Noah, why do you prefer a Safeway or Albertson's to a small co-op or grocery store? Is it because you like being the anonymous shopper, you like the giant buildings pulsing with wasted energy, the glib and unresponsive staff...You need to reevaluate why you prefer a giant box store before I can really debate you about local organic agriculture. You want to pay 5 cents for an apple from mexico? Go ahead and suck down those pesticides and herbicides, go ahead and feel happy about subjecting those farmers to these chemicals. Your points are not thought out:
1. It is better to support your local economy because that is where you live. Don't you want to support your neighbor, build a relationship with the farmer, recirculate your "hard-earned" cash in your town? this has nothing to do with being "better".
2. There is no harm to the local watershed when a product is farmed organically. None.
3. Fresher vegetables are better for you. There are more enzymes and vitamins. This is a scientific fact.
4. You don't honestly believe this? The farther away a vegetable comes from the more fuel is used in getting it to your plate.
5. The small local organic farm cares about the community and the earth. There is no other reason to get into organic farming. There is not alot of money in it. The farmer might as well work at UPS and get health insurance and a decent wage, rather then work their ass off every day for no money and no insurance.
I said in my blog that the co-ops were started to help the poor get bulk commodities, and now they have turned into rich peoples dietary centers. But I think it's important to support them anyway, the same reason I think it's important to support your community even if you think it's full of assholes. Only you can be the change.