While perusing my bloglines yesterday I came across an interesting article entitled, “Why Not to Buy Organic”. The article described how the term “Organic” has just become a way for many corporations to charge more for a product. For example, the term “Free Range” just means that the animal had access to the outside. As the author puts it:

“It doesn’t mean they have ever been there (outside). They just have to have access to it. And if they do end up getting out of their cell, nothing says the outside has to be lush green pasture like most consumers imagine. It can simply be a 2′ x 2′ patch of bare dirt. That is government certified free range.”

There are a number of other instances of organic labels really meaning nothing about the quality of the product or the company. I write this post not to say “Buy Organic, or you’re a terrible person who cares nothing for your family or your health!!”. I hate it when people do that! But instead, the meaning is that some times buying something labeled organic only hurts your pocketbook, with no added benefit over non-organic. The more I research about this trend toward organic and “whole foods” (what exactly does that mean, anyway?) I think it comes down to simplicity. Just trying to eat more stuff as fresh as I can (think: out of my own garden being the best thing, with local farmers markets the second best, and the grocery store the next best), and trying to be aware of the practices of at least a few of the companies who’s products I buy. I really want to be better about buying products from companies who understand the sweet, sweet balance of economics and corporate responsibility (not only to their communities, but also to their employees). If you’ve got any companies to recommend (other than MLMs please), I’d love to hear about them. 

Ready to try some truly fresh food? A quick search on LocalHarvest.org reveals the following local farmers markets. If you peruse the listings you can also find goat farmers, local beef, milk, and eggs:

 Wasilla Farmers Market (Wasilla, AK)       

Town Site Park behind the Wasilla Museum
Wasilla, AK 99654

When and Where  

(June-September)
Wednesday, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 

 Alaskan Hen House (wasilla, AK) 
Happy and healthy hens produce lots of delicous and healthy eggs. Our birds roam freely during the day but are fenced in nightly to protect them from predators. With the exception of winter when predators are many and they must be kept under netting. We do not support use of antibiotics, steroids or other growth/egg inhancers in our flock. We feed as natural a diet as possible with lots of locally grown oats and barley. (more…)     

 Domer Family Farm (Palmer, AK)   
Let us grow it for you! Organic fresh vegetables, hanging flowering baskets, including Marie’s unique Patriotic theme hanging baskets. You can order in advance and we will grow it for you. Now is the time to think of what you want to can or freeze for the winter. Huge choice of varieties! Lots of Oriental vegetables! From Palmer on the Old Glenn, we are 1 mile straight up Smith Road on Lazy Mountain. (more…)

 

You can also check out Palmer’s Friday Flings:

Alaska Grown Produce and Plants ~ Local Arts and Crafts ~ Live Music and Entertainment

Every Friday
May 16 – August 15
11 am to 6 pm
At the Pavilion across from the Visitor Information Center in Palmer

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