Is Organic Food Better? No, It's a Scam

Organic Food Is Not More Nutritious Than Conventionally Grown Food

A recent review conducted by British researchers have come to the conclusion that conventionally grown food is just as nutritious as organically grown food. The review was financed by the Foods Standard Agency in Britain and the conclusions published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Since this was a review done by scientists and not organic food lobbyists I believe their assessment.

Predictably, the report was met with outrage by the pro organic lobbyists and their supporters that have claimed that organic food is more nutritious. Much is at stake for them; the organic food industry has grown from $2.5 million in 1988 to more than $650 million in 2007. The report not only threatens the producers' livelihood but future growth as well. So it begs the question, if conventionally grown food is just as nutritious as organic food at 1/3 to ½ the price of organic food, why bother buying organically grown food? Is the organic food movement a scam?

Kinder and Safer?

Many consumers say that they buy organically grown food because it doesn't use as many chemical pesticides, is kinder to the environment and therefore safer. But just because organic or natural pesticides are used to grow food doesn't mean it's safer. The idea that organic growers can use manure does not make me think it's safer to eat organic food, it just make me not want to eat it. And I don't see how it's kinder to the environment; organically grown food exhausts the soil because chemicals aren't used to help promote growth of the crops and protect the nutrients in the soil. Additionally the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), said “Measured residues on most products, both organic and non-organic, do not exceed government-defined thresholds for safe consumption.”

Enthusiasts of organic food lastly claim that it tastes better than conventionally grown food. But taste is subjective and is influenced by the individual's perception. Taste can't be measured scientifically.

Organic Food Poll

How much organic food do you buy?

  • None
  • 10% of weekly groceries
  • 30% of weekly groceries
  • 50% of weekly groceries
  • More than 50% of or all of weekly groceries
See results without voting

Why Buy Organic?

So if organic food is not more nutritious and not safer but is a lot more expensive, why buy it? And here, we can take a look at who is the audience for organic food. The consumers are usually people who have the discretionary income to buy it. I think for this group of people, they have used food as a status symbol. Ordinary, conventionally grown food is too accessible to everyone but organically grown food that is priced at two or three times the normal price, well they must be better because it costs more. Never mind that organically grown food is shown to be an inefficient use of soil and labor, that actually just contributes to the mystique surrounding organic food. It implies a certain custom made-ness of food. Because organic food doesn't use the normal chemical pesticides, it is subject to more attention and more waste. It is conspicuous consumption not by way of gluttony but by way of illusory scarcity.

Now if people with discretionary income want to waste their money, that's fine by me, that's a way of spreading the wealth around through the financial markets. But it is a problem, if people without a lot of money end up spending more of their limited income on their food bill needlessly because they are being influenced and made to feel that conventionally grown food is not as nutritious. Instead of buying and enjoying a delicious bag of Macintosh apples, they buy one exotic organically grown Macintosh apple. How is that helping lower income people? They just end up hungrier and less healthier. I think more needs to be done about countering some of these baseless claims that organic food is “better” than conventionally grown food. People's lives can be at stake and I'm glad that there are more scientific studies showing that conventionally grown food is just as healthy as organically grown and that more attention is being paid these studies. 

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Comments 56 comments

kerryg profile image

kerryg 7 years ago from USA

"And I don't see how it's kinder to the environment; organically grown food exhausts the soil because chemicals aren't used to help promote growth of the crops and protect the nutrients in the soil."

Sorry, exactly the opposite is true. The fertilizers used to grow conventional crops are generally nitrogen based. Nitrogen fertilizers make the plants grow quickly, but they do not replenish any other soil nutrients, and as a result, they cause the plants to deplete the soil of other nutrients FASTER than they would if no nitrogen fertilizers were applied.

Manure, on the other hand, contains many nutrients, so it does replenish the soil. (It is aged or composted before use, so any pathogens are killed.) Manure is also not the only soil-replenishing technique used by organic farmers. Many use cover crops, for example, which are mowed or plowed under before planting. These plants also draw nutrients up from deep in the soil and when they rot, they return them to the soil where they can be used by the crops.

