Local vs. Organic: More Important? | Lexicon of Sustainability | PBS Food

Local vs. Organic


What’s more important, that your food is local … or organic? Edwin Marty of Alabama’s Jones Valley Urban Farm and Jay Martin of Provident Organic Farms in Bivalve, Maryland explain that “organic certification or a piece of paper will never insure that you’re getting good food. You have to know your farmer.” Which is why they believe in the motto, “Local First, Certification Second.”

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Food Terms

“Local brings you back into a relationship with the source of your food, with the land, the animals, the plants, the farmers, and with each other.”
– Douglas Gayeton, LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America

Food grown or made without the use of artificial chemicals.

Local Food System
“A regional food system is one that supports long-term connections between farmers and consumers while meeting the economic, social, health and environmental needs of communities in a region. A food system includes everything associated with growing, processing, storing, distributing, transporting and selling food. A food system is local when it allows food producers and their customers to interact face-to-face; regional systems serve larger geographical areas, often within a state or metro area.”
– Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Face certification
“A direct contact between farmer and consumer that creates an environment for trust and faith.”
– Douglas Gayeton, LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America

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Featured in the Film

Jay Martin
Provident Organic Farm
Bivalve, Maryland
An organic grower with over 20 years of organic farming experience, Jay oversees Provident Organic Farm, a CSA that serves over 100 families.

Edwin Marty
E.A.T. South
Montgomery, Alabama
Having worked on sustainable farming projects around the world, Edwin is the director of E.A.T. South, which encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast.

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