Organic Food is Healthier: Bullshit.

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by BenTheMan, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    actually the UK report is subject to a host of criticism.

    From what I recall there were two main points

    1) about 70% of the data base for the study didn't meet a scientific standard - for instance
    • there was no universal definition of what criteria had to be met in order to be deemed organic (it wasn't actually a research project but a review of existing literature on the subject, some of which is over 50 years old .... long before any standardization of the organic industry took place)
    • There was a comparison made between crops grown not only on different soils, but also different varieties
    • Some specimens were collected from retail outlets (so you could be comparing a 2 week old carrot to one of two days)
    2) The Uk study was prematurely pushed ahead of its release date so that it could be released a couple of months before the findings of the most comprehensive study of organic vs inorganic crops (several thousand identical varieties grown on the same tract of soil, etc etc) ...... which, it just so happens, indicated evidence to the contrary of the UK one.

    seems like there was more BS involved than just the standard stuff in compost
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And given that recent development, perhaps we will see more in the line of serious research and less in the line of interference, suppression, and cooption.

    Some day.

    But meanwhile, the big business move into organics is still a very small percentage of their profits; large, expensive, difficult, time-consuming research into things that might damage the main sources of their profits are unlikely to be favored by them; and they control quite a bit of the research capability in the field - public and private.
    Faith? Bizarre repetition of irrelevancy. But you mention the USDA stamp of approval - I suppose you've been following the well-documented efforts of agribusiness conglomerates to rig that, no? Levering on the government and vulnerable Congressmen to get such absurdities as an allowed substantial percentage of GMO atrazine-resistant produce in product "certified organic", or BGH injected dairy, or GMO Bt corn, or antibiotic enriched swine feed, or a dozen and one other practices without which their "economies of scale" tend to evaporate. It doesn't take "faith" to perceive that as lying, eh?

    btw: What is it with this shit:
    No one here except the defenders of conventional agribusiness has been putting on airs of superiority, describing the proponents of likely organic benefits as deluded, foolish, faith-based, social elitists and the like.

    The question here is whether "organic" food is healthier. The opening post started right in with the "bullshit" labeling, based on a serious misconception of the very research they posted as well as a lack of comprehension of the larger issue of 'health". The following posts have featured personal commentary and exaggerated misrepresentations of position from the pro-Monsanto crowd, and basically no arguments from that side otherwise.

    Let's say that over the past 40 years, someone who confined their food purchases to legitimately (in fact, regardless of certification or lack of same) "organic" stuff would have spent 50% more for their foodstuffs (given normal laziness - frequent shopping at convenient stores, not canning or freezing much, etc - but also attentive buying in season etc as is common with such people). In the course of that, they would have avoided the somatic pesticide and chemical load we now know about (both the ongoing with occasional peak exposure, and the accumulation most Americans carry), the habitual ingestion of artificial trans fats we now know to have been a very bad idea, the dramatic uptick in high-fructose corn syrup consumption now coming on line as a set of health problems, various poisoning and infection events, and a number of other serious health risks - some as yet undiscovered, unless we are very lucky. And the percentage of their household income devoted to food would have been about the same as an average American's with an equivalent diet in the 50s.

    Then add in the nutritional benefits, if any, and the ecological, economic, political, and spiritual benefits well established.

    This is not based in "faith", this argument. It is not an appeal to social elitism. It is an appeal to common sense.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
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  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Your common sense is neither all that common nor very sensible. You admit that there are studied that run contrary to the solution you prefer to be the truth, but you dismiss them. Because it is possible that that biases in the research were introduced by those with an economic interest, you conclude that you can ignore studies whose conclusions you dislike.

    In fact the Soil Association--whose attack on the study that started this thread has received a lot of attention--is a lobbying group representing a £2 billion industry in the U.K. alone and their response is a series of logical fallacies. Hey, people are free to spout logical fallacies in the face of perfectly fair science, but it clearly demonstrated that your preferred side of the argument is not all about The Truth™. Since there are biases on the pro-organics side as well, by your own common sense you should logically dismiss all arguments in favor of organics as well.