The nutrition studies you cite are also somewhat questionable. How nutritious a food is depends on the quality of its soil, so conventional crops grown on good soil will be more nutritious than organic crops grown on poor soil. However, since conventional techniques tend to deplete soil over time and organic techniques tend to improve it, it's safe to assume that food raised on established organic farms IS more nutritious than food grown on long-time conventional farms.

Where organically raised (grass fed) animal products are concerned, study after study has shown a *significant* difference in nutritional quality between grass fed and conventionally raised meat, eggs, and dairy products:

http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

You are certainly going to draw some strong opinions with this one!

Taste is extremely important, so I cannot understand your glib dismissal. We have no interest in bland, force-grown ingredients - only the best is good enough for Greek cookery. Organic certainly does taste much better - the fruit and vegetables that we buy at our local market are not only tastier, but they are much cheaper than supermarket stuff. Buying from the market also helps to keep the money circulating in the local economy, so it is win/win situation for everybody.

We grow our own olives, grapes and oranges organically, with no more waste than growing with chemicals. Manure and green compost are definitely the ways to go, especially when you live in a hot, dry climate - they help the soil to retain moisture far better than chemicals, and are also free ;)

On that note, we draw our water straight from the mountain springs - we do not really want pesticides in the water table, thank you very much. Water is precious here, so we must keep it clean and pure.

I am really not sure where you get this idea of nutrient depletion from - good farming practices and rotation stop this from happening. Crete has been fully organic for years, and the olive trees there are as bountiful as ever.

Fair play to you for sticking your head above the parapet and putting forth an unpopular opinion. However, science is often guilty of missing the point (and I speak as an ex-biologist!).

Try asking the people who actually grow the crops - a lot of what you say is blatantly untrue :D


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast Author

Kerry, with all due respect you are misinformed. Chemical fertilizers provide the additional nitrogen, that's why each bag tells you what percent of nitrogen is available in the bag. The fertilizers allow the plant to grow because of the additional nitrogen and other nutrients, therefore they don't have to take so much from the soil. Composting is what gives the nitrogen and other minerals back to the soil. Manure gives the soil a quick shot of nutrients. Composting with manure is what will make the soil able to help plants who feed from nitrogen grow well. It is usually advised that you rotate your crops on a three year cycle so that you compost part of it while growing specific crops that will vary in their need for nitrogen. This is what makes organic farming more laborious and produces less yield. Both methods of farming does deplete soil but conventionally grown actually doesn't make the soil work as hard.

People who do disagree with the study always think it's questionable. Fine. Nevertheless, the studies show regardless of whether the individual crop was grown from conventional farming or organic, there is no significant difference in nutrition. You can argue about it, but the results are the results.

---------------------------------------------

Sufidreamer, taste is important but it is subjective and not quantifiable. It has not been shown that food conventionally grown tastes worse than organically grown if they were both ripe and picked from the vine. Often times here in the US we get our produce from far away and they have to be picked either unripe or half-ripe and because of the time and distance, so much of our produce is not ripe from the vine. That's why I think supermarket produce doesn't taste as good as local farm grown which are allowed to ripen. The other thing about taste is that the produce we get comes from varieties that were grown to look nice and lasts longer before rotting but it comes at the expense of taste. So when you say something tastes better organic than conventionally grown there are a lot of factors and I'm just questioning whether things are compared appropriately.

Far be it for me to say that Crete shouldn't be doing things organically, that's how they've been doing it for ages and if they're happy with it then they shouldn't change anything. However, the point of the article is that conventionally grown produce is just as nutritious as organically grown, and you only have organic in Crete so there is not much basis for comparison.

It is always good to buy locally, but here in the US we import as well as export so we do help other developing countries by buying their produce and they return the favor by buying ours and that's nice too.

It doesn't bother me if people disagree that's why it's good to have discussions.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

No time to write a long comment, but I think you are way off base on this one. I recently wrote an article on the subject, taking the oposite view:

http://hubpages.com/politics/httpwwewOrganicorconv...


