Monday, 28 May 2007

7000 miles from home-or when does organic food stop being organic?

When does organic food stop being organic?
I wrote on 13 March about organic onions for sale in Tesco that had travelled 7000 miles from Argentina.
My concern was that air freighted food that had travelled this huge distance was not truly sustainable since the carbon emissions needed to get it to us were massive. For me 'organic' is about achieving a balance with nature that is not only good for me, but good for the environment. My dilemma was - should I buy this kind of 'organic' produce at all or buy local, non-organic vegetables? We've resolved it by using fewer onions and buying from our local shop when only non-EU organic onions are available.
I was pleased to hear on the radio yesterday that our Soil Association has weighed into this argument, questioning whether 'organic' status should be given to this kind of air-freighted import.
My view is that it shouldn't. Think global, act local seems to say it all.
So, the answer to my own question is that organic food stops being organic when it has had to be air-freighted thousands of miles.
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