Once upon a time, “going organic” was synonymous with eating locally grown produce while it was in season. The distance from field to plate was negligible, the ecological footprint small. But as organic caught on as a consumer trend, local farms couldn’t keep up with the demand from a growing base of consumers who wanted their organic strawberry-rhubarb pie in January, their hothouse tomatoes shipped by refrigerated truck in November. Then a funny thing happened: the philosophical underpinnings of the organic food industry collapsed underneath the weight of its own success. The agribusinesses gobbled up the smaller outfits, outsourcing production to gigantic overseas farms. In the past five years companies such as Nestle, Kellogg, Heinz, Dole and Chiquita have all bought or created organic brands. And now, Kraft, the multinational that brought you shrink-wrapped processed cheese and macaroni in a box, has thrown its hat into the organic ring.
The result? Organically labelled yoghurt and bananas fly off supermarket shelves and into the shopping carts of environmentally conscious consumers, even though such products travel the same number of kilometres in refrigerated trucks, spewing the same amount of fossil fuels from their exhaust pipes as their “non-organic” counterparts - - sometimes even more, if they’ve been grown in gas-powered greenhouses. Bill McKibben was one of the first authors to sound the alarm about global warming when he wrote The End of Nature back in 1989. In his newest book, Deep Economy, he writes that the average bite of organic food travels even farther than the average bite of non-organic food. Geneva Rae, a policy analyst for the Canada West Foundation, has pegged the average number of food miles for one kilogram of organic chocolate at 8,598 kilometres. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.
South African blog, Urbansprout, isn't letting that bother them. :::[10 reasons to go organic]
Tags global warming, climate change, organic