Andrea M Martin profile image

Andrea M Martin 7 years ago from Southern New Jersey

I'm a supporter of natural and organic foods and it is mostly because I care about my health and well-being and that of my family.

The trace amounts of chemicals that are acceptable in our foods may seem like very little in isolated incidences, but add up all the chemicals and additives we consume over the course of a day, a month, a year - I'm sure those aren't acceptable levels. And I can't see how "chemicals" are good for something as natural as soil.

I know that our bodies are great "filters" and our livers do a good job of getting most of that junk out, but what about the stuff we can't get out? It just doesn't seem natural to have chemicals, additives, hormones, etc, building up in our bodies. Doesn't it seem odd that new and strange ailments and diseases are cropping up a little more often these days? ... What's the common denominator? Food?

Look, every single food item that I consume is not always organic, but I try for it to be as often as possible. It's a matter of health, and I'm not taking chances with that.

As for taste, I suggest an experiment: for one month, switch your milk to completely organic milk. Put it on your cereal, in your coffee, drink a glass before bed once in awhile. Then, after a month, try some "regular" non-organic milk. You will notice a difference!

And taste DOES matter - life is too short to eat bland food! :)


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Wow, Andrea, I couldn't have said it better myself. You are right on. Check out an article on Organic Farming

http://hubpages.com/politics/httpwwewOrganicorconv...


robboo 7 years ago

organic is grap and it rots after a day it it taste like sh1T


ralwus 7 years ago

I like the way you think. Organic food was fine until corporations got involved. Not one bit safer and it is cost prohibitive as well. Kudos on a great hub.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks ralwus. And by the way, that's a nice new avatar that you're sporting.


MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 6 years ago from Henderson, NV

There is a counter movement to discredit Organic Foods.

But the only real question you have to ask yourself is given the choice would I eat food that is pesticide free or food that contains pesticide residue?

The issue extends much further than your table. And not all conventional farming practices should be demonized.

But the Organic Food movement is as much about sustainable farming in a way that is kind to the earth, than it is about the nutritional content of a piece of fruit.

There has been a large influx of corporate buyouts that are polluting the movement. And the Government allows certain levels of conventional pesticides to be used by these farms. You can't just convert a farm to organic... unless you are the governmental rule makers.

One example is they allow the use of 20% conventional feed in dairy products. You are either practicing organic farming or you are not.

Studies do not mean much because they are short term and there is no way to really accurately gauge the impact of levels of pesticides on the body in the short term.

What is known is that Cancer rates are higher now than they have ever been. But you'll have to draw your own conclusions. We live in a toxic world.


zadrobi profile image

zadrobi 6 years ago from Carbondale, IL

Hello, FK. The organics have come out in force for this one :) I did a case study on the major organic food retailers about a year ago. What all of the pro-organics are choosing to skip over is the price. You were spot on in your segment "Why Buy?". Organic retailers realized that being successful meant targeting the people most able to afford their products. For chains like Whole Foods, their niche market was a no-brainer. The major step in their product positioning is the target market, which is made apparent upon entering any of the stores. You are exactly right: for most, it's not a matter of marginal benefit, rather affordability. If people think spending 3 times as much on groceries will improve their quality of life 3 times, then maybe they will have convinced themselves before even leaving the grocery store.

The effects of organic food are up to the purchaser to decipher because, ultimately, they will be the one's convincing themselves just how much organic products are worth to them. Me? I trust the FDA.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for commenting Zach. And I agree with you too!


