Slow food vs. organic: The final smackdown

Prune that noxious weed! There is no "competition" between those who want to eat locally grown produce, and those who prefer organic food.

Published May 3, 2007 4:00PM (EDT)

Bonehead headline of the day:

"Eat local movement competes with organic craze."

And then later, in the piece itself, which provides no actual evidence that there is "competition" between the slow food and organic movements:

"As the organic movement continues its march toward the mainstream, a journey that includes feedlots that house thousands of dairy cows, produce imported from China and even organic Pam cooking spray, it is losing some of its earliest followers."

Let's nip this in the locally grown, organically fertilized bud, right now. The organic movement and the slow food movement are not at cross purposes. The organic movement is not "losing" followers to a rival. The most you could say is that organic acolytes, distrustful of federal organic standards that are constantly under pressure from agribusiness interests, are striving for a higher standard, one that incorporates organic goals with sustainability and the enrichment of local communities.

The ideal solution, I would bet, for most people who are interested in either the slow food lifestyle or the organic movement, would be to eat organic food grown locally. That's the goal. Synergy, not competition.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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