From the recent Slate article, “Organic Panic: Michelle Obama’s garden and its discontents” by Christopher Beam:
“It’s a charming idea and everything, but it’s not practical,” says Xavier Equihua, who represents the Chilean Exporters Association as well as the Chilean Avocado Committee. The main problem, he says, is that local food is seasonal. For example, avocadoes grow in California during the summer months. Same with grapes. “What happens if you want some grapes during the month of December?” says Equihua. “What are you going to do? Not eat grapes?”
Well, yes. We don’t buy strawberries or tomatoes (unless the supermarket has the ones from the local Hutterite colony greenhouse) in the winter. The main problem isn’t that local food is seasonal. The main problem is that we demand instant gratification in all aspects of our lives, including food. Eating seasonally is sensible, not problematic.
And that’s the real subversive appeal of the Obamas’ organic garden. If it succeeds in shifting public perceptions about organic food, then the market for it may grow. And as with all market shifts, the most successful companies will embrace the organic movement rather than resist it. “For too long, the ag guys have said, If we raise it you’re gonna eat it. You don’t have options,” says Mitchell. “Well, now we have options.”