For Organic Watchers

ChemicalsMarion Nestle just posted a great little bit on the study that was recently released by the Food Standards Agency. The study was done and, in as simple as terms as possible, said that organic foods have no significant increased nutritional value over conventional foods.

I don’t anyone thought they did. Well, if they did, they were misled. My personal contention with conventional foods has to do with pesticide use, poor land use practices, and the lack of sustainable farming techniques. Do I want my food without crap in it? Yes. Did I choose organics for that reason? Yes. Did I think they would be more nutrionally sound? Not really.

Yet, there are reasons to think that over time, sustainable farming practices will provide better base material to grow our food in. Think, Polyface Farm and Joel Salatin. Think biodynamic farming. Here’s a good site on the benefits of sustainable farming: by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

For someone who believes that the world is connected in all ways (yes, Taoism applies to farming!), how can healthy, disease-free, pesticide-free, hormone-free food be less “better” or the same for us than factory farmed food? It seems to me a waste of money to spend on a survey of this kind. But, to ensure I am fair and show both sides, here’s the full rebuttal to critics of the original study. This letter was written by the head of the Food Standards Agency in the UK.

To me, it just seems clear: don’t put pesticides that kill things in your mouth. Don’t put chemicals that cause cancer in lab rats, metals that poison, and antibiotics that create “super bugs” into your system. How do you avoid all of this? Organics is really a first, and critical, step.


3 thoughts on “For Organic Watchers

  1. Sounds like part of the Agri-business disinformation campaign. Just sowing a few seeds of doubt to bloom into a full-blown thicket of confusion so they can wrest a little more money from the weak-minded and unwary.

  2. It also proceeds from a flawed premise: Nutritionism, the idea that food consists of identifiable nutrients and everything else is filler. The same basic premise behind chemical fertilizers: N-P-K is all you need. Pollan convincingly refuted this whole idea in Defense. There’s more to food than nutrients. In chemically-grown food, for example, there are also pesticde residues… where do those fit in the “nutritionist” model?

    • I agree, Tim. I think this has been proven time and again since the beginning of the century, by people like Weston A Price, Royal Lee – heck, even Rudolf Steiner! We’re fed the idea that we should appreciate food for it’s special “nutrients” – what it does for us in a certain case, not as an entire piece of the living puzzle. The term I’ve heard is “nutriceuticals” or “foodceuticals.” Horrifying, isn’t it?

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