Health and healthy eating has become such a popular trend, that in this modern day and age we keep hearing these two phrases- eat local and eat organic. But what are they actually? What does it mean? Which is better for you? Here we show you the benefits of each category and we leave it for you to decide… so local food vs organic food– which is better? Deciding which you prefer is a personal choice and depends on your own health, environmental and social priorities/responsibilities.
What is the difference?
Do you want to know Local food vs Organic Food: Which is better for you? Well let’s start with the basics. Defining each of these types of foods.
What is local food? There is no single definition of local food but the main point is that it is within a close distance of where you buy it. Local food refers to the food which is known to be produced within 100 miles from its point of sale and consumption. People nowadays, are seeking fresh, local produce rather than imported foods.
Organic food is the production of foods in farming without using man-made pesticides, fertilisers, growth regulators and GMOs. This means to be labelled “organic”, products must follow a strict guideline (depending on the country of origin) to be qualified.
So the difference? Local food is in your area and may not be free of pesticides and man made additives, whilst organic food is clear of these.
What are the benefits of local food and organic food?
This could be an ongoing debate for what can be named the “better” option. As mentioned earlier, it all depends on personal choice, but we can list some benefits of each and leave it for you to choose which suits you best.
Local food vs organic food
- It is fresh and seasonal so they taste better in most cases.
- You supporting the local community. It’s better than wasting it on transport costs and extra environmental damage
- You are more aware of where your food is coming from. You understand about the produce origins and it is usually an opportunity to learn about the farm it comes from.
- Local foods may contain more nutrients. Indeed, food ripens naturally and when it’s ready to be, rather than being frozen and defrosted or having chemicals which alter the growth and life cycle of the food.
- It reduces transport damage because transportation causes pollution. We fly, drive and ship (usually at least two of these) food, which has a massive impact on the environment. In the opposite, when food is local, it minimises the transportation.
Where can you find local foods? Search around your area for local farmers’ markets/wet markets and supermarkets that supply food from your region.
- Local Food may contain pesticides and additives- Although eating local reduces transportation pollution, the local food may not be organic and have the added artificial chemicals you try to avoid
- The selection of products is smaller. Indeed, you are only able to choose what your local community decides to supply. There is also a limit because the food depends on seasonal conditions. Read our article about seasonal food to learn more!
- It can be expensive. These local foods are supported by the local community and may require harder labour for fewer amounts of people, which can increase costs.
- Farmers grow organic food using environmentally friendly agriculture. Thus, it reduces the amount of harm towards the environment through its ethical farming methods.
- Implementing this further, it can protect the environment from chemicals and artificial farming methods, which others tend to use.
- Eating organic can promote improved animal conditions by not giving these animals antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal fed probiotics which could be harmful to their wellbeing.
- There’s no GMOs, so the food tastes more authentic and you don’t have to feel unsure about what’s inside.
Where can you find organic food? Shop at this worldwide shipping shop which supplies organic food.
- Organic food isn’t always grown near where it’s distributed. Thus, it requires a lot of travelling (AKA “food miles”) which defeats the environmental purposes when eating organic.
- It is also expensive to buy organic but it worth it in the long run.
- The convenience of organic food can be quite difficult for a busy lifestyle and it sometimes takes more time to find products which are readily available.
So… which is better
Local food vs Organic Food
Weighing out Local food vs Organic Food can help you decide. You need to find your own balance between benefits for you, for the environment and the taste. You can read about our vegan supermarkets list, which provides some organic/local supermarkets you could look at for inspiration! Luckily, the U.K. (particularly London) is expanding on the organic and local food industries to provide shoppers with more options when in stores and supermarkets.