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Organic vs conventional farming - excellent article!

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Organic vs conventional farming - excellent article!

I am pretty well read on the subject and found this to be a compelling, well written 'other side' to the organic/conventional produce debate. I thought I'd share it .

(Mods, feel free to move this to a different section if needed)

http://www.american.com/archive/2012...nic-illusions/
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Thank you for posting that article. I didn't read it all, but what I did read was interesting. I've always eaten organic when I can because common sense tells me that food grown with chemical pesticides cannot be good to consume (and if every food I consume is grown that way, then I'm getting a pretty large dose of pesticides). I understand that some sort of pesticides are used in organic farming, but not as many as conventional. I was surprised that testing is not done on organic foods, and I think consumer advocates should weigh in on that; it's a major area of potential consumer fraud. However, I do think some checking is being done because I often see labels on organic foods that say that they've been certified organic by "such and such" (can't remember the names). Believe it or not, I tend to trust outside organizations more than I would our government. Also, I try to buy organic foods mainly from companies who have always been organic. I somehow just don't trust Kraft organic products because they seem to be cashing in on the latest fad.

Another reason I buy organic dairy and meat is because the animals are treated more humanely than on conventional farms (many of which are akin to torture chambers for animals).

So, I appreciate the skepticism of the author of that article, but I'm not convinced enough to stop buying organic.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lin43 View Post
Another reason I buy organic dairy and meat is because the animals are treated more humanely than on conventional farms (many of which are akin to torture chambers for animals).
I wish this were true, but it is not. Organic has nothing to do with humane treatment of animals, and everything to do with how they're fed/medicated.

ETA: Most of the organic brands you find in the stores belong to parent companies that conventionally/factory farm, as well.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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I buy a lot of organic food... but I no longer hold many illusions that it's any better for me for the most part... It really has more to do with brand recognition and brand loyalty and I like the quality of the products... So I guess like most people who have to do most of their food shopping in supermarkets in this country I guess I'm just susceptible to marketing... but that's kind of the whole point of a supermarket anyway... so I don't really feel deceived...
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Most of the organic brands you find in the stores belong to parent companies that conventionally/factory farm, as well.
This is my understanding too... That most of the organic brands have been bought up by the larger giant food brands and companies...
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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A lot of people are familiar with the Michael Pollan side of the argument, I really appreciated hearing a cogent defense from a farmer on the other side. His other articles are excellent, too.

I'm very partial to thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments, even if I don't agree with the conclusions (though in this case I do!).
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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I don't buy organic everything, but I do buy organic things that TASTE better - like eggs, poultry, milk.

A few years back, after eating organic chicken for months, I bought some perdue chicken as the organic was sold out. While eating dinner my husband said, "this isn't organic chicken, is it?" I hadn't said a word, but he tasted the difference.

When we moved here I went to our local Safeway and bought their organic chicken. Ick... it tasted like Perdue chicken. I now drive to Harris Teeter or to Whole Foods whenever I want chicken that feels right and tastes right. The flesh (uncooked) just feels better, more firm. Maybe it has more to do with the condition of the chickens than it being organic, but taste trumps things for me.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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A lot of organic foods actually are better for you, in terms of caloric values and amount of added sodium. My organic peanut butter, for example, is around 20 calories less per serving than the regular variety. Plus, it just tastes better. As long as organic food continues to be produced, somebody's going to buy it, so why not me?
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
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A lot of organic foods actually are better for you, in terms of caloric values and amount of added sodium. My organic peanut butter, for example, is around 20 calories less per serving than the regular variety. Plus, it just tastes better. As long as organic food continues to be produced, somebody's going to buy it, so why not me?
The peanut butter thing doesnt really make much sense, unless you were buying pb with added oils. Organic or conventional peanuts and salt (if salted) will have the same nutrition facts. Organic vs nonorganic will have the same nutrition facts, because pesticides and antibiotics dont make a difference when it comes to calories. However, if you go with grassfed/pastured vs conventional you may get different nutrition facts, because their diets are different. Grassfed cattle, especially, are naturally leaner, and that often comes out in the final product.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for posting that!! I do find it well reasoned. I have done a lot of reading on both sides and its hard to find something that keeps focused on the isssues.
all I know is that I love growing my own produce because I know I didn't add any pesticides, something any commercial farmer can't afford to do.
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