    As for your response above, it is sorely inadequate. you assert without proof that Big Business has it's thumb on the scale against organics, and then presented with evidence (not speculation and not assumption) that big business is involved with organics as well, you hand wavingly suggest that they are NOT biasing the debate in a way that would help your side.

    So they are, in effect, money grubbing liars who falsify data, unless they agree with you, then they are too lazy to be money grubbing. Despite the fantastic market growth in organics and the potential for higher profit margins for them, you implicitly suggest that they would rather trash the industry and strangle the profits. The evidence is that they are acquiring and merging their way into the industry in a very rapid way, but apparently only so they can drive consumers away with falsified data that downplays the benefits of their newly acquired businesses. That is your "common sense" view of things?

    In this view, corporate agriculture isn't even evil, it's just crazy.

    How about this: If you would like to claim that there are environmental, nutrient and long term health benefits due to reduced levels of "the bad kinds" of pesticide, then produce evidence. If you cannot produce evidence, then lay out your "common sense" view in a form where it's logic is clear, as right now you have not done that.

    Right now your entire argument is no more than "I believe the organic farmers' arguments and reject those who question those arguments. Therefore, it's common sense that organics are better for people." And that is common sense, if you accept the premises and every claim the organic farmers make. Problem: "high nutrient content" definitely was a claim they used to make. What has them so upset is that this study of the major peer reviewed papers over the past 50 years suggests that that one claim is untrue. The paper did not them conclude that all of organic farming is a waste, it made a limited claim about nutritional content being roughly the same (though not identical, even finding, for example, that non-organic crops contain more nitrogen, while organic crops have higher levels of magnesium and zinc, for instance, but concluding that it is “unlikely that these differences in nutrient content are relevant to consumer health.”) The result is that they get attacked for cherry-picking their data (in that they only relied on published peer reviewed studies rather than including unpublished and unreviewed ones as well), and for not looking at other factors such as ecological friendliness. That would be very relevant if the study concluded "and therefore organics should not be eaten" but the study expressly indicated that it had a limited focus.

    In any event, it seems to me that the burden of proving the extraordinary benefits of organics rests with the supporters of organics, and "common sense" that relies on questionable assumptions is not sense at all.

    As for

    Please review the part where you suggested that Reason, Evidence and good Judgment were only on your side and that I must be making a conscious choice to avoid them, specifically:

    Not only are you imbued with reason, evidence and good judgement, but now you assert that you are the humble one in this debate, and that it is the mean posters who back Monsanto who are the arrogant ones. (I think it is adorable that you feel that everyone who disagrees with you is... what?... being paid off by Monsanto?...they have nothing better to do than to fight against organics here on sciforums?...or is it that we just all irrationally <3 Monsanto? In any event it clearly is plausible that we all are irrational Monsanto boosters, it's just common sense.) It miust be very hard for someone as righteous and humble as you to deal with arrogance like ours. To believe we have the right to dissent?! The nerve! The good news is that this makes you quite the righteous martyr, which is, I am sure, quite an honor in your particular organic cult.

    Now, please don't insult my intelligence again by suggesting that you were not adopting a superior tone.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2009
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Complete bullshit. Nothing I've posted resembles that.
    I have made no such arguments.
    Are you claiming that my observations about such things as agribusiness attempting to rig the USDA "organic" standards, etc, are not accurate ?

    Do you deny that trade and pressure groups financed by agribusiness interests have for years been attempting to have sewage sludge fertilizer, gmo organisms, irradiation, antibiotics and closed cycle animal parts in standard feed, etc etc etc, to be allowed "organic" certification?
    Complete bullshit. I posted nothing resembling that.
    Not at all. The benefits of traditional agriculture and the growing of food have been well established over thousands of years.
    None of my posting here depends on my "believing" anyone's arguments except my own.
    That's also true in my view, as well as in the nonsense view you ascribe to me, but for other and better reasons.

    Now, I did post some arguments and observations above, actually mine rather than your bizarre presumptions, and relevant to the thread, which you have yet to address.

