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  #1    
Old January 20th, 2014, 01:39 PM
Kanzler
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ITT: we shall discuss organic food.

The most basic question: is organic food better than conventionally farmed food?

As an individual, is it good for you? What do you think of the nutritional content, as well as taste? Are you a consumer of organic food? Is it worth the extra price? Does it make a big difference in the way your purchase your food or is it secondary to other factors like price and availability?

Do you think organic food is good for society? How do we justify "higher quality" (if we can establish that) when food prices are so expensive to begin with? Is it just a marketing term designed to get more profits - especially when it's difficult to get people to consume more food? Is it important to you to support local organic farming, for economic and environmental reasons?

What do you think of organic food labelling? Organic food has been positioned as consumer-friendly, in that they're aiming to protect the consumer from harmful chemicals found in conventional farming. But wouldn't labelling organic food take away from that - when you reduce it to a yes/no label, isn't that taking away from consumer education and awareness that's inherent to any kind of consumer protection? What about labels eroding standards instead of raising them? It seems counterintuitive, but if large agricultural companies dominate the standard-setting process, then they could dilute the high standards and lead to pricing out smaller farms, ruining their business.

Is organic food production limiting on the potentials of agriculture? With genetic engineering you could probably design higher yield or quality food. Yet organic food sales are growing around 20% year on year. What's the future, organic or GMOs?

Lots of questions to raise, so discuss!
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  #2    
Old January 20th, 2014, 06:57 PM
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I'm completely ignorant regarding any aspects of organic food consumption. To me, "organic" means it contains Carbon and Hydrogen, or something along those lines, which doesn't exactly tell you much about the food. :/

As such, I don't think I'd be able to differentiate between what's organic and what's not, as I'm pretty sure I've eaten both in my life. And if that's the case, then I don't think higher prices are worth it, especially since I don't particularly care about eating healthy.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Google
or·gan·ic /ôrˈganik/ (adj.)

of, relating to, or derived from living matter.

Chemically, for something to be organic it has to contain carbon. Do these two meanings not nullify the entire meaning that the food industry has spun on naturally grown foods?
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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"Organic" here means foods using little to no synthetic input, not the literal definition...

I think the healthier option has always been the more natural one, but what's sad about the food industry is that organic food consumption is considered some kind of premium, not the norm. If organic products are what the items were "meant" to be (in the sense that they're natural), what exactly have we been eating all this time, then?

And moreover, how did we ever become ok with producing and feeding ourselves whatever that is? Sometimes I wonder if the organic label is just a clever marketing ploy; after all, money is the primary force behind our out-of-the-lab processed food culture. Why would businesses care to deviate?
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Old January 30th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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In the short-term, treating soil as glorified dirt and making up for shoddy use by shoving artificial fertilizers and pesticides into it does give better yields.

In the long-term, it doesn't.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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Ill keep it simple and quote Jim Gaffigan to share my opinion on this-

Organic is a grocery term meaning “twice as expensive”
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  #7    
Old February 2nd, 2014, 08:48 PM
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I read an interesting article in Reader's Digest that most organic food really isn't much healthier than processed food. Sometimes organic can be even worse. It's like the whole Subway is healthier than McDonalds ordeal in that it's not necessarily true. It's what you eat at the restaurants: if you order a foot long meatball marinara sub at Subway and eat a salad at McDonalds. Which restaurant will be a better option in nutrition? McDonalds obviously. Yes, organic foods are deemed cleaner because they have no preservatives but a lot of time these organic foods contain more sugar to help them taste as good as the processed food. I do like organic ground beef more than processed beef however, and they are healthier. Most organic meats and eggs tend to be healthier than he processed, tastier too. Food labeling can be deceptive, companies want you to buy their product so they will put the least amount of calories that they can to get away with. I think processed food is the future, it's more affordable and easier to gt a hold of.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 05:31 PM
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I am definitely all for organic and sustainable farming in general.

Like LoudSilence said, I also think it is sad that food that is grown in a more natural manner is considered something outside of the norm. Says a bit about how disconnected society in general has become from nature.

And why are we calling these foods conventional? They are being grown in a way vastly different from the way crops have been grown for centuries. Organic is more historically conventional if anything. Food used to just be called food.

I think some people misunderstand one of the major reasons for organic farming: it is environmentally sustainable! It doesn't release tons of harmful waste to the environment and it doesn't cause lasting harm to the soil by planting a single crop year after year.

