...shopping at mega-stores, although cheap and convenient, is not necessarily a good replacement for buying organic and local foods from independent retailers and nearby family farms. Global organic does have some benefits, but eating local, seasonal organic food from farmers you know is liable to get you food that is fresher, tastier, potentially more nutritious, and has more positive economic and social impacts on your community.Take the time to read his whole essay. You may not end up any closer to a conclusion on this issue, but you'll definitely have a better sense of the issues at play.
Organic demand is increasing, and the organic industry is growing, so we must take the good with the bad. Still, we can all be conscientious consumers who think about the repercussions of our food purchases and play active roles in governance that affects our food. (my emphasis)
If you only shop at mega retail stores, look into the organic section and see what you can learn. If you currently shop at farms, farmers' markets and specialty stores, don't let the convenience of the giant retailers let you forget about the benefits of buying from farms, farmers' markets and specialty stores.
UPDATE: Right after I posted this, I found another article dealing with these issues more broadly... More required reading.
Categories: organic, food, agriculture, wal-mart, sustainability