Local vs. Organic Produce: Which is best?

The average meal travels 1200 km from the farm to your plate. That’s quite a trek! All that mileage adds up to increased greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and importantly it will also be significantly less fresh than buying nearer to your home. All that travel time also means added chemicals for preserving the food.

But how does buying local stack up compared to organic produce? Much of the environmental impact of all food production is from the chemicals involved from the pesticides and fertilizers. The use of nitrogen based fertilizers releases nitrous oxide which is 300x more powerful than carbon dioxide for trapping greenhouse gasses. Organic farms typically use compost and manure which actually store carbon in the soil.

Many studies have shown that a “standard” farm uses significantly more energy than an organic farm. Only about 11% of greenhouse emissions from farming come from transportation, how the food is grown makes up the remainder.

When you compare organic is actually better to buy than local, but if you can buy local organic that is by far the best!