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Eat Oganic!

Organic really is better!  Despite the commercial growers claims otherwise, there is now enough evidence to scientifically prove that organic food is better for all living things.
Organic milk 'higher in vitamins' (read article)
Organic vegetables may contain 'higher levels of health-giving chemicals' (read article)
Organic farms 'benefit wildlife' (read article)
Organic farming 'produces more food' (read article)
Organic food is 'better for the heart' (read article)
Children that eat organically grown produce have reduced levels of Organophosphorus Pesticides in their Urine (read PDF article)
Organic crops produce 'up to 100 times better' than conventional in drought & flood years (read article)

Sustainable vs Organic

While many of us define the term "organic" the old fashioned way     -- to mean largely local, small and family-owned operations -- this is no longer the case. To make more informed choices, also look at:

Starbuckafication -- Is the food grown by large corporate-owned farms that use highly mechanized methods and distribute through centralized, large transportation systems?  If so, it not only jeapodarizes local farms by driving down costs, it also negates tenets of the sustainability
Anyone who has shopped at Costco knows that it is now possible to buy organic food more cheaply from China, Argentina and Chile, but these foods are not really sustainable.
Remember to consider the whole food stream -- from genetic inputs to seed, to the quality of labor, to harvest and shipping and packaging and the waste stream, to the miles the food has to travel to get to your table.

Choose Local

Since there are so many choices floating around out there, how to choose between organic or local? Here are some guidelines:

Whenever possible, buy, eat and cook local -- i.e. within the foodshed.
If not locally produced, then organic. This choice generally protects the environment and your body from chemicals and hormones.
If not organic, then family farm. If it comes down to Knudsen versus The Philo Apple Farm (who makes amazing apple juice), choose the latter.
If not family farm, then local business. Coffee and wheat products may be difficult. At least support a local coffee-roasting house and local bakery such as Franny's Cup & Saucer.
If not a local business, then go for terroir. Purchase foods that express the region they are grown in and support the local agriculture. If you're buying Brie, by it from Brie, France; if Parmesan cheese, from Parma, Italy.

Support Local Farms & Producers!

Our local farms work hard to bring the community excellent fruits and vegetables, and putting money in farmers' hands is the goal of Arena Market & Cafe. 
Our local farmers sustain the land & work with the environment.
Buying their produce helps to enable them to continue farming, make farm improvements, pay for year-round labor & keep money in our local economy
Local farmers offer seasonal foods, so you are eating according to the natural growing season of our area
Fewer food miles are expended getting nutrition to you!
And don't forget---local food is fresher, which means it tastes better!






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