the fruits and veggies I buy in the farmers' markets here have less fertilizer and pesticides used on them, I think. Many of the locals who live on small farms just can't afford the chemicals. Or maybe I'm seeing my life through rose colored glasses?
I don´t see how any of us can make that last assertion. I´m not saying it´s not true but seems unlikely to me. I believe that Mexican farmers have no compunction at using any and all noxious chemicals and fertilizers available to them to increase yields. Now, perhaps you are correct that the poorest small farmers simply can´t afford these chemicals but in my experience here at Lake Chapala and in Chiapas, much if not most of the produce you buy in local mercados comes from larger commercial farms via the local abastos and these agricultural operations will not hesitate to poison the earth for short term gain. I live right next to the huge and authentic indigenous market in San Cristóbal and I guarantee you that most of the produce comes from the abastos. I also guarantee you that none of the indigenous vendors in that sprawling market has given any thought to the value of organic farming versus the value of crop yields.
I also seem to recall that, at the height of the APPO strike in Oaxaca City, there was a serious produce shortage in the Oaxaca farmers´ market since the large trucks hauling in produce from agribusiness in Puebla state could not get through. So much for "local" produce.
As for small truck farmers, when Lake Chapala was very low a few years ago when I first arrived here, chemically polluted beaches were intensly framed by small truck farmers without a thought as to the suitability of the poisonous soil.
(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 28, 2007, 9:43 AM)