Sunday, June 27, 2010

Local vs. Organic

Local vs. Organic

Let's clear up one issue: There is no such thing as local vs. organic. When it comes to consumer choice, we should be buying local and organic, though for mostly different reasons.
Why We Should Buy Local?

Local is really important as a deep investment into your local economy and developing a relationship with the person who produces your food. Not only do local businesses generate more local income, jobs, and tax receipts, but they also tend to utilize advertizing, banks, and services in the local community. In fact, a dollar spent at a local business turns over seven times in that community; while the same dollar spent at a box store or chain only turns over 2.5 times. Buying locally builds a healthy community on many levels. (For case studies on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of buying local visit the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies). 

Why Buy Organic?

If we converted all tillable acres globally to organic practices, we could sequester up to 40% of all the world's carbon emissions. This is the single largest strategy for mitigating carbon dioxide. There is nothing more significant to help us in our crisis with climate. In the U.S. alone, it would be equivalent to taking 216,000,000 automobiles off the road, or 25% of our country's CO2 emissions. This is most hopeful news out there.

Some might recoil at the organic or even farmer's market prices that are often asked for these products, but remember when we buy organic we are paying the grower for the full price of our food. This true price reflects our power as consumers to support our farmers, who sequester our own personal carbon emission excesses, such as those from our commutes, air-conditioning, and other "necessary" purchases that have been shipped in from off-shore, with sustainable farming practices. And in the production of organic food, unlike conventional chemical agriculture, there are no long-term ecological costs that are yet to be paid for by us or by our descendants.

Buy organic always, and encourage and buy local. Doing so is a direct investment in one of our very few, possible futures.

Guest contributor Tim LaSalle is CEO of Rodale Institute, which is dedicated to researching and educating farmers and consumers about sustainable agriculture.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The benefits of garlic. Its good for more than just cooking!

Since my daughter started going to daycare about a year ago I have been blessed (not so much) with numerous colds. This is something I have always struggled with anyway since someone can walk into a room sick and I am almost definitely going to get it. I recently read about the health benefits of garlic and not long after that I got another cold. I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised."The Doctors Book of Food Remedies" by prevention magazine says "Garlic has been used throughout history for treating virtually every type of infection. Now there is increasing evidence that it can help protect against colds and the flu as well." It also goes on to say that to get the benefits of it you have to eat a lot of it. So everything I ate was covered in garlic and within a day or two I started to feel better. Before you knew it my cold was gone. My husband couldn't sleep in the same room as me (kidding) but my cold was gone.

I am one of those people who always gets worse. Very rarely do I get a cold and just get better on my own. A cold always seems to progress into an upper respiratory infection for me so to get better on my own was a breath of fresh (garlicky) air! Next time your sick, give it a shot. Remember you need lots of it.

Help others get creative...

Those of you who know me know Chloe started at a new daycare a few weeks ago. One of the things I like best about the new school is they are smaller and it is more of a family environment versus very business oriented like her old school. One of my missions is to educate others in all of the possibilities there are in being more environmentally friendly. I mentioned to Chloe's teacher and the owner of the daycare one of my passions of reusing and reducing waste. She was very open to my ideas.

I have accumulated a ton of egg cartons from friends because of my chickens and selling the eggs so I got a few craft ideas together and started working on getting some projects ready for the kids in Chloe's school. I was actually able to provide enough supplies for the entire school (39 kids) not just her class. They were thrilled about the "ready made" project and that it cost them nothing. I was thrilled to share the ideas with them and get such a great response, especially considering I was sharing my passion of "reusing" with them and they were receptive to it. I encourage you to do the same thing. Its great that we reduce our own waste and make positive changes in our own lives but what are you doing to encourage others to do the same?

My first harvest

I received my first half share harvest from Flagler Organics last week and it was awesome! I picked another basket up this week with even more great goodies in it. The half share is definitely plenty for the 3 of us and I am really getting creative now with the veggies I am getting. I am going to be making some zucchini bread this weekend and I cant wait. If you live in the Flagler County area and have not looked into Flagler Organics yet I highly recommend that you do. They have several pick up locations and days in Flagler & Volusia county area. In addition to the fruits and veggies I get in my basket they also sell bread, eggs, ghee and lots of other goodies you can buy when you pick up your basket each week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's official, my mom and I are members of Flagler Organics

I am so excited that my mom and I have finally signed up for a membership with Flagler Organics. Each week I will pick up a basket with a variety of vegetables and fruits, all organic and from local farmers (within the state). If you have not looked into a buyers club or co-op in your area you really should. Here's how Flagler Organics works:

Depending on the season, each share will have a mixture of 6 or 8 vegetables and 5 or 6 fruits.

They have 3 types of memberships.
  1. Full Share Basket
  2. A share is enough food for 4 people who eat fruits and vegetables as a mainstay in their diet.
  3. Half Share Basket
  4. A half share is enough food for 2 people who eat fruits and vegetables as a mainstay in their diet.
  5. Singles Share Basket
  6. Is a little different. A Singles Share Basket has 3 to 4 vegetables and 2 to 3 fruits.
Every Tuesday your share of food will be distributed into a basket.  As a member, you pick up your basket each week and exchange the basket for another the following week. That’s it!  Share and enjoy your food with your family.

If you live in the Flagler/Volusia county area check them out at

To find a buyers club or local co-op/CSA in your area check out

Happy eating!