Monday, March 24, 2008

Organic Produce

Over the last few months PeterC and I have been moving toward more "organic food" whenever possible. We started with meat. We buy grass fed "organic" meat from a local farm by the quarter cow. We began buying vegetables and fruit at the local grocery store which are labelled "organic" as well. We started this because, at the time, we noticed that a lot of the produce available was from other countries and felt that going organic would at least limit the number of pesticides that coat our food. We don't worry about all produce, but definitely produce where we eat the outer layers.

We also prefer to buy Canadian as much as possible but have had a hard time finding any Canadian produce especially organic produce. It turns out Canada imports a lot of food, which could be grown locally, from the USA, Chile, and Argentina. It might make sense in the winter but not during our own growing season. Luckily there is currently a movement among grocers to bring in as much local produce as possible during growing season. But, there is a definite lack of Canadian organic produce available even during our own growing season.

We recently made a bulk purchase from Homestead Organics. They are a supply house and resource centre for farmers and consumers who are wanting to go organic. They sell seed stock to the farmers and grain, legumes and other long storing items to the consumer. As we were loading the order into the truck I noticed that only one item of the eight was Canadian grown, and it wasn't the wheat. Canada is a major exporter of wheat but apparently we can't get organic wheat grown in this country. It is late winter so maybe, just maybe, it is a simple timing issue.

Perhaps the Canadian wheat is already used up but something tells me it just isn't available. Wheat is one of those things that,when dried correctly, can be stored almost indefinitely. So, you would think that Canadian wheat would be available year round. Instead, the wheat we bought was packaged in Canada but was a product of the USA. Do we just not have anyone willing to take the extra steps required to be certified organic in this country?

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