Just today, this story came out about farmers markets in California. When NBC did investigative reporting, they bought produce from a number of farmers markets then tested it for pesticides. When many of the items tested positive, they made trips with a member of the Dept. of Agriculture, only to find that farmers sold commercially grown produce they bought from wholesalers and marketed as their own and "pesticide-free" at nearly 24 farmers markets.
We have recently been studying the organic movement, and how in modern times it fails to resemble the idyllic family farm we picture it to be. The surge in popularity of organic products has caused the advent of 'industrial organic' farms that rarely hold or maintain contracts with small, local family farms. To be a small-scale farmer in the 21st century seems impossible, especially when you only sell at farmers markets and may not make enough to sustain your farm, a possible reason for the recent influx of buying inorganic produce from wholesalers and peddling it as your own.
Is it possible to be an organic farmer in the idealistic sense of the word, in the way that we picture it to be? How can we expect farmers to be able to maintain their farms when the organic food we see at grocery stores never comes from these small farms?
Or, as organic consumers, do we need to learn to be more wary? Organic food is more expensive than food commercially grown, but we typically feel that added cost is worth our benefit to the environment. Are we being taken advantage of at the farmers market, one of the few places local organic was thought to still exist?