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Negatives of Organic Foods


vancanjay
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Knowing how the produce is grown is an important component as well...Certification as "organic" gives some confidence in proper practises..

My customers are chefs- they stress freshness and quality....they want to know how it was grown and when it was picked.....organic is a plus and when they ask it is usually to use the term on a menu or food article....

In response to Ling...."organic eggs" indeed are from chickens feed on certified feed and no anti-biotics.....the Born diet is an Omega diet which is I think very important to egg eaters but does not mean they are conversly "organic".."free-run" means that they are not caged..."free-range" means they have access to the outside world...which can be anything from a small door open at the end of the football field sized barn...or moveable pastured runs.....(keep in mind that chickens love to grab bugs which -I didn't say this was simple- which might not be pesticide free , completely....of course the direct sprayed ones are dead so not available to the flock)....so in the case of eggs there are lots of labels to read...once again....freshness and knowing the farmers husbandry is key..

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I'm not suggesting that, but others have, and considering how effective it was against malaria, it's not nearly as much of a slam-dunk to prohibit it as many people think.

Is malaria a big problem in California or other food basket states? I don't think so but I could be wrong.

But I don't know how comforting any of this discussion would be to someone dying of malaria or dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Or we could ask the field workers who pick our food if they prefer DDT in the environment or not.

re: Organics, they are much harder to grow and there are a lot of bad organic farmers out there. It's not perfect and big agri-biz has infected it, but it's still better than nothing, especially in terms of root vegetables ike potatoes and carrots that literally sit in the polluted earth before entering you. Personally, I want that soil to be as pure as possible.

FWIW, I have zero plans to go certified organic but I would eat right off my soil.

Then there's the issue of food politics. It surprises me that a board dedicated to food isn't more outraged at the real cost of cheap, crappy food.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I'm not suggesting that, but others have, and considering how effective it was against malaria, it's not nearly as much of a slam-dunk to prohibit it as many people think.

Is malaria a big problem in California or other food basket states? I don't think so but I could be wrong.[...]

No, you're surely not wrong. There probably is no big down side to DDT being prohibited in the US in these times and certainly an up side.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm not suggesting that, but others have, and considering how effective it was against malaria, it's not nearly as much of a slam-dunk to prohibit it as many people think.

Is malaria a big problem in California or other food basket states? I don't think so but I could be wrong.[...]

No, you're surely not wrong. There probably is no big down side to DDT being prohibited in the US in these times and certainly an up side.

There was a very interesting article in the NY Times in April that talked about the use of DDT in developing countries. It made a pretty good case for the limited use of it to control the vectors for various diseases.

I did look for the article and found the abstract, if anyone is interested in paying for the archived copy.

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"Organic" applied to raw foods, no negative connotations.

On a menu, maybe. It would depend on the context. I've had experiences with a couple of places that touted "organic" dishes which proved to have been prepared by perhaps well-meaning hippie types who clearly had NO sense of taste. Some of the most awful food I've ever encountered.

Seeing "organic" on the menu of a place where I already knew the quality of fhe cooking would be a plus; at a place I didn't know, I'd probably be warier than usual.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

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To me, the only hype word that annoys me more than "organic" is "gourmet".

"Gourmet Olive Oil"

"Organic Toilet Paper"

"Gourmet Chocolate"

"Organic blah-blah-blah"

"Gourmet" is subjective.

"Organic" is objective.

I hate "gourmet" as well. I also dislike the word "natural" on food products. What the hell does that mean, anyway?

I love organic root vegs and tubers. I think they do taste better. I try to eat organic berries. If you knew how much pesticides are on berries, you'd gag. And call me crazy, but I like organic greens as well.

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only negative would be cost. I guess as long as its supply and demand, and the demand is lower for organic than for "regular" foods the cost will stay higher. I do love to buy a case of organic apples in the fall though. they taste sooooo much better.

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only negative would be cost. I guess as long as its supply and demand, and the demand is lower for organic than for "regular" foods the cost will stay higher. I do love to buy a case of organic apples in the fall though. they taste sooooo much better.

Again, they are harder to grow and not artificially subsidized. That's why they are more expensive. And a better value.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I think the price for organic versus non-organic isn't so different in CA. Plus, a lot of the food sold at our farmer's markets is organic (and at most of the markets, has to be grown by the person selling it) and the food is a bargain there!