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

Have you lived on a working farm? Have you seen the old chemicals that should not even be on the farm still being used? Have you seen farmers trade their beliefs about their crops for the money paid to secretly plant GM crops... The possible effects on ecosystems from these crops can be damaging beyond one crop cycle or one paddock.... Do you really want a company like Monsanto owning the seeds to your crop?? Nature is a magica thing.. dont mess with her, she might mess with you back. Organics are great.. so are normal crops, genetically modified crops which are meant to be drought resistant have been found to have lower crop yields. Most of the research now too, is funded through inappropriate corporate sponsorship... thus we are getting the research that different interest groups want us to have... For me, no GM foods, I understand some chemical spraying etc, but some not.. some can be extremely damaging and its a fair bet that there is a purpose in making our crops week.. have a look on youtube for contrails.. and ask why and who?? Then get back to me about organics vs GM crops..Some organics are really well priced and quality is better than a visit to a weight loss centre....


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

The issue is not organics vs GM. It's whether organics is more nutritious and it isn't.


wordsword profile image

wordsword 6 years ago

Generally speaking things which are grown naturally are quite tasty and nutritious, i had experienced myself, the country grown vegetables give recipes a different taste and aroma. But having said that there is no denial that organic food comes with a different price tag.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for visiting wordsword.


h.a.borcich profile image

h.a.borcich 6 years ago

Hi Flightkeeper,

Personally, I have survived skin, cervical, and breast cancers; and am fighting to survive advanced invasive bladder cancer. I buy the organic to reduce chemical intake in hopes I will not get anymore cancers. I also don't buy much processed foods either for the same reasons.

I am glad you looked into the organic issue, but I still feel safer with less chemicals in my foods, Holly


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi Holly, I'm sorry to hear about your cancer history and am very glad that you are a survivor. It is to everyone's benefit to eat the foods that will make them strong and healthy.


Andy 6 years ago

These comments are ridiculous, especially the link provided by alekhouse, which she claims is an article refuting this. There is not one fact in that link. It is nothing other than anecdotal commentary and unsupported supposition. This article made the case that the nutritional differences just aren't there, when measured objectively. The "refutations" are of the feather "chemicals can't be good for you, can they?"

Silliness. Limousine liberals may want to shop at Whole Foods, noses high in the air, but what they really would NOT like is for all farming to be organic, which would result in catastrophe for the world's billions, who want to eat, not tell everyone how much better their food is.


Shawn Scarborough profile image

Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

Nice hub! I appreciate you taking on a controversial topic. I usually avoid organic produce. Whenever there is an e coli outbreak it is usually traced back to an organic farm. I'd rather have trace amounts of pesticides in my food than e coli.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Totally agree with Shawn, give me chemicals over manure any old day.


Tim Blackstone profile image

Tim Blackstone 6 years ago

It may be that nutrional content is exactly the same but I am not sure that is the point of choosing organic food for most people.

My own experience has been that organic food usually tastes better and that suggests that something is different about organic food and it could be simply that the varieties chosen are more satisfying and enjoyable than the regular industrial farming varieties that give a bigger yield. Given the choice I know which I would prefer. Organically produced fresh foods from your garden or mass produced force fed crops from an industrial farm.

Organically grown food maintains the soil for future generations but industrialy grown food rapes the soil taking everything and putting back only what is essential to grow bigger yields.

This is part of a much wider argument about whether we care about how much we ruin the planet for our children. Personally I would rather pay a little more or eat a little less and know that there will still be a viable farming industry in the future.

I think big business moving in to organics will be a bad thing as they push the boundaries and squeeze more profit out of it all but if that means they are moving away from the destructive practices of the past few decades that is probably a good thing overall.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Actually it is organically grown food that depletes the soil. Remember that in the old days they had to rotate the crops to slow the depletion of soil. I don't know if taste is a subjective thing, I tend to think it is. Thanks for your comments.


J Sunhawk profile image

J Sunhawk 5 years ago from South Carolina

You're spot on about the nutrition angle between "organic" and "conventional." No difference.

I grow "organic" tomatoes from heritage seeds because I like the "taste." Besides, I can't find that particular tomato in any grocery store.

To each his own.

Good article.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 5 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks JSunhawk. I think if you have the opportunity to grow your own food, that's better than buying at the store. You have control of your own food source.


balloon 5 years ago

Organic food is simple economics.

