Organic has more to do with religious, social and economicassumptions than it does with sicience. Eat good food, ride your bike be healthy. Don't get caught up in the Organic/GMO circus.
Another sad truth is that even "organic" food is far removed from the food that used to be available even 50 years ago. Vegetables and animals have been selected and bred for economy, yield and high growth rate, at the expense of anything else.
Since it's just been Thanksgiving two days ago, let's look at turkeys.
These are wild turkeys:
This is 1929:
This is 2013:
In today's world of a globalized, mechanical, high-tech, corporate profit driven world -- but where things like FDA safety inspections are more for show than for safety (if they even happen!)... I would think that "organic", even if it is not pure, offers an assurance that we do not have with non-organic.
And, as for GMO's -- are they safe? We really do not know. They may be safe today, but what about tomorrow? We have only Monsanto's word for it -- only they know what they are... It may LOOK like a tomato -- but is it?
Very honestly, I do not trust the US food supply -- neither does much of the world...
... I eat it because, well, I sort of have to...
we try to get organic, gluten free (wife has celiac) and other non hormone injected crap as much as possible. Yes it leads to very expensive grocery bill at the end of the month. But everyone in the extended family has dietary issues too.. so get togethers end up being full or all natural free of nearly everything buffets. I'm a garbage disposal..and can eat whatever.
I agree that there should be a law requiring labeling for GMO just as COOL compliance. Some companies take pride in the fact they they dont use GMO produce so they do label them as such.
All companies are in business to make a profit.....I don't trust any of them entirely.
Because some might adhere to some shared principles, that doesn't mean that they are not ready willing and able to take advantage of you.
Misinformation and deceptions flies freely from all sides.
First of all, you have to define genetically modified. Do you mean gene shearing? Or do you mean cross-breeding of plant varieties to produce a certain outcome? Or do you mean mutations that occur to produce a better fruit?
There are already legal and medical definitions, but I suspect most people don't understand what they are and how they are arrived at. The issue then becomes the public perception being incorrect.
For example, none of the modern cherry or apple, or pear or plum varieties in the orchards where I have worked have been the result of the insertion of genetic material from one species into another.
Rather, they have been the result of inter-variety crossbreeding from what are now considered heirloom varieties, and in some cases, there has been a natural mutation within varieties that have already been established. In fact, in the early days, natural mutations created some of the mainstream varieties.
It's also rather ironic that the rose family is the ancestor of many of the stone fruits we now take for granted. Just imagine banning all our apples, pears, cherries, plums, raspberries, and almonds because of the genetic engineering -- natural and otherwise -- involved in their development.
But, I can see issues with deliberate and laboratory insertion of genetic material from completely different and unrelated species to achieve certain outcomes.
Then I turn to the medical profession and look at the work being done there on genetic engineering to combat disease. It bet the concept of GMO would take a back seat if it meant someone surviving a cancer by using a GMO-derived medication.
One of the critical areas that no-one gives much thought to is the direct genetic manipulation in laboratories with viruses and bacteria, for instance, to produce strains in unrelated organisms for biological warfare. It's not a long stretch to extrapolate activities in that area to using food as a weapon into the future.
Or are you talking about commercial chicken farms where "free range" is just about whether the chickens are caged or not, but the diet is the same across all the chickens, in cages or out?
Organic crops. The USDA organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.
Does your city/town have a local farmers market? Chances are you can score a head of organic lettuce there for the price of a regular head elsewhere.
As stated already, there are a lot of politics, loopholes, etc with organic, GMO-free, etc. I feel like buying local gives you the best chance of actually getting a quality product.
I've found that growing some of the higher cost veggies at home was cost effective and fun. I grew a lot of peppers, spinach, squash, zuccini this year at home.
A friend of mine contracted with a CSA (Community Sponsered Agriculture) which was all organic. The farmer drops boxes off random produce off at a pre-arranged site each Friday afternoon and then the customers pick it up there. Its good stuff and its fun because you never know what you will end up with that week (whatever he picked!). But it is VERY expensive...
And, that same friend planted a 40x40 foot garden in a community plot. (Well, I did the work and then she stuck the plants in the ground). And, weirdly that was expensive too: after paying for the plants and seed, fencing, ground cover, repairs to my tiller which broke -- as well as a couple visits to cardiologists for the chest pain I developed while shoveling mulch... All in all, those home grown vege's were probably the most expensive of all. But, next summer should be cheaper and easier because she has already bought a lot of the stuff... And, although it was a lot of work, it was also fun to see the stuff grow. And it definitely gave me an appreciation for what farmers go through!
But, out of all of them -- good old Bottom Dollar still comes in as the cheapest!
But, what I miss is the old huckster who drove through our neighborhood while I was growing up (50's & go's) selling his produce out of the back of his stake truck!
^^The first year or two of gardening will definitely put you in the negative. You have a lot of capital investments, that will pay for themselves over time.
