Posts Tagged ‘conventional farming’

2 Ideas enter, One Idea Leaves…..or maybe a compromise…. See Mad Max if ya don’t get it….

Should I eat organic fruits and vegetables or what? What’s the deal? I see the USDA Organic label and I feel safe but if I purchase it, I feel like an idiot for paying 4x’s as much for the same product. Does it really matter? Is it so much better to invest so much more in a product? Are regular grown veggies that much more beneficial to my health? Let’s take a look at what the big dogs have found so far:

The Mayo Clinic is uncertain, that helps right? In their article “Nutrition and Healthy Eating” they say:

The answer isn’t yet clear. A recent study examined the past 50 years’ worth of scientific articles about the nutrient content of organic and conventional foods. The researchers concluded that organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs are comparable in their nutrient content. Research in this area is ongoing.

The USDA FDA says:

No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food. And the USDA — even though it certifies organic food — doesn’t claim that these products are safer or more nutritious.

How’s that make you feel? 50 years and no actual data? Are you kidding me? I could lobby congress for meal at a D.C. pub and a night at a sleazy strip club to have that turned in a week. What do these guys do? I mean really…. I’ll give you the big fancy government definition of this stuff, then I’ll break it down 7th grade style, not cause I think you don’t get it but because they fill their information with so much pork, it’d take you way too long to read.

Organic: The US Department of Environmental Protection has a long winded explanation here.  Does it differ from our buddies at the USDA’s standards? Sort of… Why? Because big government got involved. It was supposed to be a three year writing program but once Frito Lays got involved, it took ten years! And what did we get out of it? A watered down version of what it should be thanks to big business. If you get bored one Sunday, Google Frito Lays and Organic and try and see what fat cat CEO’s did to your Organic standard.

Organic (in simplest terms) is growing plants with no synthetic fertilizers (just compost, green manure and animal manure) and not using synthetics to keep away pests.

Why isn’t every farm organic? Maybe it’s because the government likes to charge a butt-load to certify a farm “organic” cause the GOV needs to make money right?

From TLC:

In a study of certification costs across eleven certification agencies, initial costs averaged $579, $1,414, $3,623, and $33,276 for farms with incomes of $30,000, $200,000, $800,000, and $10,000,000, respectively. For small farms, costs ranged from $90 to $1,290. For medium farms, certification cost anywhere from $155 to $3,300. Large farms paid about $200 to $12,300. And super-farms paid $575 to $150,300 for organic certification.

Why would a small farm (who barely makes enough money to survive) spend a ton of money to have the government give them USDA Certification? Maybe cause of the money……

Prior to 1990 Organic Foods didn’t exist! (Even though organic principles started as far back as the 1940’s) U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Sales in 2010 represented 7.7 percent growth over 2009 sales. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2010 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.8 percent over 2009 sales (Organic Trade Association)

Organics now represent about 2% of the U.S. retail dollars spent on produce. This may seem small, but it represents a phenomenal growth rate in the last 10 years; it is estimated that this percentage with climb to 10% within the next 10 years. It remains to be seen, however, whether organic food will ever become the norm. (Organicecology)

The American demand for year-round organic fruits and vegetables has incited a farming boom in the arid deserts of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. I’m talking about growing “organic” tomatoes in the desert…. Yes, the desert….Trucking in water then trucking the fruit 3,000 miles away so Whole Foods can put an Organic label on it and some soccer Mom from the suburbs can buy It and think she’s saving the world. But in effect, it’s against everything that organic principles are about. Organic, maybe… sustainable Absolutely No way. Here’s the article from the NY Times.

So, what do we do? Do we but Organic or not? I guess that’s up to you. There’s a lot of links on this blog so take a look around and decide for yourself. There’s also a ton more information out there, this post barely scratches the surface of this debate. Please take a look around and post some of what you found on the comments below.

Here is this rant in a nutshell…..

  • Buy veggies in season – don’t buy Asparagus in February in the Midwest, it’s most likely from Peru or Chili. Buy what grows when it grows…
  • Just because a farm doesn’t pay the USDA $ to be certified “Organic” but obeys Organic principles, buy their food!
  • Eat Vegetables raised from Heirloom Seeds
  • Buy Local, all the time – make friends with a farmer today
  • Organic (in my opinion) has got to be better since it’s not loaded up with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. I grow organically, I do so because; I love to be able to walk in my garden and pull out a veggie and eat it on the spot with no washing.
  • There’s no data that states that Certified Organic Food is any better for you then conventional growing methods. So, don’t dump a ton of money into “Organic” labeled food.

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