    For one, I pointed out that someone routinely eating only "organic" food over the past 40 years would have avoided some major and by now well-known health risks: Artificial trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, mad cow and various infectious disease events, exposure to and somatic accumulation of various hazardous substances, and several others. In other words, the experience of the past generation has been that unless you presume a recent change in the obvious pattern (and overlook the fact that even these known hazards have not been banished), there are probably some health benefits from a custom of eating only "organic" food. A reasonable person of common sense would hardly assume the run of bad news is suddenly over, and that what we don't know about these new agribusiness practices will not hurt us any more from now on. Would they?
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    What wrong with gmo food and irradiation?
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Mod Hat - I have an idea ....

    Mod Hat — I have an idea ....

    Why don't we all calm down? Okay, more realistically, why don't somewhere between a few and several of you take a deep breath.

    This thread will be reopened soon enough. I have a little bit of cleaning to do.

    Gee, thanks.

    Update: Okay, the mess wasn't as bad as I feared. But it would be helpful if the combatants could take that deep breath and reconsider the direction their battles are going.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  10. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    does organic mean manure was used as fertilizer? Don't they worry about e-coli?
  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Trying to influence the debate over what "is" organic is not being opposed to organics. I understand that you do not like their suggested changes, but disagreement with the great and powerful Iceaura is not evidence of bad faith or a secret plan to ruin organic farming.

    Saying "organics are a waste of your money and offer no benefits" that would be an opposition. Saying "organic" should be defined to include category X fertilizer as well as traditional category Y is neither pro- nor anti-organic. It's just semantic.

    On the one hand, OF COURSE the benefits of traditional agriculture have been established over thousands of years...because we all like food, now don't we. For thousands of years "traditional" agriculture was all there was...oh wait...that's right, hunter gatherers actually had HEALTHIER diets than the poor souls who got stuck eating traditional agricultural products.

    So traditional agriculture has really been failing upwards for thousands of years. NONE of which, logically speaking makes it superior to modern scientific farming, just older. Traditional boating has been getting people from place to place for thousands of years, but that doesn't render it safer than air travel.

    The advantage of the less healthy traditional diet presented to us by agriculture was that it allowed surpluses of food (which the hunter gatherer lifestyle did not. The style of living also allowed people to form set communities, and permanent buildings. In particular, the surpluses allowed for wealth, and wealth, allowed for civilization because it permitted people to specialize in professions that could not have been maintained in low-wealth society.

    I skipped it because, with due respect, that argument is fundamentally flawed and it seemed a waste to point out the logical errors. But you don't see them I suppose (it happens to the best of us), so okay. First, I concede that all those things you mentioned are problems that arose in modern agriculture. BUT, there are two intertwined problems with your point:

    (1) If you think about it, your argument is in form similar to saying: "Living in Florida is awesome and healthier than living in California. People who live in California often die in earthquakes and wildfires. Florida does not have earthquakes or wildfires. Therefore, common sense tells me that Florida is safer."

    Obviously the issue here is "what about hurricanes and other threats that are more common in Florida?"

    Your response might be that this is a bad analogy because organics have no other threats, but the truth is that organic farming and food safety do not go hand in hand. You may perceive there to be fewer stories about these threats, but that is because they are still a tiny fraction of the market. This leads to a news-selection outbreaks are so much smaller that you would never expect to hear about them.

    (2) More on that news selection problem. Let's assume that most problems with modern non-organically produced foods afflict on average 0.00001% or so of relevant population of consumers (which is pretty high, as it suggests that an outbreak of each disease should be expected to cause 2500-3000 deaths/maladies in the U.S. alone, which is obviously not the case). When 3000 people die from tainted food that is a national news story. Let's imagine hypothetically that organics cause problems at the same the rate, but are only 2.5% of the market. (Given the numbers above, the 3000 person estimate is 0.00001% of the market for inorganic food, giving us a U.S. population of 307,500,000 people, including consumers of both organic food and that grown using modern scientific techniques.) At that rate you would only expect 150 deaths from organics.

    Realistically it is much less likely for the news outlets to note the food safety issue in the organic case because our brains prefer absolute numbers and not rates of death.

    Still, there *are* news stories about organics causing health risks. Remember the salmonella tainted organic peanuts? Perhaps not, but here:

    As the NYT wrote:
    You only assume that the rate of death and disease from food safety issues caused by organically grown goods will be less, but there is no reason to believe that. It is a fundamental error in your thinking that you confuse food safety and organic farming methods or certification.

