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Thread: Organic Food is Healthier: Bullshit.

  1. #21
    The current level of human population is not sustainable.

    1.The basis for my claim that the pesticide levels are lower is that no pesticides are used on organic food. Pesticide residue can can long term health effects. Organic food is for people who recognize that the human body can react negatively to substances far below their toxic levels.

    2. Pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers wash out into our river, lakes, and streams, where they stimulate the growth of algae, which uses up the oxygen in the water, kills the plant life, and causes erosion and disappearing habitat. In the Chesapeake, this actually leads to the islands shrinking. That's what I mean by better for the environment.

    3. It's more sustainable, since oil is a finite resource, and is destined to become expensive and in short supply.

  2. #22
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenTheMan View Post
    Sustainable for who? Can we feed 6 billion people with organically farmed produce? I don't know the answer, maybe there's a study you can point to, or something?
    No we can't, many people should appropriate what modern agriculture with all it "unnatural" and "chemicals" has done for the human race: most of us would not be alive today.

  3. #23
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucysnow View Post
    Quackwatch claims that organic food isn't tastier? That would be a matter of personal predilection would it not? I find organic food, fruits especially apples specifically, much tastier than non-organic.
    Could it be that you find them tastier because you paid more for them?

    It was found that non-wine connoisseurs actually enjoyed more expensive wines less, during a blind taste test. This suggests a correlation between enjoyment and perceived worth. [source]

    Quote Originally Posted by Scientist
    Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.
    Either way, at the end of the day, one must admit that it is just a choice, made for some reason other than health benefits, which you have done:

    It doesn't matter if the nutrients in organic foods are the same or if they are not 100% pesticide free or not. I don't care, I feel better supporting local farmers who use traditional means of growing their food and not Monsanto (its a bully corporation, evil fuckers!). For me its not simply a matter of health its a matter of politics.

  4. #24
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    The current level of human population is not sustainable.
    Sustainable using organic farming methods, or sustainable using modern farming methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    1.The basis for my claim that the pesticide levels are lower is that no pesticides are used on organic food. Pesticide residue can can long term health effects. Organic food is for people who recognize that the human body can react negatively to substances far below their toxic levels.
    This is not the case, contrary to what most people believe.

    http://www.euractiv.com/en/cap/eu-re...article-183986
    http://www.consumersunion.org/food/organicsumm.htm

    Further, the USDA definition of ``organic'' doesn't preclude the use of pesticides: [source]

    Quote Originally Posted by USDA
    Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides

  5. #25
    Valued Senior Member Mrs.Lucysnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenTheMan View Post
    Could it be that you find them tastier because you paid more for them?

    It was found that non-wine connoisseurs actually enjoyed more expensive wines less, during a blind taste test. This suggests a correlation between enjoyment and perceived worth. [source]



    Either way, at the end of the day, one must admit that it is just a choice, made for some reason other than health benefits, which you have done:
    No, I live abroad most of the time where there organic food is abundant and they are not expensive. I don't mind buying food that is more expensive when I am in the States since I find your FDA and EPA corrupt. Like I said I don't care if there isn't much of a difference but I do care about the business practices of large corporations like Monsanto and what they stand for. So yeah I will continue to eat organic and from local farmers abroad and buy from Whole Foods here in the States.

    As for the wine there are a lot of excellent wines that are not expensive and I have yet to buy a bottle for its cost. In the States wine tends to be more expensive than in other countries anyway since its not a part of the daily regime and you know a lot less about quality wines (americans also don't know quality beer) which is why you would think a more expensive wine is better. So there tests doesn't surprise me, most Europeans and South Americans know that a quality wine isn't dependent on the price since they grow a lot of inexpensive quality wines

    Sorry but American beer really does suck!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenTheMan View Post
    Just as you have to deal with naughty bugaboos like myself trying to convince people that the claim ``organic food is better for you'' is bullshit, I'll have to deal with goofy liberals (ostensibly they're liberals) as yourself blatantly ignoring the science.

    Evolution's just a theory, right?
    WHAT...THE...FUCK? Flip out much?