I've come to learn conventional farming is not kind to anyone involved in its system.... The nutritionally depleted soil that grows the crops, the local animals and water poisoned by the chemical runoff, the underpaid workers subjected to brutal conditions, or the animals being stuffed together in CAFO's (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). I could make a whole post about any one of these topics.

I would love to say more but I feel like I've blathered on enough for one post.
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  #9    
Old March 7th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Organic food is ridiculously expensive, inefficient, and unhealthy. The GMOs are specifically designed to yield more nutrients, resist disease, and grow more effectively with less nutrients, and they go through rigorous tests from the FDA to ensure they're safe for growth and consumption. Hell, Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, said that you couldn't sustain more than 4 billion people if you did only organic farming.

Organic food is just a marketing ploy to sucker poor people into buying lower quality products for 3 times the price and nothing else. It's about as scientific as the anti-vaccination movement, but for some reason being anti-GMO is much more acceptable.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 01:14 PM
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But the organic movement goes beyond GMOs, it also addresses the issues of factory farming, many of which are problematic.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 07:07 PM
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Like Kanzler said, orgnanic is not just about GMO's. Many people are concerned about the practice of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the problems that come out of growing monocultures and other trends that have arisen from the industrialization of farming. There are plenty of worrying concerns. The system we have now isn't very efficient or sustainable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshimi View Post
Organic food is ridiculously expensive, inefficient, and unhealthy.
What is it about organic food that makes it unhealthy?

And the reason why conventional food is so 'cheap' is that much of it is ultimately subsidized by the government. This means a good part of the cost is being absorbed by the government. Organic and local farmers are not generally supported by the government in such a way, reflecting the real cost of food wherein the government is not paying for a portion of it. Conventional is not actually as cheap as the price in the supermarket suggests.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:09 AM
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I am not so much opposed to the factory farming harm to cattle so much, if such harms reduce the total production costs. Though, I am concerned about the antibiotics used to treat conditions caused by overcrowding factory farms and unsanitary conditions. I am not qualified though to distinguish whether or not and to what extent this antibiotic use affects myself and others. Additionally, the cost of addressing the pollution these conditions set.

As far as everything else goes, all grains, organic or otherwise, are likely not a good health choice since evidence show that grains could have first been consumed from 10k-30k years ago, in some populations. Whereas meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, ect, have been consumed by humans, early hominids, estimated around 1.5 million years ago.

Thus gluten/dairy allergies. Most people have some sort of intolerance to dairy products since the enzyme lactase, hasn't existed for too long which is needed to digest dairy carbohydrates, especially in non-European populations. Not to mention the casein sytesis intolerance among other components to milk.

Insulin Resistance, now linked to Alzheimer's, can be a result of a high grain diet, with excessive amounts of lectin, gluten, and phylates in both refined and "whole-grains" (not found most vegetables and fruit). Consumers are afraid of carbohydrates and don't understand the difference among carbs (except for buzzwords like simple and complex carbs...I could do a whole rant on that!), but the molecular structures are completely different. Food is not just a matter of fat, carbs, proteins balance. Whole grains contain materials that the body hasn't been able to produce enzymes for proficiently, given the recent exposure to grains, yet, they are touted as organic and most healthy by USDA standards???????

I applaud the food plate, in part, but the food pyramid was just beyond me. (Yes, the grain industry is quite powerful)

Anyway, I would consider whole grains and dairy as inorganic, if we define organic, more broadly to include foods that are composed of materials the body is able to break down proficiently/readily with enzymes. Any other materials, by which the body has no enzymes to properly digest food, are inorganic. Or perhaps, organic can be more of a degree than label, for instance, dairy and grains are less organic. Either way, "organic" milk and grains products are fairly deceptive. However, pesticide-free fruit, and grass-fed, non-antibiotic cattle could be considered organic under my definition.

What this has to do with policy? I don't know. There are economic considerations to consider as well. in respect to both the market and healthcare. Though, these are things I consider when I eat dinner, but why do I have to love dairy??? Thus my love-hate relationship with Miltank.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silri View Post
Like Kanzler said, organic is not just about GMO's. Many people are concerned about the practice of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the problems that come out of growing monocultures and other trends that have arisen from the industrialization of farming. There are plenty of worrying concerns. The system we have now isn't very efficient or sustainable.
Assuming that's true(haven't researched sustainability yet), changing to an all organic method isn't the solution. It's an option that's even more inefficient than the current method we have right now.