Corperations know that some people will only pay a certain amount for a product and others are willing to pay more.

Of course they cant ask people how much they are willing to pay. They need to sell a product for 2 prices

Of course you cant have 2 prices one for rich and one for poor

so heres what they do

an example

Cup of coffee in a coffee shop £1

Cup of coffee with a dusting of chocolate and a squirt of cream £1.50

Same cost to make it give or take a few pence but it ensures that everyone is buying the product for the most they are willing to spend.

By that I mean they can sell coffee for £1,50 without losing customers who can only afford £1

Organic food is smart economics in the sense that they realized some people would spend more on an apple if they felt it were a superior product in some way.

the sad thing is we used to have an organic option

it was called the local Markets.

But the large stores put them out of business with cheap non organic food

Now they are selling the product they priced out of the market back to shoppers with a 300% mark up


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 5 years ago from The East Coast Author

Sad but unfortunately true, balloon


Supercellbaebe profile image

Supercellbaebe 5 years ago from LONDON

I love Organic food and I buy it where possible because I just prefer the taste of it.

I have also been advised to eat Organic food for health reasons, relating to the need to avoid the chemicals used in conventional food growing.

The only annoying thing about organic food is that it is so expensive, I can't afford it! So in most cases I really have no choose but to go conventional, even though I'd rather go organic.

Thanks for creating such a controversial hub

xxx


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 5 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi Supercellbaebe, thanks for visiting and your comment. It was appreciated.


Pamela-anne profile image

Pamela-anne 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Great Hub I am finding more people I know are getting in to eating organic foods but is there certain guidelines that must be followed to class food as organic and if so how do we know that the organic food that we are buying is really organic? Who keeps an eye on the farmers making sure they follow set guidlines for growing organic food or are we just supposed to take the word of the farmer that he is above board? Maybe there is farmers who are not honest that are just seeing the bigger profits from selling organic vs conventional food. Hopefully people are getting what they are paying for. Good topic!


Dan 4 years ago

Wow, look at all the negative comments trying to refute scientifical based research. People... you are free to spend the extra money on Organic foods, you are free to like the taste of Organic foods, but your arguments are futile. When you return with a scientifical researched study backing your claims then feel free to post your negativity.


Kelsie 4 years ago

It's not accurate to assume that organic food consumers "usually" are buying organic for the status. Without a doubt there are a lot of stupid people who want to buy expensive food for the wrong reasons, but it is also wrong to say that the majority of organic conumers do this. Downright misleading and untrue. I buy about 80 % organic whenever I can, and not because I give a crap who sees my grocery cart. My health is my priority, not my social status.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

The whole first half of this hub says that organically grown food is more nutritious than conventionally grown, that went right over your head. If it is no more nutritious then conventionally grown should be just as healthy. You fell for the organic mumbo jumbo.


Kelsie 4 years ago

No, I didn't fall for any "mumbo jumbo". I understand the nutrition is the same. I buy organic as much as I can because I try to reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals I put in to my body. A person who commented previously sums up pretty well what I have to say: "The trace amounts of chemicals that are acceptable in our foods may seem like very little in isolated incidences, but add up all the chemicals and additives we consume over the course of a day, a month, a year - I'm sure those aren't acceptable levels. And I can't see how "chemicals" are good for something as natural as soil."


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Again, there is an assumption that toxins and chemicals that develop through organic farming is less harmful. You have no proof that toxins and chemicals build up in regular farming, or that they don't wash away. Chemicals are everywhere. They are byproducts of natural processes.


Kelsie 4 years ago

By chemicals, I'm referring to synthetic chemicals and additives put into food to alter their chemistry in order to enhance appearance, size, taste, and to preserve them. Harmful pesticides, herbicides, anything artificial, etc.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

If these pesticides and herbicides were harmful, plenty of people would have died a long time ago. You have no proof that they are harmful to the human who eats the food.


