, making it hard for other products to compete
  • Costs less
One idea to consider is using EWG’s list of the top 10 most pesticide-laden foods as a basis for deciding organic or local. If a food is high in pesticides it may be a better idea to buy organic.
There are pros and cons to buying both local and organic produce. If you’re looking for fresher, cost friendly food then local would be your best option. If you’re looking for produce with little to no chemicals or GMOs then organic would be the better option. So next time you’re deciding between the two, take these facts into consideration to help make the decision a little bit easier.
Photo Credit: Jamie McCaffrey

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