My Humble Fruit Salad Dilemma: Local vs. Vegan vs. Organic

The Fruit Salad that started it all:

Serves 2
(all organic)
1 pear, chopped
½ banana, chopped
Juice of ½ orange
Sprinkle with raw sunflower seeds, hemp nuts, flax, and goji berries

Obviously, no local or seasonal fruit in this dish, except for the flax (for which the producer either had to drive to the farmer’s market to get picked up by local organic store lady, or he brought to her, which I then had to drive to, to purchase–and now that I think of it, I’m not sure if he grew it himself or just processed it). I did try to eat local and seasonal this winter, which meant I ate a lot more animal products than usual (it’s the most readily available), lots of cooked root vegetables, apples, and some greenhouse grown greens (lots of spinach). I still ate the occasional orange, and brown rice was still a staple in my diet. This kind of eating does fit the winter months, but I did not feel my best. My digestive system (colitis) doesn’t do well on that kind of diet. I tried to take probiotics and fish oil capsules (from god knows where) to help, but I still ended up having to go back on meds for a while (what is the energy cost of that?). This little experiment has showed me that I do best on my old diet, which is almost vegan, with lot of fresh fruit and veggies. I guess it’s back to vegan stir-frys for me (or at least “healthier”). This led me to question the pros and cons of a local diet versus vegan diet.

Here are some of the articles I found:

The localvore’s dilemma

On Soy Verses Meat

Environmental Tips for Individuals: Your Food


Can you reduce your carbon footprint with a vegan diet?

Food Riots Begin: Will You Go Vegetarian?

The Feminist in My Kitchen



I’m still at a loss. It’s so confusing. As much I like the idea, I don’t have time to grow my own garden and preserve enough for the winter and make everything from scratch and eat healthfully and have food that tastes good. I mean, I love good food, but not that much.


My tofu veggie stir-fry: organic, but not local. Good choice or pure evil?



Filed under Carbon Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Diet, Environment, Food, Green, Localvore, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

7 responses to “My Humble Fruit Salad Dilemma: Local vs. Vegan vs. Organic

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  2. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. For a humble fruit salad, that looks incredible… I’m just saying 🙂

  4. hi there,
    just came across this post through a google search. i’m writing a local vegan cookbook right now and certainly coming up against some obstacles, just as you seem to be facing here.

    thanks for your thoughts, and for the links to those other articles.

  5. hey there!
    thanks for your thoughts on this and for the links. i’m currently writing a vegan cookbook with a local foods focus (it’ll be called *Ripe from Around Here*) and contending with some similar challenges.

  6. I’m lucky to live near a huge year-round Farmer’s Market. I used to be stricter about organic, but now that I’m unemployed, I just go for tasty and local. If I buy dairy or meat, it’s local and organic, grass-fed, humanely raised. Occasionally I’ll buy bananas or a pineapple, these are rarely organic, never local.

  7. I’m so glad you made this post! I’m having exactly the same dilemma. All the links you posted were really helpful!

    I think personally I am going to continue to be vegan, making local choices whenever possible and fully-utilizing farmer’s markets. As far as the organic debate goes I like this handy guide which illustrates when organic is worth the extra cost:

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