John 4 years ago

FlightKeeper,

Clearly you are not a farmer and aren't understanding the broader picture here. Yes just as there are bad conventional growers there are bad organic growers. Both will cause massive soil depletion. Bad organic farmers because they draw too much from the soil without replacing what they take known as 'nutrient export'. bad conventional growers can do the same but more so because the chemicals used in conventional farming disrupt and eventually kill the biological systems of the soil which will lock up all of the naturally occurring nutrients making them unavailable for the crop to use. This means that the fertilizer that they put down is the only food available to the plant. These growers also rely on only NPK fertilization without thinking of the 20 some odd other nutrients that a plant needs for basic metabolic processes. So while yes, these plants can produce high yields, they are sick plants. Making them much more susceptible to fungal, bacterial and viral infection as well as pest attacks. This requires evermore chemicals to limp these weak plants along ultimately resulting in further degradation if the soil and water. A responsible organic grower continually feeds the soil with green manure (cover crops grown and plowed in to feed the soil life), and well balanced fertilizers based on exactly what the plant needs without mining the soil. these healthy biologically active soils are what allows us to grow healthy plants reducing our need to apply toxic pesticides and fumigants. The concern about manure is also overblown as well as inaccurate. We generally use compost which is just a few steps away from being black earth top soil or humus. Biologically stable, not full of dangerous bacteria and one of the best ways to balance soil. As to the issue of manure it is simple fallacy that it can contaminate the food for the simple reason that certified organic producers are prohibited from applying raw manure to a field within 120 days of the harvest of any crops. This is Federally mandated as e.coli will not survive this long and thus be unable to contaminate the food. Most e.coli outbreaks come from the handling process of vegetables and meats or runoff from confinement animal operations. While there may not be substantive evidence that organic produce is nutritionally superior. There is little argument that it is more sustainable environmentally and ultimately a cleaner product all in all.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for agreeing with my article, that organic produce is not nutritionally superior. I don't know how you define a sick plant, John, but a sick plant wouldn't thrive and grow and produce high yields. Your comment also shows how laborious organic farming is without producing the yield that farming with chemical pesticides does with much less labor.


John 4 years ago

I did not agree with you that organic crops aren't nutritionally superior. I stated that the evidence is scant. However I encourage you to read this article on a university survey on Strawberries (yes it is Strawberry specific but telling nonetheless).

http://grist.org/food/new-study-weighs-in-on-organ...

As to the idea of a sick plant producing high yields? Just think of an injured football player, he wrecks his knee, goes to the locker room and get a cortizone shot. He comes out and has a great second half and produces huge stats. That still doesn't negate the fact that he is not healthy. A more agricultural comparison would be a dairy cow raised in confinement. There is no arguing that that these cows produce a lot of milk, upwards of 50-60 pounds a day. But I assure you, these cows are deathly ill. Have you ever heard of liquid manure? Think about it what is liquid manure? It's diarrhea, and these animals live there whole lives with it. That is why they have to be on so many drugs to keep them going. Their ration may produce lot's of milk but it also kills them, usually within 3-4 years. On a pasture based organic system it is not uncommon for a cow to live over 20 years while remaining productive.

I also do not recall alluding to labor in my previous comment, but the overall labor is very comparable in both farms. Organic farms will spend a bit more on weed control but all and all the total labor bill relative to gross income is close. If there is one reason that organic costs more at the store and costs more to produce it is likely because we try to pay people well. Yes in fact it does cost more money to pay a US citizen or legal immigrant than it does to pay and illegal alien. And a living wage in most regions is not minimum wage. I would really love people to stop complaining about the cost of food and about the immigration problem. If you want dirt cheap food then don't expect an American to pick it for minimum wage or even less.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Again your articles are illogical. The football player is temporarily injured not unhealthy, that you don't know the difference and apply it to dairy cows shows your agenda. The price of organic food cannot all be attributed to labor. Organic farming is inefficient and does not produce a better product overall for the price that it asks. Nothing you have written refutes the science.


John 4 years ago

If you consider reality to be illogical then yes, you are certainly right. I am not a fool who believes that dairy cows, football players and plants are one and the same. It is a thing called analogy, I am simply drawing comparisons as to how through the use of chemicals we are able to mask the underlying problems from view.