    I'm goofing off from writing my chemistry phd dissertation to argue with you here, so I'm fairly sure I'm not "blatantly ignorant of science." I am not attempting to debate you on whether or not pesticides make foods less healthy. In fact, I don't make any particular effort to eat organic food. Around my chemistry department we like to joke about the absurdity of calling it "organic" food, as if the other food was inorganic.

    But the fact remains that 1) by its own admission the study you referenced in you OP was only concerned with nutritional content, not overall "healthiness," and did not attempt to address the main reason that many people (rightly or wrongly) consider organic foods to be more healthy, and 2) it concluded that there wasn't enough data to support the assertion, not that the assertion was false.

    I don't know what the study author was saying to the press, but here is what he wrote in the actual study:
    http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pd...viewreport.pdf
    The focus of the review was the nutritional content of foodstuffs, and only outcomes of clear direct relevance to human health were included. This review specifically did not set out to assess the health impact of potential food contaminants (such as herbicide, pesticide and fungicide residues) of organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, or the environmental or environmental health impacts of organic and conventional agricultural practices.
    ...
    In conclusion, because of the limited and highly variable data available, and concerns over the reliability of some reported findings, there is currently no evidence of a health benefit from consuming organic compared to conventionally produced foodstuffs.
    Now, would you like to address anything that I actually said, or do you want to continue to heroically argue against claims I never made? Sorry if you're disappointed that I'm not some sort of nut.

  7. #27
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    The current level of technology and its implementation is not sustainable.
    corrected, much higher human population may in fact be sustainable, with the appropriate technology to sustain them of course.

    1.The basis for my claim that the pesticide levels are lower is that no pesticides are used on organic food.
    Absolute lie! Organic food producers are allowed to and do use many pesticides, including Rotenone (up until 2005), i'm sure you did not read my last post?

    Lucysnow,

    Your problem is with monsanto then, not genetic engineering. Genetic engineering like all technologies can be used for good or evil, engineering plants to require less fertilizer, pesticides, or increased yield is a good thing, circumnavigating safety testing, monopolizing a market, not utilizing lethal operons and sterility, well that evil usage and is monsanto fault not GM.

  8. #28
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    I dunno. I suppose organic is healthier because there are less chemicals in it.. this is kind of ridiculous though, considering what modern chemicals (called medicine) can do for us.

    Organic foods are certainly a growing niche in the food market. Sometimes 'organic' is simply used as a synonym for 'higher quality'. I am mostly referring to Whole Foods, inc. The food is very good, but it is also very expensive. Who says you can't get expensive 'inorganic' food that is just as good? Its hard to tell, because if you're willing to spend extra for food, you're probably buying Organic. I do admit I am not much of a shopper however..

    You should also note the Placebo effect. If someone believes they are eating better and healthier, they may get some kind of placebo bonus. Same with lifestyle. Oh shoot, I hope I didn't spoil the secret.. CHAIN REACTION!!!!!!!!

  9. #29
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    The point of the article was that sometimes we fool ourselves into the fact that things ``taste better''. My guess is that you've never done a blind testing of your organic food versus non-organic food.

    Here's a non-scientific study: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/nut...er/2007-01.asp

    11 categories were tested. Organic food won one. It tied in five, and (I guess) non-organic food won in 5.

    Caged chickens taste better than free-range chickens: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...cientists.html

    There are a few places where organic foods win. Apples seem to be a major one. And I, for one, can definitely taste the difference between the organic milk that I sometimes buy and the regular milk that I use.

  10. #30
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Of course cage chicken taste better, there been engin/eeerr breed to be so meaty that they can barely walk! Now if only we could engineer them without a brain or pain receptors.

  11. #31
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool It never was about nutritional content

    For my part, I'll simply say I never thought it was about nutritional content. That is, the advantage of organic isn't what is there, but what is not there.

    Start with sports and enhancement chemicals. What's the point? Steroids were originally used to bulk up livestock. Before HGH, some players used Bovine Growth Hormone. In other words, we know these things can have an effect on humans. And for the last decade or so, at least, there has been much fretting about the effect of hormone supplements in beef, dairy, and poultry products. Some would suggest that these supplements to the stock are transferring to humans, and contributing to precocious sexual development of children. I'm not thoroughly convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, but enough to play to the side of caution.

