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Fri Dec 19, 2014, 09:56 PM

Why This Mom Boycotts Organic and Will Never Shop at Whole Foods

http://groundedparents.com/2014/12/19/why-this-mom-boycotts-organic-and-will-never-shop-at-whole-foods/

"When I was pregnant with my daughter, family and friends began encouraging me to buy organic produce. I was always a critical thinker, and I doubted the touted benefits of organic food. Still, to appease family, my husband and I started purchasing organic apples, strawberries, and some of the others fruits and vegetables from the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list. Never mind that in my estimation, organic apples in our area are at least 50% more expensive than conventional.

Long story short, I’m glad I know better now. I’m not a fan of getting bamboozled. I have no qualms about saying that the EWG “Dirty Dozen” list is unsubstantiated. There is no compelling reason to buy organic, yes, even the Dirty Dozen. The Farmer’s Daughter USA does an excellent job explaining why the scientific methodology behind the EWG list is flawed.

I will unabashedly say that “organic” food is the scam of the decade. We already know that organic food is no more nutritious than its conventional counterparts. You may be thinking, “Well, I buy organic to avoid toxic pesticides.” Alas, the idea that organic farming doesn’t use pesticides is brilliantly pervasive, and has likely helped the massive growth of the 63 billion dollar organic industry. In fact, organic farmers often have to use more so-called “natural” pesticides to achieve the same effect of synthetic pesticides. Just like conventional produce, organic produce shows pesticide residue in laboratory tests.

Isn’t boycotting a little extreme?

I didn’t used to go as far boycotting organic, but I can no longer handle the pesky cognitive dissonance. Even after I learned that there is no reason to buy organic, I’d purchase organic bananas if the conventional fruit was too green. I’d pick out a box of organic cookies if it was on sale. Quoth the Kavin, nevermore. Not only is there no tangible reason to buy organic, but it contributes to the sad weakness of America’s critical-thinking skills. The organic industry perpetuates the “natural is better” fallacy. Supporting this industry with my family’s money is like personally hindering scientific progress.

..."





A very thoughtful and interesting read, IMO.

20 replies, 3545 views

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Reply Why This Mom Boycotts Organic and Will Never Shop at Whole Foods (Original post)
HuckleB Dec 2014 OP
earthside Dec 2014 #1
HuckleB Dec 2014 #2
Kalidurga Dec 2014 #3
TBF Dec 2014 #4
Warpy Dec 2014 #6
TBF Dec 2014 #7
Warpy Dec 2014 #8
Warpy Dec 2014 #5
HuckleB Jan 2015 #9
Warpy Jan 2015 #10
HuckleB Jan 2015 #11
HuckleB Mar 2015 #12
Tace Mar 2015 #13
HuckleB Mar 2015 #14
yurbud Mar 2015 #17
HuckleB Mar 2015 #19
HuckleB Mar 2015 #20
HuckleB Mar 2015 #15
HuckleB Mar 2015 #16
HuckleB Mar 2015 #18

Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 10:08 PM

1. Yes ... an interesting read.

I agree with the author that 'organic' is oversold and in many cases it is not 'better' than regular food.
No doubt that 'organic' is more often than not priced way beyond its intrinsic value.

And Whole Foods is truly a snobby store usually populated by snobby customers.

However, many organic items do taste better.

As far as GMOs ... I tend to Bill Nye's position: what is the big hurry?
All GMOs are not or may not be bad or dangerous, but we are also not in such dire straits that we need to risk unintended consequences of GMO DNA entering the food chain without complete and thorough research and testing.

Human life expectancy in developed countries has tripled since the introduction of technology in food production; that is a pretty good indication that for the most part our modern food infrastructure is and has been safe and healthful.

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Response to earthside (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 10:18 PM

2. Taste is, of course, subjective, and you have to go with your tastes.

I actually convinced myself that organic food tasted better back in the '90s. A few years ago, I did a bit of a "blind" taste test (my wife helped keep me blinded) with several veggies, and the results were pretty much 50/50. That's just my anecdote, of course, but...

As for Nye, the problem I see with his position is that it would apply equally to all types of seed development technology. And, interestingly, GE technology changes the few number of genes (by far), is more predictable than other types of seed development technology, and is studied much more. Yet, it seems that he is trying to make a stance within a vacuum that doesn't exist.

OTH, it would be very interesting and, yes, entertaining, to see Nye debate Kevin Folta.

See: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/11/10/open-letter-bill-nye-plant-scientist/#.VJTbe14AA for more on that.

Thanks for your constructive response! Have a great night!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 10:23 PM

3. I agree organic is a scam

I don't agree with the GMO issue a whole lot though. I don't think we know enough. However, if it's one of those feed people GMO food or nothing I am going to say that food whatever it's source is that is healthier than no food.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 11:03 PM

4. I wouldn't wish Whole Foods on anyone -

the guy who owns that company is a libertarian. Try local farm markets (local farmers) for good produce. I do buy organic milk though - I heard that is better.

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Response to TBF (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:06 AM

6. It doesn't have BGH in it, that's probably a good thing

but even organic dairy cows are on a treadmill of pregnancy after pregnancy to keep lactation going and they have numbered ear tags, not names. Those are still commercial dairy operations with all the inherent flaws.