    As the market for organics grown, you can expect the stories of random food safety issues grows in the same kind of pattern. So you pay a 50% premium for food and all you get is a second set of eyes on that food at the farm, and that second set is not focused on food safety issues but *might* happen to notice if there are obvious food safety problems.

    It seems to me that if health were the goal, you'd be better off advocating that we pay a 25% tax on food and hire more actual food safety inspectors. Or abandon "organic" farming methods and start up a "safe foods" movement that emphasizes food safety and not organic farming.

    Not exactly. There was a study that showed that certified organic produce (as in certified by independent third party associations) had the same rate of problems with e. coli as non-organic produce. What they did find was that uncertified organic produce had a substantially greater e. coli risk.

    The easiest citation I cn find is this: This cites to the University of Minnesota's Journal of Food Safety and a 2004 article. In thtat article they did find more e. coli on the organic samples, but it was just not a statistically significant difference between the non-organic and the organic produce.

    There was an outbreak of e. coli from tainted organic spinach in California in 2006, but all food has that kind of risk. It was the first outbreak of this event:
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Yes, it is. They are trying to eliminate some of the advantages of non-Monsanto agricultural production (including the marketing advantages), and confine the competition to areas in which they excel (low cost bulk production, especially) because on these other fronts (including image) they are in danger of getting their asses kicked.
    Have you noticed how much of your posting here is stuff like that? There is nothing secret about the agribusiness desire - expressed in many plans, visible all over - to dominate all food markets, redefine the regulatory terms to benefit themselves, get all their innovations not only permitted but subsidized and abetted, and so forth.
    They are not spending all that money and effort on "just" semantics.
    Only in comparison with hunter-gatherer diets (which you accept, and I agree, as superior based on reasoning from evidence, rather than thorough scientific study, I notice). In comparison with this new industrial stuff, it looks pretty good. No artificial trans fats, no making everything out of corn syrup - - - .
    I simply pointed out that there is plenty of evidence for some obvious health benefits from adhering to "organic" food, available for people to reason from and draw conclusions - that your claim of belief based on nothing but faith was false, even in that limited arena. There is plenty of reason to suspect that the kinds of fundamental, unstudied, and commercially overpowering innovations that have brought us mad cow and trans fats, that have no long record of human employment to look at and learn from, and whose sole justification for emplyoyment now is the enrichment of a corporate elite through lowered costs to them, are not safe.

    And your continually nasty little rhetorical trick, of telling me I'm making assumptions and thinking in ways that I quite explicitly am not, is a bit strange. Why are you trying to assert that I have confused food safety with organic farming methods or certification, your latest shitfling there?

    The argument from me is this: we have reason and evidence pointing to health benefits from adhering to organic foods in one's diet - especially, avoidance of large and specific risks, but also some others. There has been no suitable effort to establish the health effects of these new agribusiness methods in comparison with similarly sophisticated organic operations; no real studies, no adequate research. We reason as we can, from what we do know. Your complaint with that?
    Meanwhile. the actual choice we're discussing, the thread topic comparison, is between eating organically produced food or conventionally produced food.
  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    I do not see how you can possibly imagine this to be a logical argument. I agree they would like to get "organic" defined in a way that pays to their strengths. I would point out that the pro-life movement would like to get "life" defined in a way that gives them the most leverage in their position and they are "pro"-life. It is a semantic debate, but semantic does not mean "unimportant" especially in the law.

    That someone is doing something to confer some perceived advantage on themselves in not evidence that they oppose the system they are trying to influence. The problem here is that you do not like the changes they are proposing and you have decided a priori that their changes are bad and designed to gut some fundamental aspect of the industry. You are just not logical enough to analyze your own position properly.

    Whether or not a new fertilizer counts as organic is a question of fact based n how its made. Your analysis reduced the question to one of "who is proposing it?" There is *no* objective answer to the question of whether using radiation to kill microbes is "organic." It is certainly a natural process. There is no objective answer to many of the questions they raise. You have referred to it as "traditional" farming, but are "tractors" traditional? Clearly they do not have thousands of years of pedigree, yet we all agree that the use of those tools is acceptable.

