1) Certified Organic Local
2) Certified Organic
3) Local - if I can talk with the farmer about growing conditions.
I always choose organics first regardless of where they come from because I can get a great variety of produce all year round and I'm sure there are no chemicals used on my food because of the Organic Certification. Local organic produce is great when it's in season and in fact I grow as much of my own produce as possible. However, there are just some things that I love that won't grow around here like avocados, mangos and pineapples. And the truth is that opting for local only many times doesn't meet our nutritional needs or offer the variety we should be getting in our diets, especially during the winter months when there is very little grown locally. And, it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) if the local produce in question is grown with chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, then organic is definitely better! When I'm buying local I always try to talk with the farmer about his/her growing methods so I know what's in the food.
"What about the transportation impact on the environment for those products that come from far away?" you might ask. Of course I also care about our environment, but the facts are that most of the impact of getting food from seed to your table comes from the fuel used during the farming process, not during transportation to market. There's no doubt that organic produce from Mexico is more expensive to transport than organic produce from my home state, but when it comes to a choice between pesticide covered produce from Georgia versus organic from Mexico - I'm choosing organic every time!!