If I didn't think milk was tears of Satan, I'd drink the organic stuff.

(lactose intolerant since I was five)

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:34 AM

7. Something about Omega 3 or 6 -

I really can't remember. I do like milk but mostly it's for my kids. I figure they don't need all those hormones ...

Other than that I really don't freak out about food, but figure the less processed the better. Of course that is hard these days with so many convenience foods. I like to go to Trader Joe's when I'm in that part of town.

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Response to TBF (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:02 AM

8. Well, the difference in fatty acids is largely rubbish

I'd get it to avoid the BGH, mostly because of the enormous increase in mastitis among BGH cows. I don't drink the stuff so I don't know if they've managed to overcome that one. It's just the thought of pus in the milk I'd find a little off-putting, even if Pasteurization had killed all the bacteria.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 11:59 PM

5. I do continue to buy organically grown stuff when I can get it

There is no difference in taste or nutrition and most pesticides can be washed off with a few drops of Dr. Bronner's in a pan of water.

I continue to buy it because it supports a more sustainable farming method, building the soil instead of pouring on chemicals and depleting it. Even in a small kitchen garden, I could tell the difference between my soil and a neighbor's Miracle Gro and pesticide soil once both gardens had been going for 5 years.

It's not the food for me, it's the way it is grown.

Getting the earwigs out of leaf lettuce was a pain in the ass, though, and I never did get used to picking off tomato hornworms without gloves. They're not dangerous, they just look that way.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 6, 2015, 08:27 PM

9. From what I've been reading, that's not necessarily the case.

I'd suggest checking a couple of groups on Facebook for explorations on the matter: https://www.facebook.com/GMOSkeptiForum and https://www.facebook.com/FFdiscussionlab ... You will likely find science-based posters, most of whom are constructive, and will support their stances with a consensus of the science.

Give it a shot! I don't think you will regret it.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 6, 2015, 09:44 PM

10. I don't have Farcebook and don't intend to get it, thanks

If it were solid science, it would be out there on solid sites.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 6, 2015, 10:02 PM

11. It is out there, and ignoring Facebook isn't a legitimate way to say it's not.

You are missing out on a great deal of wonderful people and information.

I know you are willing to challenge yourself. I hope that continues.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Mar 13, 2015, 12:49 PM

12. The Myth of the Altruistic Organic Industry

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Mar 13, 2015, 01:32 PM

13. Nutrition And Healthy Eating -- Mayo Clinic

Organic food: Is it more nutritious?

Probably not, but 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 not significantly different in their nutrient content.

Organic food: Other considerations

Many factors influence the decision to choose organic food. Some people choose organic food because they prefer the taste. Yet others opt for organic because of concerns such as:

Pesticides. Conventional growers use synthetic pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Organic farmers use insect traps, careful crop selection (disease-resistant varieties), predator insects or beneficial microorganisms instead to control crop-damaging pests. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. Organic produce typically carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products — both organic and nonorganic — don't exceed government safety thresholds.

Food additives. Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids (substances used during processing, but not added directly to food) and fortifying agents commonly used in nonorganic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.

Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.

Are there downsides to buying organic?

One common concern with organic food is cost. Organic foods typically cost more than do their conventional counterparts. Higher prices are due, in part, to more-expensive farming practices.

Because organic fruits and vegetables aren't treated with waxes or preservatives, they may spoil faster. Also, some organic produce may look less than perfect — odd shapes, varying colors or smaller sizes. However, organic foods must meet the same quality and safety standards as those of conventional foods.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880?pg=2

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Response to Tace (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 13, 2015, 02:08 PM

14. Wow! That's some inaccurate information. Mayo is really going downhill with the woo.

Organic farmers use pesticides, and they are much less regulated than other pesticides, and they're not necessarily any safer.

Plenty of organic food makers use plenty of additives. That's part is just plain bizarre.

And organic farming uses more land to produce less food. They also typically need to use equipment more, which means greater fuel use. There's no justifiable way to argue that organic is better for the environment. It's just not true.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/10/is-organic-food-worth-the-expense/the-ecological-case-against-organic-farming

and...

http://science.time.com/2012/04/26/whole-food-blues-why-organic-agriculture-may-not-be-so-sustainable/

and...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22240-organic-food-no-better-for-you-or-the-planet.html#.VQMnt454qgw

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Response to Tace (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 13, 2015, 02:14 PM

17. who runs the agency that determines the safe level of pesticide residue?

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Response to Tace (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 13, 2015, 03:15 PM

19. Re: Pesticide Residues

"Scientists find the safe daily intake level, "No Observable Effects Level (NOEL)," and build in a 100 fold or more margin of safety. This procedure sets a legal residue level. If the maximum possible exposure to a chemical is less than the legal residue level, the EPA grants a tolerance.

...

Bruce Ames, Director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of California, has analyzed pesticides in detail. He concluded that more than 99 percent of the pesticides in the human diet are naturally occurring chemicals that plants and other organisms produce to defend themselves. The notion that a poison, by virtue of occurring naturally, is somehow better, safer, or gentler to the environment is hardly logical."

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef009.asp

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