    I always took you for someone who believes that even morality has a subjective aspect to it, and yet you cannot see that the word "organic" is pretty ill-defined.

    I agree, they have an expressed desire to be in the organics market. But is t a semantic question what "organic" truly means, and they do seek to influence that. Guess what? Some of their small competitors oppose them not because they care about you, but because they don't want to compete with big agribusiness. Does their self-interest in opposing certain standards make them "anti-organic?"

    It seems to me that your answer boils down to "No, because they agree with me and what I want, and that is the proper test of whether one's motives are pure."

    Actually, when it comes to how the term organic will be defined for purposes of federal law, they literally are arguing semantics. You are unhinged if you cannot see that much.

    What you won't accept that seems patently obvious to me is that most of them do not want organics to go away, they want a piece of that market.

    No, I accept it because I have read paleo-anthropological studies that have found just that, based on analyses of hair, bones and teeth and direct comparisons of the bones and teeth of different populations. I would never accept as "true" something as obviously fact driven as that based solely on mere intuition.

    Yes, save that scientists have not found any evidence to that effect, so you "suspect" it only. You can claim that your suspicion is evidence, but it's evidence that does not militate very strongly in favor of your conclusion. You manage to cover the distance, I note, between your suspicion and your dogged assertions in a way that makes it clear you see your conclusions not as possibilities or "best guesses," but rather that you believe these to be "facts".

    I do not see any evidence of how you bridge the gap between plausible suspicion and irrefutable fact, save as a result of faith. You have certainly not made it clear.

    Because you are asserting that modern food is dangerous to the health without any statistical evidence to back you up. You are claiming that modern food is unsafe, and yet you offer no proof that organic food is any healthier. Indeed the evidence from the UK study is that it is not. The nutrient contents and the food safety records are nearly identical.

    No we don't we have your bare assertion that we have such evidence, but the science isn't there on that point. DO moidern foods have some health risks? Yes. DO organic foods pose some health risks? YES. Which set of produce poses more health risks? No one has any data to suggest a difference, anll we have is the assertion that it is "common sense" to assume that modern foods are worse.

    This really strikes me as a dodge. A apple grown in a modern orchard contains NO transfats and no corn syrup. You compare the diet of someone eating organic foods with someone who (apparently) is going out of their way to eat unhealthy modern foods, but the debate is over whether organically grown produce and meat--FARM PRODUCTS--are healthier. You would not let me get away with comparing someone who only ate organically grown potatoes and nothing else to someone who had a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables and meat grown using modern techniques. Obviously, the latter guy would be healthier. There are plenty of people who eat healthy foods but do not buy organic.

    Please compare, so to speak, apples to apples.

    My complaint with that is, first, it's not really 100% true. There are studies that compare the health effects, you just don't like the fact that those studies suggest the net effect is that the two methods are equivalent or that the differences are negligible. The most you can say is that you prefer to believe those studies to be biased. There is no compelling evidence for that suspicion, but I think you prefer to believe it.

    Second, even if I bought your premise, *if* there were no solid data and all you could do was to reason from first principles, then your conclusion should be "I cannot say for certain, but I think it likely that X is true, though I could be wrong."

    That is not your position. Your position is that I, personally, must "choose" to ignore "reason" and good "judgment" for daring to even suggest that your conclusion may not be correct. (Once might say that you are acting as if my position were heresy.)

    Yes, though again, apples to apples from now on, please. We are really talking about organically produced foods and their direct counterparts produced using modern methods. No one cares if an organic cucumber is healthier than a bag of cheetos. What matters is whether it is healthier than another cucumber.

    The truth is that a person who never bought organics could if he or she lived by a similar diet live just as healthily as someone spending their money on organics. That is what the studies show. I know you don't believe that, but you don't have any evidence to serve as a strong basis for that belief..

    It seems to me that I have given you more than enough time to convince you that your logic is impaired (as you have to me), so the best thing to do know is to give you time for what I have written to percolate. Likely this alone will not change your position, but hopefully it will lead to your being more self-critical when you form such beliefs in the future. (Who knows? Perhaps the percolation will lead me to suspect you were right and I am wrong. I doubt it, myself, but it is possible.)

