Here at SPUD, we’ve long been known for sustainable produce. Often, that means organically grown produce. In fact, the vast majority of produce we sell is organically grown, whether that means certified organic farms or smaller farms that are not certified organic, but use organic (or better) practices.
Sometimes, however, organic is not the most sustainable option. Sustainability has many aspects – environmental, economic, health, social – and any given product must be judged on a combination of factors to determine the best option.
Case in point: Brussels sprouts. Right now, we’re selling conventional Brussels sprouts. Why?
The reason behind choosing conventional sprouts is actually a conflation of several reasons coming together:
Right now we’re in a perfect storm of organic Brussels sprouts badness. They are low quality, coming from California, and super expensive. And due to the festive season, Brussel sprout demand is skyrocketing.
Even at the best of times, organic Brussels sprouts are tricky to grow. If you’ve had them, (or grown them yourself) chances are you’ve noticed that they’re more prone to bug infestation than many other veggies. Their layers make it especially difficult to get rid of pests that find their way into the sprout, so washing them doesn’t help either. Due to weather conditions in California, the organic sprouts are especially buggy this year.
If this were a different produce item, or if it were a different time of year, we would probably just remove it from the website. But. It’s December. Even people who don’t like Brussels sprouts insist on having them for Christmas dinner. So we needed to find an alternative to the California organic sprouts.
Luckily, conventional non-GMO Brussels sprouts are still available from local farms in BC. These sprouts are higher in quality, travel a shorter distance to get to us, and are much less expensive. For us, this is a far better solution than buying buggy, expensive, organic Brussels sprouts from California.
The fact that we’re selling conventional sprouts right now doesn’t mean that our commitment to organic farming has wavered, it just means that providing the best option to our customers is our main priority.
We know our customers are as passionate about sustainable food as we are, and our commitment to you is that we will always be as transparent as possible about the reasoning behind our choices. We believe that everyone deserves to make informed choices about what they eat, so we will never try to pass any product off as something it’s not. If we ever bring in a conventional produce item we will fully explain the reasoning behind the choice in the product description, and we will clearly label it as such.