Slate takes a look at, "[t]he dark secrets of the organic-food movement" with Is Whole Foods Wholesome? As a regular Whole Foods shopper, I am often irritated by what's available in their produce section (apples from the west coast, or even farther) vs. what's available a few hundred yards away at the Union Square greenmarket (apples from upstate New York). Ideally I'd like to eat local and organic, but often I'll take local over organic, if I can get it. The article sums up why quite nicely:
Let's say you live in New York City and want to buy a pound of tomatoes in season. Say you can choose between conventionally grown New Jersey tomatoes or organic ones grown in Chile. Of course, the New Jersey tomatoes will be cheaper. They will also almost certainly be fresher, having traveled a fraction of the distance. But which is the more eco-conscious choice? In terms of energy savings, there's no contest: Just think of the fossil fuels expended getting those organic tomatoes from Chile.
Now that spring is nearly here, I'll be shopping at the greenmarket more often. I'm looking forward to a summer full of local and organic veggies. And a summer of meeting the people who grow my food.