    It's not worth either of our times to just keep repeating ourselves though, so best that we end this discussion now and amicably, and wait for the next fight between us.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Try thinking about it, and observing the reality it describes.
    The question is not whether anyone "opposes" anything. The reality of the production circumstances and consequences is what is at issue. The physical reality of how certified "organic" food is grown or raised and processed. The agribusiness concerns want that changed, to match their methods, and still be marketed under the favorable image acquired by current "organic" methods; and of course simultaneously preventing the people who abide by the original meaning and methods (the ones that acquired the good reputation) from differentiating their product from the agribusiness one on the store shelf.

    If they simply slapped the label on, without changing the regulations, it would be called "fraud" - due to its being deceptive, see? Because they are not talking about the same kinds of methods, but much different ones, which they mean to replace the former to their advantage.

    That would help destroy the marketing position and other economic advantages of those who use the current organic methods - i.e. organic farmers.

    If they want to honestly market their own methods and so forth, nothing is stopping them from coming up with a label and a promotional camapign.
    No, it didn't. I have no objection to new ways of organic fertilization, regardless of innovator.
    More of this shit from you, about what I think, see, etc. according to your bizarre and presumptuous myopia. I not only can see that, I referred to it, earlier in this thread. When are you going to address my actual arguments, in these "replies"?
    There are none for the overall situation, that I know of. They would be incredibly expensive and difficult, btw - consider the control group problem.

    Meanwhile, partial research efforts into this or that are not individually decisive - I'm not dismissing anything, just including them in the larger situation. The partial investigations into things like trans fats and insertions of brazil nut genes into soybeans (caught by chance, before it killed thousands of people) and herbicide sequestration in atrazine resistant corn, and so on by the hundreds, do not show only negligible effects, nor do I have to dismiss them to hold my position.

    There are a bunch of studies that show no health advantage to specific organic stuffs. There are even some that show greater health risks from organics, in certain circumstances. There are also studies that show quite large and IMHO significant health risks from the industrial stuff, and solid reason to suspect more are coming as the effects of these new and untested production methods show up. The question is one of reason and balance, and so far I think the indicated judgment is pretty clear - pending evidence, but the new evidence all seems to be running the same way. It is not a question of unthinking "faith".
    No studies could possibly show that. The data is not obtainable. Barring amazing luck, the important health factors aren't even known right now. And it isn't actually relevant, if you think a minute - what could be done somehow is not what is reasonable in ordinary life. How does the buyer of industrial food line up the "similar" organic for comparison, to keep the "similar" diet? Go back a couple of years: how would the industrial food consumer have dealt with the trans fat issue, in putting their "similar diet" together? Sure, it was possible to eat industrial without ingesting artificial trans fats - but the prescience and enormous trouble involved in a "similar diet" would have been daunting, unreasonable. The more reasonable approach, for the past forty years, would have been simply to avoid industrial food.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  15. DRZion Theoretical Experimentalist Valued Senior Member

    Organic food is a very quickly growing industry, and as the industry booms all standards go out the window. Organic food is just as mass produced as gm food; maybe a distinction should be made between small scale and large scale production techniques. A free range chicken will have more flavor; however this can be a good or bad thing. The chicken might choose to pick through the shit of other chickens and thus become feco-fowl; it would be best if one engineered a free range environment while selecting food sources so that the chicken would still do as it liked but all of it's food sources still contributed to an enhanced flavor.
  16. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    terms of reference;

    i thought... that organic was the deliberate process to remove synthetic chemicals out of the production and preparation of food.

    obviousely even synthetics are natural as they come from the earth but i am hoping for some middle ground on shared understanding.

    when someone says "organic" i think monsanto genocide of global rice seed stocks and battery farming.

    i also think MSG and preservatives(antioxydants made from petroleum which is in almost all shelved food)

    to me organic means walking hand in hand with sustainable farming, however these concepts are not codependent.

    what i hope to come from "organics" is 4 basic things
    1 less synthetic chemicals in food
    2 environmentally sustainable farming practices
    3 localised industry support to provide more labour intensive products to support an increase in local jobs supported by circulation of localised money even if it is at a higher price(this does not matter if it is helping the local money go round).
    4 the move away from the distance in the mind of food and community with a greater focus on feeding ones self from a localised perspective that will filter down to children to help support a new educational program that will teach children not only what food is and where it comes from but what healthy food is how to grow it and how to stay healthy while producing and consuming and supporting ones local economy.
  17. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Sounds good to me but why do you link Monsanto and organic? Monsanto was the giant who tried to sneak genetically modified foods into the organic food chain.
  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member


    Durin the warm mounthes (at leas here in Indina USA)... decent to very good tastin tomatos can be bout at stores.!!!

    I love tomatos an have grown 'em (includin helpin my dad grow 'em) for at leas 50 years (growin seasons)... an durin the winter the store bout kind looks like tomatos but have very little flavor or tomato smell at all... however... the las few years i have somtimes been able to buy what they call vine ripeined tomatos an they do have enuff tomato flavor that you coud guess you'r eatin a tomato... lol... but from my esperience... even tho its not good... card bord has much mor flavor than mos store bout tomatos ive ever bout durin the winter... as mater of fact... mos of the ones ive bout at the store durin the winter are as flavorless as chewin on stirofoam (packin material).!!!

    I make the tomatos i grow las as long as posible after the growin season... durin the fall season... i cover 'em durin lite frosts an if thers a chance of a killin frost i pick all the green tomatos an brang 'em inside to ripein... an mos of the time i still have som (full flavor) home grown tomatos for Chrismus dinner an even on New Years day.!!!

    When buyin store bout tomatos... if they dont have much tomato smell they wont have much tomato flavor.!!!
  19. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Sure. But that wasn't my point. My point was to dismiss ALL organic production as gimmicks is just unfounded. It cannot be proved and there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    Actually, in this case you can. One can find growers who are not just hopping on the organic bandwagon, who care about their seeds and whose products taste better.

    Which is what I do. The lack of nuance I referred to was people generalizing, incorrectly, about organic food producers.

    Sure, most of those organic products have been supplied by agribusinesses whose heart is not in the production and, generally, their products reflect that. You are preaching to the choir.

    I brought up the distinction between agribusiness organic production and small scale versions in response to generalizations made based primarily on the former. Poor generalizations.
  20. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member


    polarities... definitions of terms of absolute reference.

    like Christ and anti Christ etc etc...

    if i say black you think white etc etc...

    as far as i am aware monsanto is responsible for millions of people being without food right at this very moment for their global assault of rice seed stocks using their agents to leverage new rice seed statistics to poor ignorant rice farmers only to make them dependent on the fertilizer that monsanto owned and sold and the farmers could not afford.

    the resulting effect was farmers had less rice than before and lost all the hardy rice seed stocks.

    monsanto stood by and watched this happen.

    they probably have a body count equal to a company that produces landmines.
  21. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    What those farmer will need to do, at this point, is rebrand. They need to push their produce not as "organic" (as that label is now too hybridized with large business to be taken back) but as something new. Preferably soimething that emphasizes their non-corporate nature as otherwise we will be back at it when agribusiness moves into that market sement as well: "Small Farmer Produced" or something like that.

    I am not sure that those products would systematically taste better, as you suggest, but perhaps I am wrong in that.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Takes twenty years, and can be stolen by the corporate interests as soon as it is valuable. If the government allows theft of brand and deceptive marketing under false identification, it will happen - it's much cheaper than developing one's own branding and reputation.

    Good government is necessary. There is no substitute for it, in agriculture.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  23. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    I think it is a good idea. They could keep the organic label, but then have some other kind of certification process, perhaps based on seeds, size of the farm, or perhaps a profile - which would lead into full branding issues.

    In my experience the organic small stuff tastes best, then on to other small growers who are not organic, then organic agribusiness stuff, and last the agri non organic stuff.

    When I talk to the growers they often have a great love of seeds and focus on taste issues. They are much less interested in the look of the product and often you buy rather strange looking, asymmetrical, but very tasty vegetables. Their products also need to have less of a shelf life, nor do they need to be bred for as much transport. So other genetic qualities, such as taste, can come to the fore.

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