As a Food Blogger I found this report to be informative. It's as important as reading every ingredient on a label. If you try to buy Organic, this is important to know. We should all know where our food comes from , how it was grown and what other additives it contains.
Organically Grown vs. Locally Grown:
The organic and local movements are each respectively awesome. But they’re different things, and with more and more people focused on purchasing foods that are one or both for different reasons, it’s important that people do not confuse the labels.
But a new research study by the University of Florida says confusion between the two terms is happening — nearly one in five consumers confuses the two terms.
According to a report on the study, “Hayk Khachatryan , a UF food and resource economics assistant professor, worked with Ben Campbell and others to survey 2,511 people online in the U.S. and Canada in 2011 and found 17 percent thought the terms were interchangeable.”
This isn’t great, because it’s really important to understand that these terms are not the same at all. “If consumers can distinguish between local and organic, then by buying organic, they will be able to reduce their exposure to synthetic pesticides,” said Khachatryan. “However, there is no guarantee that organic is grown locally. Before reaching the consumer, organic produce may travel long distances, which involves some level of environmental footprint.”
In addition, while local is great for different reasons, it does not mean it faces the same regulations as organic food. According to the study, “another finding showed 22 percent incorrectly thought ‘local’ means non-genetically modified.” Unfortunately, just because a food is grown within a certain distance from where you live does not mean it’s not GMO — nor does it necessarily mean it wasn’t sprayed with pesticides just like conventional foods.
Here’s the deal. If something is labeled as both organic and local, great — you’ve got yourself a winner. But note that organic doesn’t mean local and local doesn’t mean organic. Arming yourself with this knowledge will help you to make better buying decisions in the name of better health and sustainable food options — hopefully together at the same time.