And to speak of science, the arguments I have heard here against aren't science they are conjecture. I have the science. I am a trained biologist with an understanding of plant and animal metabolism, nutrient cycles, and environmental interactions thereof. I am also a career farmer. I have countless soil sample records from both organic and conventional land that will back up absolutely everything I say. I have binders full of evidence and a career of experience. I am not trying to sway your opinion as I know it is set but I find it tragic that one might stumble upon pages like this and be swayed by conjecture and cynicism when the facts point to the contrary, or that facts are cherry picked and used to draw much broader conclusions. I would like to know what science and hard evidence you claim to have that would refute my years of dedication to a broader understanding of the environment and agriculture. I would further submit that anyone unable to read and interpret a soil test is not truly qualified to claim scientific preeminence on this issue. Perhaps you can, but I doubt it.

I would also like to know where your constant reassertion that organic farming is inefficient comes from. Do you own a farm? have you worked on a vegetable farm? Organic? Conventional? How many vegetable farms have you been to? Have you actually compared yields between farms? The fact is that while the two systems may invest in different things as the systems are different. The overall yields and qualities similar. And yes, it does cost a bit more when a farmer invests in the soil and the people who work there rather than the chemical company and cheap labor.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

John, it's not an analogy. You can't tell the difference between unhealthy and temporarily injured. I doubt that you are a biologist, and if you are, you are a poor one. Being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is not like being published in People magazine, these are serious people who do responsible research.

I'm not here to stop you from organically farming and charging exorbitant prices. But the organic farming industry have been making false claims about their produce being healthier and it just isn't so.


John 4 years ago

Flightkeeper I am not going to belabor the issue other than to say that I don't believe that you can say that a plant that will die with out the use of bacteriacides, fungicides and pesticides due to a compromised immune system can be called a healthy plant. It is a chemically dependent plant. Also I did not argue with you as to the nutritional claims other than to offer one piece from Washington State University that indicates at least one specific instance where it could be true though I conceded that issue to you all in all. What I was arguing was the untruths floating around out there about the use of fertility and manure inputs on organic farms as well as its environmental impact. Good luck friend.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

John, your first statement tells me where we differ fundamentally in outlook. You think that a plant sprayed with pesticides becomes dependent on them like a drug addict, but pesticides don't work that way on plants. I appreciate your input and also wish you well on your endeavors.


chingon... 4 years ago

Good read, I recommend everyone watch the episode of 'bullshit' on organic foods. I never bought into the whole organic bs tbh. I grew up in Mexico where most crops are grown 'organically' and yes, the farmers tend to 'genetically' alter their crops by planting seeds from the tastier harvests and weeding out the worse ones.

A little different than in the States where it will be a selection based on bigger yield or bruising/produce hardiness. If you ask me, both industries could learn from each other. Corporations learning to grow tastier crops.

I'm sorry but who ever believes organic growers don't use pesticides are out of their minds....many times organic growers lacking the know-how on what an appropriate quantity or best pesticide to use.

You see, in the industrial setting, you got a bunch of scientists, agro-engineers, and people w/4+ year degrees figuring out the best way to maximize profit. Be it in NOT depleting soil of its nutrients (to maximize yield), or the best way of battling plagues while using less chemicals (to minimize cost). To maximize profit by reducing energy costs in planting/harvesting, and all the other things most tree-huggers blame them of not doing. I'm sorry if I choose to believe the big corporation with a lab-full of book worms over the liberal arts degree dropout with the latest and greatest mystical (insert tribe here) method of growing food.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jq4DGEn9Is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GZckAfFTYE&feature...