By the by, organic ! = pesticide free. Organic food production still uses a lot of pesticides, but the only difference is that the pesticides used aren't synthetic. While that sounds all nice and dandy, it's been shown that some natural pesticides are much less efficient and are also much more toxic at the same time. On the other hand, some insecticides are too efficient and greatly hurt their surrounding environments. Manure is in the same position if it's not composted properly, and it takes quite a bit of time to treat it. Now I'm not saying all natural pesticides are bad, or that all synthetic pesticides are good, but the idea that natural = good is entirely fallacious and should be dropped immediately.

Quote:
What is it about organic food that makes it unhealthy?
There's absolutely no conclusive data that shows it's more healthy than conventional food. The idea that organic is better is all hearsay from marketers and hippies.

Quote:
And the reason why conventional food is so 'cheap' is that much of it is ultimately subsidized by the government. This means a good part of the cost is being absorbed by the government. Organic and local farmers are not generally supported by the government in such a way, reflecting the real cost of food wherein the government is not paying for a portion of it. Conventional is not actually as cheap as the price in the supermarket suggests.
They're expensive because true organic farming is inefficient. A lot of the organic food that people buy are actually not local at all(and they're questionably organic, considering "certified organic" foods can have synthetic ingredients). Huge corporations have jumped on the organic ship a long time ago, and that's why organic food is a $60 billion industry.

Sorry if it's hard to read, these posts take a lot of writing and rewriting.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 04:25 PM
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No problem, I'm probably not going to make it any easier to read, haha. I'm not completely familiar with the quoting system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshimi View Post
Assuming that's true(haven't researched sustainability yet), changing to an all organic method isn't the solution. It's an option that's even more inefficient than the current method we have right now.

By the by, organic ! = pesticide free. Organic food production still uses a lot of pesticides, but the only difference is that the pesticides used aren't synthetic. While that sounds all nice and dandy, it's been shown that some natural pesticides are much less efficient and are also much more toxic at the same time. On the other hand, some insecticides are too efficient and greatly hurt their surrounding environments. Manure is in the same position if it's not composted properly, and it takes quite a bit of time to treat it. Now I'm not saying all natural pesticides are bad, or that all synthetic pesticides are good, but the idea that natural = good is entirely fallacious and should be dropped immediately.
Ah, thank you for the links. I was aware that pesticides were used in organic farming, but I wasn't aware that certain synthetic pesticides were used. I am much more invested in the livestock segment of industrial farming than the crops, so my knowledge and investment in that area is much more extensive.

This wonder and similar situations to it is one of the reasons why I don't consider the current conventional system very sustainable.

The current trends in major livestock companies is a big strike against conventional farming for me. The horrifying conditions these animals are kept in cannot be justified. I cannot in good conscience support a system that causes billions of living creatures to be subjected to conditions that make them physically and mentally ill. Concentrated is literally in the name of the official term applied to these operations, with all of the Holocaust imagery that implies. Not to mention all of the meat recalls that have to take place from animals raised in these conditions (mostly beef, to my knowledge).

I can provide links about CAFOS(Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) if you're interested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshimi View Post
There's absolutely no conclusive data that shows it's more healthy than conventional food. The idea that organic is better is all hearsay from marketers and hippies.
So organic food is no more unhealthy than conventional food. You were saying earlier that organic food was unhealthy, so do you also think that conventional food is unhealthy?

I wouldn't say it's all hearsay from marketers and hippies....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshimi View Post
They're expensive because true organic farming is inefficient. A lot of the organic food that people buy are actually not local at all(and they're questionably organic, considering "certified organic" foods can have synthetic ingredients). Huge corporations have jumped on the organic ship a long time ago, and that's why organic food is a $60 billion industry.

Sorry if it's hard to read, these posts take a lot of writing and rewriting.
Like I said before, the main reason why organic food is so much more expensive is that the government (ie taxpayers) does not pay for it in the way that it pays for conventionally raised crops (which then goes to feed conventionally raised livestock), not just because it differs in its use of pesticides and fertilizers. Another strike against conventional farming is that one of the crops subsidized (corn) is a crop that is very hard on the soil.

I'm not arguing that organic corporations should be the future. I think that they're a step in the right direction, but they're not what we should be aiming for. I'm in support of buying locally from smaller farms that can practice organic methods because they don't farm in a way where questionable conventional practices are necessary.

Last edited by Silri; March 9th, 2014 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Formatting issues
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Old March 10th, 2014, 07:50 AM
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I only rarely get it when it's meat but usually it's not worth the price... It doesn't really taste any different and the industry here is pretty good quality anyway, so there's no need really. I like organic juices and stuff though, but that's different.
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