Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is buying and eating organic any better for us than normal food?  Not according to this investigation. The conclusion:

  "Save your money. It’s more cost-effective, environmentally responsible and humane to buy conventional food than the high-priced organic stuff."

Another conclusion:

  "Another issue: The vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume occur in our diets “naturally, and are present in organic foods as well as conventional ones. UC/Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.” And: “Natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.”
Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just a one-hundredth of a percent of the pesticides they consume. And the animal testing that causes concern about man-made pesticides should raise as much worry about far more common, and fully “organic,” natural pesticides."
Another conclusion:
  "Ironically, the designation “organic” is itself a synthetic bureaucratic construct that makes little sense. It prohibits the use of synthetic chemical pesticides — except for a long list of exceptions detailed in the Organic Foods Production Act.
Moreover, the definition permits most “natural” pesticides (and also OKs the use of pathogen-laden animal excreta as fertilizer).
These permitted pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in September in a Scientific American article: “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones. No matter what anyone tells you, organic pesticides don’t just disappear. Rotenone [a common organic pesticide] is notorious for its lack of degradation, and copper [another one] sticks around for a long, long time."
I hate it when everyone's assumptions - which people want desperately to believe - turn out to be wrong.

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