I'm sorry that I forgot to mention the health of the farm workers. If we care enough about the effects of second-hand smoke on employees to ban smoking on airlines and in restaurants, surely we can care about the health of the people who work in the fields to feed us?

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To me, "ORGANIC" is the same as "responsible" and "ethical". Mad cow disease is poetic justice for the beef industry. During the whole bruha, it was never an issue with naturally raised beef. That they forced cannibalism on omnivores to save a buck is repugnant. Responsible sustainable agriculture practices(the catch phrase) in theory should reduce the cost because the farmer maintains the health of the soil by alternating crops to avoid depletion of soil minerals(instead of just beating the earth to death by just growing one crop, thus requiring fertilizers, ph adjusters, etc.,) but because some folks love to eat their tomatoes in December, Asparagus in September....I recommend that those who aren't sure about these issues, get out and visit some farms, see for yourself, talk to a farmer. As far as the cost, there are cooperatives forming everywhere to help defer the high(?) costs, but then what I eat is worth the extra cost for the good it does the environment and small farmersand communities.

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Timh is echoing my thoughts too, as Albertan consumers contemplate the recent confirmation of yet another BSE case in a 8-year-old dairy cow here. "It never reached the food chain", the spokespeople tell us. "What about all that milk the cow was producing before it keeled over," I muse. "Was that not part of the food chain?".

Yes, ORGANIC, has hoidy-toidy connotations and a bit of a misnomer anyway because, after all, most everything we eat is "organic" in the chemistry sense of the word.

As for taste, organic beef, pork and fowl far outshine the flabby and soggy non-organic profferings on sale at the supermarket.

I like to see restaurant with owners who somehow indicate they have 'purveyors', that the menu is seasonal and that they buy locally. Any indication that they actually care where the food originates, how fresh it is and that they will support small farms.

Edited by tisch (log)
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I am willing to pay a reasonable premium for organic if I know that the item tastes better and/or the item contains materially fewer chemicals that may harm me. On the other hand, I will not pay more solely to support an environmental "cause".

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When dining at Chez Panisse recently, one of the items on the menu was "Bob's Turnip Greens." When we asked who "Bob" was, we were told that it was one of their local farmers, and that they try to give credit when they get a particularly nice product.

Now, this being Chez Panisse and not Chevy's, I felt I could reasonably believe what the server told us.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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a couple things:

1) i have been involved in repeated taste tests of organic vs. mainstream produce over the last 20 years and while there are some organic farmers who do a very good job, there has never been the slightest evidence that growing organically improves the flavor of the produce.

2) choosing organically grown produce (as witnessed by most of the comments in this thread) is a theological, not culinary choice. if it makes you feel better to do it, then you certainly should. but there is little evidence to support the choice being healthier.

3) people tend to treat this as a black-and-white issue--on the one hand, pious organic farmers, on the other the rapacious chemical spewing "agri-industry". in fact, there are many possible steps in between. very few of the farmers whose produce i like best are certified organic, but almost all of them practice some form of integrated pest management and only use chemicals when they are necessary.

i think pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture are a lot like antibiotics in humans: way, way over-used, but i certainly wouldn't want to be caught without them should disaster strike.

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I only really have a negative connotation of organic in terms of the cost. I generally buy some fruit and veggies that are organic, and some that are conventional. But I try whenever possible to buy organic meat, because I don't want the hormones and antibiotics, and (at least in the UK), Soil Association organic status guarantees some fairly high standards of animal welfare.

For more information, Soil Association standards are here:

Soil Association Standards

USDA Organic standards (not as strict as Europe or Soil Association standards) are here:

USDA Organic Standards

And a useful summary article from Nature can be found here:

Nature article

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The "organic heirloom" tomatoes I picked up at Pavilions a few days ago were the epitomy of negative connotations. By far, the worst tomatoes I've had in a long time. Mealy, flavorless and overpriced.

I know, what was I thinking buying organic produce at a supermarket?

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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I used to own and operate a high-end coffee roasting company. Some of my best coffees were from Ethiopia (the birthplace of coffee) where most, if not all, of the "Family Run" farms simply couldn't afford the chemicals even if they wanted to use them. Great "Organic" coffee but they also didn't have the money to get certified as an organic operation. Shame really, I had folks pass up those coffees just because I couldn't put "Organic" on the bag and they would go ahead and get a far inferior coffee from somewhere else. :blink:

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