    And besides, organic beef and milk do taste better. The downside is that my daughter likes restaurant beef more than she does the stuff I cook at home, so she's getting a dose, anyway. But, to the other, while onset of menses has occurred earlier and earlier over the years, I'm not sure the leap we've seen in recent years is entirely natural. I have a daughter who is six years old. She's doing fine as far as I can tell. I have also endured the unholy wrath of a precociously-developed nine year-old in the midst of viciously wracking premenstrual syndrome. And yes, it is frightening, not just as an individual consideration, but trying to imagine what will happen during the transitional period for society at large as children's bodies outpace their brains. Evolutionarily, the brain will eventually catch up, but it's not going to happen in the next couple of generations.

    Nonetheless, the issue I face at present with organic ground beef, for instance, is fat content. Anyone who cooks with the stuff knows that 25% fat content in ground beef falls apart on a barbecue grill. 15% holds together better. And 10% even more so. At 10%, also, there is a marked difference in flavor. The flavor difference between 10 and 15 is more pronounced than between 15 and 25. And while the difference between 10, 9, and 7 is not particularly apparent, it is more pronounced if we compare 10 to 15, and then 7 to 15.

    But the organic ground beef at my local market is 4% fat content. The stuff can be unwieldy to cook, but one regular method I use is to fry the whole pound with water to prevent scorching, and then store it for small doses in soup, mac & cheese, or burritos. The normal recipe is to cook it with rosemary, black pepper, and pequin, dried and ground. And the 4% is simply unforgiving. Normally, I like a heavy dose of rosemary, but the low fat content demands different ratios. Part of what makes rosemary so good on beef is that its flavor blends very well with the fat.

    So actually, what I end up looking for is free-range ground beef with 9% fat content. Organic, free-range steaks I still prefer. I do think that, generally speaking, they have a better flavor and texture.

    Beyond that, it's not a matter of nutrition in itself. I eat plenty of fruit grown with various pesticides, so perhaps it seems odd that I would prefer organic hummus. But I finally found a hummus I adore—Emerald Valley Smoked Jalapeño and Garlic—and it happens to be organic.

    To the other, people tell me hummus is healthy. Looking at the numbers, I just don't see it. Unless "healthy" means, "It's not unhealthy." Of course, with my diet, the inclusion of a prominent legume is apparently cause for celebration.

    Oh, and their salsa is outstanding, too. It's probably not the fact of being organic that makes it taste so damn good, though. It's just that they make a damn fine salsa. And hummus.

  12. #32
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nasor View Post
    WHAT...THE...FUCK? Flip out much?

    I'm goofing off from writing my chemistry phd dissertation to argue with you here, so I'm fairly sure I'm not "blatantly ignorant of science."
    Apologies, of course. I should have taken the tone of your response a little more to heart. I am taking a break from writing my Ph.D. dissertation in physics, to argue with you.

    But the fact remains that 1) by its own admission the study you referenced in you OP was only concerned with nutritional content, not overall "healthiness," and did not attempt to address the main reason that many people (rightly or wrongly) consider organic foods to be more healthy,
    How do you define healthy? If you trust the regulators to make sure you don't get lethal (or even detectable) doses of pesticides, then what other metric do you have?

    and 2) it concluded that there wasn't enough data to support the assertion, not that the assertion was false.
    You say ``not enough evidence to support the assertion'', I say ``the assertion is bullshit''. It's a matter of taste, really.

    Sorry if you're disappointed that I'm not some sort of nut.
    There are plenty to go around here.

  13. #33
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa View Post
    But the organic ground beef at my local market is 4% fat content. The stuff can be unwieldy to cook, but one regular method I use is to fry the whole pound with water to prevent scorching, and then store it for small doses in soup, mac & cheese, or burritos. The normal recipe is to cook it with rosemary, black pepper, and pequin, dried and ground. And the 4% is simply unforgiving. Normally, I like a heavy dose of rosemary, but the low fat content demands different ratios. Part of what makes rosemary so good on beef is that its flavor blends very well with the fat.
    Ahh. Try some egg and bread crumbs. Not much, but it should hold your burgers together.

