By Amy Halfmann

I love grocery pickup. Order online, someone fights the crowds for you, the babies sleep while another someone loads the groceries.

What could be the problem? Accidentally selecting the wrong groceries.

Sometimes online shopping can be deceiving. I thought I was buying plain ole yellow squash and zucchini. Except when I got home, I found I had mistakenly chosen organic yellow squash.

Not that I have a problem eating organic.

My pet peeve is that these little guys come in unnecessary packaging, which seems ironic that GMO-haters find this excess waste okay, are grown in Mexico and cost more than triple what the conventionally-grown zucchini does.

The unnecessary packaging and organic-claim-to-fame causes a huge price increase—largely because organic is harder to grow due to its susceptibility to disease, pests and soil factors.

These two baby yellow squash were $3.49, while the two zucchini were only $0.99.

How is this sustainable? How are families who are already on a tight grocery budget supposed to afford and feed their families with this kind of price gauging?

Organic and conventionally-grown crops offer the SAME nutritional values. They are both a great source of vitamin C, fiber, low calorie, fat-free, contribute to a nutritionally-dense diet, offer color to meals and provide phytochemicals and antioxidants.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with them being grown in Mexico either. I think it’s great that we have trade agreements with foreign countries to ensure we have access to fresh produce year round.

I just wonder how the U.S. government can truly regulate and ensure that these were grown organically.

That raises another question. How can we 100 percent guarantee that any organically-labeled crop is truly organic? Or is it just a marketing scheme?

Furthermore, why not buy local when possible, regardless of how it’s grown? By purchasing from local farmers and ranchers, you are supporting the local economy, which will eventually benefit you in the end. Now, local doesn’t necessarily have to mean the guys down the street, but how about just a U.S. farmer?

Lots of food for thought here. Would love to hear your thoughts on online grocery shopping and organic and conventional foods. Let’s get some good dialogue going!


Amy Halfmann is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She farms in Glasscock County with her husband, Marcus, and their kids. They grow cotton, wheat and hay. They also raise cattle and have a custom farming business.

Learn more about Amy and Marcus.