Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Economies of scale?
All this coverage of the E. coli outbreak that's been linked to fresh spinach has defenders of traditional (i.e. corporate) farming pointing the finger at organic farmers, saying their products are less, not more, safe than their conventional conterparts. But is that really the lesson we should be taking away from the recent E. coli outbreak?
Of course not. The lesson we should learn is not that organic produce isn't safe, but rather, buy local and know your grower. As large corporate farms begin to dominate in supermarkets, let's not forget that eating local is a better alternative. For example, I just learned that Earthbound Farms, a large organic producer under Natural Selection Foods, now ships over 1 millions cases of packaged vegetables per week. Obviously, many of us live in climes where it's nearly impossible to buy local produce in the winter, but we should take advantage of our opportunities in the warmer months.
The Grand Rapids Press, thankfully, did cover the story from that angle, as did NPR.