  14. #34
    peripatetic artisan parmalee's Avatar
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    It's important to note that most definitions of "organic" do not preclude the use of pesticides (most thorough definitions, that is); but rather emphasize the reduction or elimination of synthetic pesticides. The use of "natural" pesticides are not discouraged. I believe that in this instance, the term "natural" might actually have a fairly clear definition. The matters of pesticides and GM are only a part of what goes into certifying a grower or producer as "organic." That said, I honestly don't know which particular synthetic pesticides are allowed or forbidden as I'm not inclined to go through the 554 page document of guidelines.

    What many overlook is the fact that "organic certification" is big business, and there are plenty of growers and producers who simply cannot afford to pay for the routine certifications and inspections; yet by definition they may very well be in full compliance with the standards. Moreover, there are many nations for which the entities and agencies which would do the certification simply do not exist.

    I'll use coffee as an example as I have some experience with it: Kenya, Tanzania, and (I believe) Yemen do not have such agencies to peddle their wares ("organic certification," that is); yet coffee in these countries is typically grown by traditional methods which would otherwise meet the criterion for "organic farming." Certain coffee roasters adamantly refuse, on a matter of "principle," to deal in these coffees--are they truly so concerned about the purported health and environmental aspects of organic foods and organic production, or are they simply concerned with maintaining a certain level of prestige? It's a convenient way to separate the wheat from the chaff (a little coffee joke: chaff is the after-product, or waste, of coffee roasting). I think if they were truly concerned, they would be more inclined to focus upon something like "Fair Trade" coffees (which many people amusingly refer to as "Free Trade").

  15. #35
    information sponge eddie23's Avatar
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    it is not healthier for us.
    That is a mis-conseption.
    It is healthier for the dead animal, and better for the environment...supposedly.
    If you ask me its all bull. its just more expensive.
    I keep telling my wife ALL food is organic if it wasnt it would be a rock.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenTheMan View Post

    I want to know your opinions.
    1) they say they did not look at issues related to contaminents - pesticides, herbicides - which is the main claim to healthiness of the organic food producers.
    2) agribusiness has moved into the organic market. Also other growers who are aiming at a) mainstream tastes b) non-local markets. What this means is that the choice of seeds is very similar to the durability and shiny on the shelf issues of non-organic foods. 15 years ago, when most organic growers had a cultural affinity for their work, the seeds were chosen for the richness of the products and not their look or ability to be flown from LA to London and then trucked up to Leeds.

    THEN, you would have noticed a taste difference. And then there would have been nutritional differences generally. You can still find these by finding growers that continue that tradition or finding outlets that are in contact with growers with those values.
    3) If I can, I eat organic. Right now I live in a city where I am generally isolated from the kinds of producers I prefer. But in the summer they have a market and the taste goes way up. The veggies tend to look less uniform - shape, color, etc. But they taste richer and better. I like knowing they are less likely to have shit in them that we have made ourselves and not for ingestion.

    Of course you can never be sure. I'd have to go out to the farmland and take soil samples. Even a responsible farmer could be sitting on land with high dioxin levels or whatever.

    But I make an effort to reduce the crap going into me. Not much more I can do than that.

    That, in and of itself, is healthier.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie23 View Post
    it is not healthier for us.
    That is a mis-conseption.
    It is healthier for the dead animal, and better for the environment...supposedly.
    If you ask me its all bull. its just more expensive.
    I keep telling my wife ALL food is organic if it wasnt it would be a rock.
    And preservatives can make us more rocklike. Their job is to make 'food' less organiclike.

  18. #38
    I buy organic milk and cherries.

  19. #39
    I would love to buy some tomatoes that don't taste like card board. Funny enough I was talking to someone who had never tasted a non card board-like tomatoes and so didn't even know they were NOT suppose to taste like shit. Anyway, when I can I grow them myself.

  20. #40
    tomatoes mass produced and shipped dont exactly taste like cardboear. dont exaggerate.

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