Amazon.com Widgets

« Happy Higgs Boson Day! | Main | Green Heron »

Links With Your Coffee Weekend

Coffee Cup

This fire was caused by some dumbasses target shooting into a hill covered with dry grass.

We have NGOs on organic food, on anti-GM and on food miles, all of whom exert a significant impact on the media and on the thinking of both consumers and policymakers. Regrettably, the scientific reality is rarely presented to consumers.

Organically grown food is nutritionally identical to conventional food. That was the conclusion of a study funded by the Danish organic movement, and which was published in a leading peer review journal.

The UK Food Standards Agency commissioned a review of all the literature relating to the nutritional quality of organic food. The review concluded: “On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organic and conventionally produced foodstuffs.”

As regards taste, the most comprehensive study carried out was at the University of Kansas, where clever experimental techniques allowed the researchers to vary the fertiliser type whilst growing the crops in identical microclimates. Trained taste panels could not distinguish between the organic and the conventionally grown foods.


 

Comments

If only there were a device that would prevent me from blogging while intoxicated.

Re: the organic non-difference - I didn't think the nutritional value was in question. When I buy organic, it's to avoid pesticides and antibiotics - but not to keep them off my personal plate, rather to support those who raise food without.

Does that make any sense? Tell me if I'm on the wrong track, it could save me money! ;-)

Well, I agree with your point, but their are plenty of claims that Organic food is "better for you" which usually isn't a specific claim of nutritional superiority.

There are four big claims I hear in these arguements and I think each has some truth but all seem to have only modest differnces in the studies that get done.

Healthier - better diet, less chemicals and additives

Better for the environment - less chemical run off and consumes less energy

Economically Anti Corporate - Raised by smaller farms and supports more income distribution

More Humane - animals given more freedom during life and slaughtered in a less factory like setting.

I think the article validly evaluates one claim, but shows its bias in a stupid headline that is essentially attacks a straw-man. Also, I think these studies miss the point that "eating organic" is more a lifestyle than a product line and I would bet a large sum that if you evaluated the diets of organic eaters vs factory food eaters you would find the organics ate much more healthily and had much better nutrition. There is a point to saying the factory tomato and the small farm tomato probably have pretty similar nutritional values, but that is far from the whole story.

I stopped by the store for a few groceries today. A bunch of scallions was on my list Organic $2.99 a bunch regular $.59 a bunch. I use my savings in part to make an in store contribution to the food bank.

I almost always get the regular bananas, and ussually give some change to the food bank.

if you evaluated the diets of organic eaters vs factory food eaters you would find the organics ate much more healthily and had much better nutrition.

But how much of this would be attributed to the fact that people that can afford organic are more well-off, and have more free time to do other things like exercising and cook themselves?

Yeah, but I would guess they eat better than people of the same economics did 20 years ago. I also think That the push across the board to get more fresh vegetables and less processed sugar in peoples diets is closely linked with people that are a bit hyper focused on their diets. And while there are some misconceptions from the activists around food, I think there a lot of moderates that have just been convinced to eat less process, less polluted, healthier food.

And there are some issues like antibiotic and hormone use that have been driven by the "organic" movement that stand to have major positive health effects.

I also think that dismissing the whole mess as the crazy rants of rich liberals whose tomatoes have the exact same nutritional level is an industry talking point with only superficial merit.

One can eat better, a balanced diet, fresh vegetables, fruit etc without eating organic. You seem to be conflating the two. What do you mean by less processed, less polluted? I assume by polluted you mean food insecticides or maybe something like BT corn with no evidence that they are less healthy. When one makes the argument that they are nutritionally the same doesn't that imply that they are also just as healthy. You haven't presented any credible evidence that organic is healthier in some way. The benefits touted by the organic community for organic food are just organic talking points with only superficial merit, if that. The question for me comes down to can I buy non-organic that is just as healthy as if I buy organic equivalents, and I think the answer to that question is yes. If you have some evidence to the contrary, present it.

Just a few industry standard practices that have significant negative health implications.

Antibiotics in Meat http://bit.ly/Peb9Z7

Hormones in meat and dairy http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=129079589

Feeding animals the ground remains of their own species leading to Mad cow disease.

Food additives effecting child cognition http://1.usa.gov/fIigk7

Links between Pesticides and cancer http://1.usa.gov/NTvcLv

Not to mention the food dies in red m&m's and other industrial products linked to cancer in the past.

But your right, the tomatoes have the same vitamin C levels, so none of that matters....

It doesn't appear to me that the links you provide solid evidence that supports your view.

I did scan them quickly but the best I could find in your "evidence" was of a possible link in one case, food coloring and children. Most of it was dubious assumptions you made from reading the various material.

I'm still wondering what the difference is that you see between healthy and nutrious?

Sorry, I didn't look up the source material on all of those. but the sources are all respected.

I had the dubious assumptions first and scanned the material second. Because, antibiotic resistance, hormone reactions, mad cow disease, cancer links to food additives and pesticides are pretty well known negative effects.

Healthy is the summation of positive and negative effects of a food on your health. Nutrition is just the sum total of how much nutrients you can take from a food.

I was not aware that the sole qualifier for organic produce being better than conventional was the nutrition content. Where did this arbitrary standard come from?

The article, merely an opinion piece, simply rehashes old studies to reinforce the author's preconceived opinion. I ponder why he thinks organic doesn't taste better. Have you ever had an organic egg compared to the factor farm egg? Not only do they taste different they look different and cook different, yet the author concludes that they are all the same. Thankfully there is plenty of pasture beef where I live (also we have the largest number of factory beef) because the factory beef tastes so utterly bland, but the author tells me it's the same. But I suppose if you use bland produce, bred for durability in long trips, for the study and only change the farming methods in one season you aren't going to taste any difference, but seeing that the author didn't cite any references there's no way to tell what was used.

I would assume most people don't buy organic because of the perceived nutritional difference. Viewing that the entire article is a strawman and assumes that's why consumers purchase organic (not the lack of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers and the impact they have on the farmers and the environment) then it's easier to come to the conclusion that you want.

Seeing that the author of the article is clearly biased there's no reason to form a conclusion based upon his biased article.

Did you read the Gardner tweet?

Dear everyone: A judgement is not "biased" merely because you disagree with it, nor is it "unbiased" because you agree. Simple, eh?

I was not aware that the sole qualifier for organic produce being better than conventional was the nutrition content.

Straw man, that is not the only criteria he included in the article.

I ponder why he thinks organic doesn't taste better. Have you ever had an organic egg compared to the factor farm egg?

I've tasted both and perceive no difference, of course my anecdotal account has as little value as yours.

And did you not read this:

As regards taste, the most comprehensive study carried out was at the University of Kansas, where clever experimental techniques allowed the researchers to vary the fertiliser type whilst growing the crops in identical microclimates. Trained taste panels could not distinguish between the organic and the conventionally grown foods.

I haven't checked the literature myself, but then you haven't provided any scientific studies that support your point of view. I suspect that one could find studies supporting either view.

Glad to see someone responded in the Why Evolution Is True comments to the heading "Stephen Wolfram (and I) on free will" with the pedantic correction - it should be ..(and me).. to be grammatically acceptable.

Navigation

Support this site

Google Ads


Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2017 Norman Jenson

Contact


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives