Organic Food

Organic Food

Will organic free trade really do a world of good?

We're all for trading organic food with the European Union, but let's not forget about food miles.

Organic food is not always sustainable food

Good food, as we've come to know it in that last few years, has a few characteristics: It's local. It's grown using responsible, land-loving techniques, like crop rotations and polycultures. And it's organic, raised without chemical fertilizers and poison pesticides. At one point, “organic” was shorthand for all of that, because the same people who cared enough to grow their vegetables with manure cared about environmental sustainability and tended to be local. But now “organic” can be shorthand only for adherence to a certain set of rules that outlaw certain concentrations of certain types of fertilizers and pesticides, and as the New York Times points out, it sometimes doesn't mean much else.

Food

Oh, SNAP! Grow gardens with food stamps

A few years ago, back when she still had a job in the natural-foods industry, “my kids only got the best in terms of food,” said Corbyn Hightower, a mother of three who now lives outside Sacramento. Then, she said, “we lost everything, and we really started having to compromise.” Hightower signed up for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. When she looked through the information pamphlet she received, she found out that SNAP benefits can be used to buy seeds and plants, not just food. So she went to Whole Foods, bought some seeds, and …