Most people are aware that buying organic food can be better for them. In fact, the demand is so high that some supermarkets are now importing organic food from as far away as China. But more and more shoppers are also looking for local products and produce.
When it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, which should you buy, local or organic? The executive director of the Food Safety and Sustainability Center at Consumer Reports, Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., says: “Ideally, you want to buy organic food that is locally grown. Local reduces your environmental footprint. Food that doesn’t travel so far can be less processed. It doesn’t have to be preserved as much, it’s fresher, and there’s more variety.”
“Local” is definitely resonating with shoppers. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that buying local is a top priority. Supporting local farmers is as much a concern to people as reducing their pesticide exposure.
Despite that, Consumer Reports says there are certain foods you should try to buy organic, including apples, peaches, strawberries, and spinach. And if you have the opportunity, talk to farmers to suss out their growing practices.
If you’re looking for local, sustainable food nearby, Consumer Reports suggests checking out a website called EatWellGuide.org. You enter your ZIP code and what you’re looking for, whether it’s markets, restaurants, or even food trucks.
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