I did some raised bed gardening this year and probably lost 100-200 dollars because I had to buy soil, build beds and I lost a lot of plants.
Next year should save me a significant amount of money though. During peak growing season, I think bell peppers were around 1 dollar a piece, or two dollars organic.
I can't get a plant for about 50 cents and probably grow 10-20 peppers on a single plant depending on the weather.
It's definitely a trade-off though, as you put a lot of time into growing your own food. I find it rewarding though, and I noticed that I ate a greater quantity of veggies this year, because I appreciated the work I put into them.
During the winter I rarely buy organic produce, it's hard to afford. Byt things like cereal, pastas, breads, etc aren't that costly in my opinion. I shop for a family of 4 for around 100-125 per week and we eat mostly organic (just not always with meat, its outrageously priced)
Of these 571 samples, 96 percent were compliant with USDA organic regulations (see Figure ES1). This means
that the produce either had no detected residues (57 percent) or had residues less than 5 percent of the EPA
tolerance (39 percent). Four percent of the tested samples contained residues above 5 percent of the EPA
tolerance and were in violation of the USDA organic regulations. The findings suggest that some of the samples
in violation were mislabeled conventional products, while others were organic products that hadnít been
adequately protected from prohibited pesticides. The National Organic Program is working with certifying
agents to provide additional scrutiny in these areas.
Organic is the only agricultural system that uses third-party certification, inspection, and spot testing to verify that no toxic and persistent pesticides have been used to grow fruits and vegetables.
But why spend the extra money to buy organic?Quote:
Third-part inspectors visit every farm every year. These site inspections can be scheduled or unannounced. This happens anywhere in the world where organic products are grown and certified to U.S. national organic standards. Certifying agents spot test 5% of all organic farms every year to determine if residues of any prohibited substances are present. All positive tests are investigated and results are made available to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the public.
1) Taste. Organic tastes better. Do your own comparison, bananas, carrots, and tomatoes for instance.
2) Pesticide residue. Pesticides are neurotoxins. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18945337
Pesticide residues show up in most of us: http://www.nchh.org/Portals/0/Contents/Article0234.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_residue
3) Environmental concerns. Agribusinesses do massive monocultures which require massive chemical inputs. Organic farmers are usually small and local. They take care of the land.
4) Politics. Your money is your vote. You can either give money to Archer-Daniels-Midland and Monsanto and their lobbyists or you can give it to your local community.
5) Buying organic is actually cheap in the long run. There are few organic processed foods. The closer to the dirt you buy, the cheaper it is.
Many of us find that riding is good for our health. We spend a lot of money on our hobby. Buying organic could be the least expensive health insurance you'll every buy. Most of us have fire insurance. We hope to never use it. So it is with organic insurance. However I've noticed in my personal experience that those who didn't buy the insurance are those who are most likely to defend their not doing so, saying it wouldn't have done any good.
Cause and effect are subtle and difficult to pin down in human physiology, as we can easily see from zillions of threads on this forum. Me, I'm buying the insurance, and possibly saving money while I'm at it.
Especially on the intangibles derived from cultivating something and also eating what you grew...
... Plus, you KNOW whether its organic or not!
The stuff we grew, I felt safe simply picking and eating right on the spot. That stuff left the garden in my belly.
The whole issue of organic food can get murky really quickly, especially if it's implied organic food is also somehow greener or more ethical. Berries, mushrooms and plants picked from the wild are about as "natural" food sources as possible. Same for hunting and fishing. But none of that stuff can be legally labeled as organic. No way to know exactly what a wild moose ate during its life, for example, so you cannot call it organic food. At the same time, you can manufacture and sell organic honey. There's no way of knowing which flowers your bees collect honey from, but it's considered OK if the fields within certain distance from the hive are all organic. Again, you can farm salmons, feed them organic food and follow the other necessary regulations and label your fish as organic. But wild fish caught in the same waters is not organic. :rolleyes:
We try to eat organic food, especially when it comes to meat, fish and eggs. With animal products, organic usually guarantees better treatment. It's not always as simple as that: most of the chicken sold around where we live is actually not chicken, but broiler. It's a specifically bred, fast growing meat production plant, not a bird. It has severe health issues and one could argue selective breeding is actually gene manipulation in a crude form. I'm not sure an organic broiler is much of an improvement over the regular kind in that sense.
So, firstsporthub, how organic is "organic"?
I'd type a longer response to this, but having just been through an angiogram, I'm not allowed to type with my right hand for several days, however, I will say this ... 1) the taste is the same. In fact, if anything, "organic" doesn't taste as good, and perhaps 2-5 are USA concerns??? Maybe they do things differently there???
2-5 is definitely largely a US thing. Most countries have banned GMOs and some pesticides I'm sure.
As far as number 1 goes, I can't notice a difference in grocery store produce. But homegrown vs store bought, there is a dramatic difference in the taste of vegetables. Tomatoes would be the most noticeable.