Our Choices Promote Our Values

Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Matt | Posted in Newsletter Articles, Notes & News

The Real Value!

There is a growing awareness that the value of food cannot be measured by the price alone. The cheapest foods are often the least healthy, and have the most negative effect on the environment, the economy and the people who grow them. When cheap is valued more than healthy, the result can be poison. By understanding the way our buying choices affect agriculture and commerce, we can select for true value. What this means is evaluating attributes like nutrition, origin, and sustainability. These factors are part of the complex, dynamic relationship between our food choices and the world around us. When we understand this relationship, we make choices resonant with our human values rather than just the price of goods. LifeSource selects for value by carefully choosing our suppliers. We form relationships with businesses that share our goals and values. Through these relationships we make available the best value foods, and at the same time we address problems and effect positive changes.

LifeSource Selects High Value

LifeSource is an ideology driven business. One of our ideals is to select products that have the best value. This concept of value is more complex than just the price at the shelf. As a natural food store, our primary concern is that products do not contain any harmful chemicals (artificial preservatives or food color, for example), and that they contain healthy and nutritious ingredients. But there are several other aspects that factor into our decisions. We hold sustainability as an important value, so we consider whether a food was grown organically, how far the food travels to reach us, the production facilities, the welfare of the farmers and workers and the total environmental and social costs of production. When we choose to carry foods that are organic, and fair trade or GROW certified, we know the people who produce our food benefit economically, and aren’t subjected to unfair labor practices, unhealthy chemical exposure or economic exploitation.

The Non GMO Project

LifeSource strongly supports food products being tested and certified as containing no GMOs. GMOs are plants that are genetically modified to create a new attribute. For example, GMO corn is modified to withstand the herbicide Roundup. The first Non GMO certified products came to our shelves early last year and over the coming years more and more products will get this certification. Look for the Non-GMO Project label on your foods. Common foods that may be genetically modified include sugar from sugar beets, soy products, canola and cottonseed oil, corn and products made from corn, and surprisingly, Hawaiian papayas.

Organic And Local

Teal Creek Farm: one of our direct suppliers of local and organic produce

By carrying products from Organically Grown Company (OGC), Hummingbird Wholesale, and other distributors who care, LifeSource assures real value. We support an economic system from which everyone benefits. We support locally grown products, the local economy, a healthy environment and we directly encourage local farmer/distributor partnerships. Each one of us can make buying choices that become economic incentives to move towards sustainable organic food production.

OGC and Hummingbird Wholesale are distributors that supply us with products that embody real value. Their economic encouragement helps sustainable organic agriculture grow and thrive in the WillametteValley by helping local farmers transition to organic food production. Certified organic by Oregon Tilth, OGC unites organic family farms under the Ladybug brand, allowing them to efficiently distribute fresh produce to stores like us. Hummingbird is a distributor that assists local farms and businesses by helping them meet the demand for organic grains, beans and other local crops. By offering to buy seed for farmers, guaranteeing the market for their crops and distributing their product, Hummingbird helps farmers transition to organic production with less economic uncertainty.

Good Pasture and Local Meats

Willamette Valley Cheese Company’s herd of pasture raised cows

With a climate perfect for grass production, the Willamette valley is an ideal location to grow animals for meat. With the abundant rainfall and fertility of the local region, there is no shortage of premium silage and grass for animal feed. It requires more resources to grow farm animals for meat production than an equivalent amount of grain, so there is a legitimate need for wise use of these resources. Of any region, this one is well suited for sustainable farming of food products like beef, pork, bison, sheep and poultry. When animals are raised in fertile pastures, they convert grass into healthy natural meats that are demonstrably more nutritious than that from grain fattened conventionally raised animals. By supporting these farms, consumers enjoy the best quality, flavor and nutrition, at the same time reinforcing the economic incentive toward sustainable production.

Photo by: Scarygami

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