So to answer the question, what is more important, eating local or eating organic? We answer both are equally important.
As we transition to a local economy, with a strong agricultural base, we have to be very careful not to pollute the sensitive, one-of-a-kind eco-system we call home here in Central Florida. This is why we only source locally from trusted, agriculturally best practices, and environmentally responsible farmers and artisans to ensure long-term preservation of not only our personal health, but the health and vitality of Central Florida’s unique and sensitive eco-system.
We skip unnecessary food processing and packaging, keeping the waterways and air cleaner by avoiding plastics and other over-packaging. We offer certified organic and all-natural products. If a farm doesn’t carry a Certified Organic label, we take the time and effort to personally research and site inspect the farm before selling their products. Nothing beats being able to know your growers. We can look our growers in the eye and know they’re using sustainable, non-toxic practices in the creation of our food.
The longest running, top economic sector for Florida’s economy is Eco-tourism. People flock from all over the world to enjoy our beaches, forests, swamps, rivers, lakes and marine wetlands. Most of us living here are transplant, drawn to the Orlando area for not only jobs, but the great weather and beautiful landscapes.
So called ‘Conventional Agriculture’ employs the use of synthetic chemicals for pesticide and petroleum based chemicals for nutrients. Huge tracks of forest are clear cut, and the barren land subsequently Terra formed into a terrain capable of robotic planting, by huge computerized machines, of mono-culture crops.
The run off from all this ‘conventional’ activity pollutes surrounding waterways, killing off bacteria and fungus with disruptions all the way up the food chain to giant herbivore like our beloved Manatee, to big predators like our alligators.
Lake Apopka, the third largest in the state of Florida, located just northwest of Orlando is fed by a natural spring, rainfall, and stormwater runoff. It is that runoff, polluted by toxic ‘conventional’ agriculture practices that has destroyed the lake which throughout the 1940’s was one of Central Florida’s main attractions. Over 60 years and millions in restorations efforts have yet to restore Lake Apopka.
At the mouth of the Missippi River in the Gulf of Mexico exists now a huge DEAD ZONE estimated to be 8,543 mi², an oxygen deprived area the size of New Jersey that can not support any life what so ever. All this death caused by ‘conventional’ agriculture.
We can’t afford any more collateral damage to Florida’s sensitive wetlands, so we support & work with only practicing organic farms & vendors.
Long-distance transport produces a tremendous amount of pollution through the fossil fuels used. The exhaust gases from petrol engines contains CO and NOx, hydrocarbons, some SO2 and solid particles, while diesel engines emit less toxic gases (e.g. 20 times less CO, 8 times less hydrocarbons) but many more particles. contributing to global climate change, acid rain, smog and air pollution.
That is why the majority of our farmers are located within a 50-mile radius of our store, which means we avoid shipping things in from long distances and evener other states (and other countries — imagine the jet fuel!) and therefore, avoid creating the pollution that would occur. We also limit our delivery radius for that reason.
The refrigeration required to keep produce, dairy and meats from spoiling also burn excessive energy from the power grid fuel by Coal Fired Power Plants and Nuclear Power here locally in Central Florida. As seen with the on going major crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, Nuclear power is not as safe and reliable as the industry has led us to believe.
When it comes to coal power, large amounts of both gases and particles are emitted into the air when this fossil fuel is burnt at OUC’s Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center located in South East Orlando. The gases emitted include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) and the dust contains heavy metals such as lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and cadmium (Cd).
How much coal are we burning locallly? Check out this video to get the picture.
The ‘convential agriculture’ players are running some pretty crazy mad science experients as we speak and eat.
More, and more, the seed farmers plant are Genetically Modified by multinational corporation, with direct ties to the military industrial complex.
These GMO food crops are enginnered to be RoundUp Ready, meaning they can withstand huge doses of Monsanto’s chemical herbicide.
They are engineering the new crops to as GMO biochemical factories that create toxic chemical pesticides and pharmaceutical drugs at the cellular level. Literally ever single cell of the food crop organism creating toxic pesticides designed to kill bugs, or powerful drugs for pharmaceutical company profits. All this deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA.
They are engineering food crops to stop creating viable seeds. So called terminator technology or suicide seeds will rendered us powerless to save our own seeds for the next planting season.
Here at Homegrown Co-op we do our best to keep any Genetically Modified Organism out of our system. We can’t afford to be experimenting with our health and children’s future eating these untested food substitutes.
It is difficult to know if you are truely avoiding GMO products because the biotec industry has spent billions lobbying the FDA to not require, and in some cases prohibit contents from being labeled GMO free. This is a serious issues and need your attention and personal lobby to fix.