#1 Is organic always the best pick when it comes to buying food?12-21-2010, 10:15 AMIs organic always the best pick when it comes to buying food?
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By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
When thoughts turn to New Year's resolutions, losing weight may not be the only option people consider. Some might ponder the virtues of eating more organic. And they will have company.
Sales of organic foods rose 5.1% in 2009 and now make up almost 4% of total U.S. food sales, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales of organic fruits and vegetables are projected to grow by 13% yearly next year and the year after, and sales of organic food overall by 7%, says Barbara Haumann of the association.
But in this age of locovorism (eating locally), food miles (how far food travels from farm to eater), farmers markets and organic TV dinners, consumers and farmers who've explored the righteousness of organic foods increasingly find the pros and cons are not quite as green and white as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's organic food label makes it seem.
Are the amounts of pesticide found on conventionally grown foods so low that it doesn't warrant the extra expense that comes with organically grown produce? Are the foods more nutritious? Because organics take relatively more farmland, will the planet be able to support the needed production?
And what do we have in mind when we think organics, anyway? Does it have to be a plate of kale and a side of tofu, or can it be an organic toaster pastry? Is it little, sustainable family farms or big industrial organic farms that supply supermarkets and Walmart?
The answer to all of these questions turns out to be pretty unsatisfying: It depends.
The easiest question to answer is whether organic foods have less pesticide residue than conventionally grown foods. The answer is a pretty clear yes. It is also well-documented that children who eat a predominantly organic diet have lower levels of pesticide residue in their bodies, says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University in New York City.
"Then the question is 'Does it matter?' and now you're into really difficult science. And in the absence of science, you're dealing with ideology."
12-21-2010, 10:51 AM
From the fertilizer aspect, nitrogen is nitrogen. It does not make a lick of difference if it comes from shit or from a bag. Shit however, increases the chances of various food-borne illnesses like Salmonella.
Just remember, when you buy organic, you are paying EXTRA to have someone pour fecal matter onto your food.
:eek:I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
12-21-2010, 10:54 AM
I always eat food from organisms and never eat robotic food!How is obama working out for you?
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12-21-2010, 11:10 AM
I grow organic produce and I buy it selectively. In the summer, we have no trouble buying organic/semi-organic veggies that are very local to supplement what we grow. In the winter, I will pay more for organic celery and peppers but not for melons, bananas, seeds and nuts, or other similar kinds of things.
Sensibly, I don't personally eat much fruit so Mr. Snaps is left free to make his own decisions about grapes or pears. I do have a logical preference for raw dairy and grass-fed beef but it's a preference - not a spiritual requirement.
I try to make fairly rational decisions about food and I try to steer clear of the food ideologues who elevate food production and consumption into some kind of scary religious belief.
12-21-2010, 11:01 AM
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There's always some group that makes headlines with some government funded study of some pet cause to create a new panic.To me organic food are a cult of the food snobs who always need a new panic to trumpet.
Human's have been eating foods grown with various types of chemical fertilizers for hundred of years without problems.When they discovered how to 'fix' nitrogen to new growth the food police screamed that it would poison us all .
When they re engineered rice to greatly increase its yield they refuse to accept it as a benefit even though half the world needed more rice as food to stave off starvation .
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