Not all Whole Foods organic produce is local

Made in China

Fresh, organic produce. Whole Foods built its reputation on that standard. In fact, Whole Foods was the first nationally certified organic grocer in the US. And you certainly pay top-shelf prices for that reputation. (They don’t call it “Whole Paycheck” for nothing!)

But the perception that Whole Foods’ organic enterprise is based on locally grown produce? Well, it isn’t entirely accurate.

Turns out, some of their organic produce is “Made in China.”

I checked the Whole Foods Market website. They still support small, local producers.

But Whole Foods Markets also buys globally to support farmers providing high-quality products worldwide.

“No matter where a product is grown, the same USDA standard is used to evaluate suppliers,” the website states. “Organic standards in China are no different than they are in Brazil, Turkey, Thailand or anywhere else.”

What does this mean for you? Well, it’s a reminder of what “organic” really means.

  • Organic food is produced by farmers who conserve soil and water and use renewable resources.
  • Organic produce is grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or other unnatural processes.
  • Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from antibiotic- and growth hormone-free animals.

But “organic” is not always synonymous with “local.”

Either way, organic food is better for the human body. But there are a few additional benefits to locally grown produce.

First of all, buying local produce is better for the environment because it uses less fuel to transport it. You’re also supporting local farms. And you’re eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, which always taste better.

The best source for locally grown organic produce isn’t Whole Foods. It’s the nearest farmer’s market.