My first closer look in ecologically cultivated food was not very positive. In order to prevent allergy to my first child I bought a package of organic rolled oats. This oatmeal tasted good until we came back home after two weeks holidays…I opened the pantry door and a swarm of flying insects attacked towards me. Oh no! All our grains and flours were stored in this pantry and now everything was spoiled by those insects. That’s why for some years I never bought any organic foodstuffs…What I learned was to keep and storage the grains and flours in airtight containers. Today I hardly think about this not so amusing memory, but it certainly became clear that the oat was never sprayed against pests…
Is organic food environmentally friendly? Nowadays there are about 1,500 to 2,000 organic food products sold in shops in Finland. But where do they come from? When I popped in our local grocery store, I noticed that there were organic apples and raisins from the USA. Is this eco-friendly? What are the benefits for the environment, if organic food has to be transported all over the world? And do we in Finland really need to eat organic apples transported from the USA? I’d rather eat organic apples from Poland. But anyhow I prefer buying organic raisins than non-organic raisins.
On the other hand, is organic farming environmentally friendlier than non-organic farming? Organic production is less environmentally damaging than conventional production, when comparing cultivated areas. Still, conventional production is environmentally more efficient. Moreover it is said that organic food is not more nutritious than conventional food. I think that much more research needs to be done so that cultivation is environmentally friendlier and safer to people. I’m surprised that there are no ready-made solutions yet.
So how this affects my shopping habits? Little… As a mother of three kids there are two things which I consider when buying food: origin and price. I favor Finnish food and low prices. This week after reading about organic farming, I made a decision that I will always buy organic food when the price is not considerably higher than in non-organic food. So far I have bought organic raisins (from the USA!), organic Finnish milk and oatmeal. As a parent I hope that my little example will show my children that even little steps are important.
To sum up my experience’s influence on my buying decisions; I’m still quite suspicious and want always to check all the details of the food products before buying.
What about you? What is important to you when you buy food?