I’m sending you offblog again…

To read this new article at Babble.com about a mom who (teh horrorz!) doesn’t feed her child ‘organic’ food. Neither do I, and this article explains rather well why I don’t.

(One quibble: Arsenic isn’t organic, not being carbon-based. But it’s all-natural nonetheless).

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17 Responses

  1. Agreed. I don’t buy organic for exactly those reasons. I am living on minimum wages and they want me to spend twice as much for food that is, in my opinion, poorer quality. Screw that.

  2. If you start finding out what really goes under the label organic… checken and cows are still fed grains (organic corn of course) instead of grass and still don’t have much access to pasture. So, we try to buy local when possible, because it tastes better and we rather support our community (most times prices are the same, you could buy olive oil made 3 km away or in Spain for the same price, guess which one we buy).

    So instead of worrying if i’m poisoning my daughter by feeding her non-“organic” stuff I can freely spend my days worrying if I’m doing some sort of permanent damage to her by… let’s see.. not cosleeping, CIO, never wearing her, telling her “no” many times a day, etc…

  3. Of course the real disadvantage to not eating organic and local is that you miss out all those important micro-nutrients like, sanctimony and piety, not to mention that great feeling of smugness one gets from eating more mindfully and respectfully better than all those fat, suv-driving plebs one sometimes encounters when one is forced to travel beyond the boundaries of Brooklyn/Berkeley/San Francisco/Austin, etc.

    There’s a huge element of snobbery to organic foods that really annoys me above and beyond the flimsiness of the evidence.

  4. Too bad this website doesn’t have Facebook’s ‘like’ feature, because that micro-nutrients comment is priceless.

  5. I’ never cared to find out about organic farming guidelines here in the US, but in the UK farmers can use pesticides known to cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s. See here, for instance:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2230775/Holy-Cows-Is-organic-better-for-us.html
    Many organics are better when it comes to taste, though. I buy organic tomatoes from time to time, but that’s a luxury, really.
    Nancy, you crack me up. 🙂

    • Yeah, rotenone (an ‘organic’ pesticide made from crysanthemums) is one nasty chemical. Much nastier than lots of stuff synthesized de novo in a lab.

      Most of the stuff in our open markets and supermarkets is local (having a small small country does that to ya) and seasonal, but not organic, and can taste as good, and sometimes better, than the veggies grown ‘organically’ (‘cos I’m a sissy about using pesticides except Roundup) in my backyard. Taste has more to do with soil quality/nutrients and species of plant than ‘organicity’.

      Nancy – spot on 😆 .

      Another blogpost that hits the spot on the subject : What the hell happened to the environmental movement?.

  6. Esther, if you haven’t read ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A History of Four Meals” by Michael Pollan, I think you would really enjoy it. He examines the large-scale organic industry and while he does find that the food is by and large superior to that produced using non-organic large-scale agriculture, it is sometimes a very marginal difference – the real difference is between local, small-scale agriculture and “global”, large-scale agriculture. Food that is mass-produced and meant to be shipped long-distance is pretty much always going to be inferior to locally available produce, grown on a scale where proper attention can be paid to it, without the use of excessive fertilizer and the possibility of things like salmonella contamination (which was a big problem for some California (organic) spinach growers a few years back).

    • So many books, so little time (and money, because the books I like aren’t in local libraries)…but yes, Michael Pollan is definitely on my reading list.

      • TB, point taken, but I find Pollan’s recommendation an unrealistic starting point (and I think he’s a lousy writer, but I realize that I am in the minority in that opinion). I live in an area where you can get pretty good produce locally almost year round, but not everyone does, heck, my mother who lives not 150 miles from me doesn’t. I think that Mark Bittman’s recent book has more realistic recommendations:

        http://www.amazon.com/Food-Matters-Conscious-Eating-Recipes/dp/1416575642/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241454740&sr=1-1

      • I can’t stand Pollan because he advocates making food more expensive in order to reduce obesity. Which demonstrates such a breathtaking level of elitism and a misunderstanding of the causes of obesity that it makes me hope he chokes on a locally grown carrot.

  7. This is becoming “Ester’s review of blogs.” Not that I am complaining. I was impressed with the video you had sent me to look at.

    • I’ve referred readers to other articles and blogs quite a bit – when they are as good, or better, mainstream parenting resources than I can come up with. Sometimes other people just say it better than I do…

  8. Ah, yes. Organic farming has become rather a bugbear to me lately.

    I swear the organic movement is actually damaging people’s health, because too many people now have this idea that “after all those chemicals have been sprayed on, there’s no point to eating an apple”. And the people who’ve said this to me are exactly the people who cannot really afford the mark-up.

    So they’re not buying fruit.

  9. The number of apples you’d have to eat before you ingested enough pesticide to cause you harm would kill you before the poison would.

    There seem to be two strands to the argument – the first is about pesticides – I think this is the rather less sophistacated of the two – and the second, slicker version is about all those immeasurable micro-nutrients.

    That’ s Pollan’s gambit (did I really just write gambit?). Basically, though I think he’s just a food prig. I liked him better when he was trying to incinerate woodchucks in Connecticut – in the days when he just wrote about gardening.

  10. I understand that organics are more expensive. I have to make my decision about what I buy. But I just feel better buying from local farmers. Do you care that your beef comes from cows that have been feed grain (they naturally eat grass), antibiotics because they’re getting sick from the grain, hormones to fatten them up not to mention the horrible conditions in the feed lot? I get it that this stuff costs more but we all make decisions. Maybe you don’t eat meat as much and add more beans into your diet. You can be creative. It takes a bit of work but once you figure it out it’s not so bad. Give it a try! If it came down to the wire, I’d make the decision to protect my children over me. Get them the organic food and not give them the food hosting poisonous chemicals. They’re little and their bodies need everything they can to grow. Give them a chance. They need your help.

  11. ShellyBelly,

    No, actually, I trust the veterinary services to keep the animals healthy and provide meat that is clean (animals receiving antibiotics for illness as opposed to for growth, for example, are not allowed to be used as meat). We also don’t eat all that much beef, anyway. However, most kosher meat in Israel is imported from Uruguay, and their beef is almost always grass-fed.

    I’m not afraid of the word “chemicals” and am cognizant of the fact that poisonous chemicals are everywhere in nature as well.

    You might benefit from reading this post of mine and pursuing the links.

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