Cassie 4 years ago

Wow! Two comedians trying to debunk organic. Not that convincing, esp when the two are Pinhead and Tailless! Kind of like Larry the Cable Guy trying to tell you how to fix your cable: "Git r sharp knife and cut the cord, then... opps! That smarts!" LOL -- Anyway, betcha these two clowns eat organic! How do I know? Come closer. I'll let you in on a secret: Wealthy people eat at fancy pants restuarants and ALL of the food is organic. I know. Don't ask me how. Hint: I know a waitress or two who have seen the celebs come in and eat their organic foods (including Bill Gates who supports GMO's for the rest of the planet! Those who have the most money eat organic because they don't want pesticides and other chemicals in their bodies. Go figure.

BTW the high cost of organic will probably offset any medical bills you may have down the road. Organic cuts out my impulse buys so it's a wash. I wish more people saw it that way. Eat organic as often as you can: The life you save may be your own. My cat played in a nearby GMO corn field last summer and now is battling Lymphoma, his body is toxin filled. We have no poisons on our property; the vet asked how this could happen, but it was the oncologist when asked about Roundup Ready crop fields nearby. I would never want to see this happen to another, person or animal. If chemotherapy isn't an option, the sweetest cat I have ever known in my life will have just days to live. Well, the vet actually said the cat's body is so filled with toxins he could die at any more from his system just being overwhelmed.

I never dreamed that this corn field was so dangerous. We played in corn fields as kids and barefoot no less, but I wouldn't go near it now. I will NEVER go barefoot again.

I hope you get better quickly, Holly.


Sherryl 4 years ago

I have a 10 year old child with chronic skin dermatitis for past 8 years. After exhaustive allergy testing showed moderate allergies to dust mites,pollen and mold but no foods we have spent oodles on mostly organic , whole foods. Guess what? Recent anaphylactic reaction to yeast - not previously identified. My organic f&v is purchased primarily at Wholefoods Houston. Most of this food has travelled many miles and has started to build up mold due to lack of fungicides. Lesson, if you are eating organic because you are sick and undiagnosed then maybe you are doing yourself more harm then good. Don't get me wrong, I am all for local,fresh produce but if your organic is not local and fresh then it s probably poisoning you.


Pegasus Flow 4 years ago

Flightkeeper,

It is rather obvious you are little more than a casual observer with some internet research skills. If you were any more, you would have realized that everything John said was spot on. The fact that you couldn't recognize he was indeed using an analogy indicates where you are on the IQ chart. I have worked on a farm for roughly 20 years and know the ins and outs of both sides of this debate. Also, I noticed that while he made only a single mention of nutrition value, you continually decided to go back to it over and over again even when it wasn't relevant. John stated all facts (yes they were all facts) while you seemed to simply continuously point to subjective arguments based on someone else's possibly biased research that you did not of yourself. Like he said you are set in your thoughts and your ways but from a third party with actual experience which you obviously do not have; your logic is backwards. Best of luck my friend, it seems like you'll need it.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for the luck Pegasus Flow, although I won't need it. You are going to need all that luck for yourself. Your knowledge of science is lacking if you agree with John since it shows that you need all your wits about you, however few they are. I didn't need an IQ chart to tell me so either.


LoneDruid 4 years ago

Thanks for this article Flightkeeper. The thing that really has effect on nutritional value is how long since the fruit/vegetable has been picked because right after it has been picked the nutrients immediately start breaking down. So your best bet would be to buy from local farmers at farmers markets where the food has been picked literally the day before, and oh yeah, it is also much much cheaper.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi LoneDruid, I agree with you. Part of the reason that fruits and veggies aren't as tasty as they used to be is because they are picked way before they are ripe so that they can be shipped long distances. A farmer's market is a great way to get some great tasting produce. And it doesn't have to be an organic farmer's market either.


Turd Ferguson 4 years ago

Raw veggies (organic or non organic) + exercise + Cannabis = life


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

LOL!


Turd Ferguson 4 years ago

Ha ha. I thought you would like that, but all joking aside, this is my diet and I feel like gold ;)

When it comes to veggies, don't worry about it. If you don't have organic veggies just wash them in a baking soda wash. Just eat them for god sakes. Raw veggies are the most powerful anti oxidant you can eat.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Very true TF!

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