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If money was no issue... organic.

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  • RemothRemoth Posts: 103Member Member Posts: 103Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    Yeah, organic (at least in the US) is such an ill-defined and expensive label, I would buy more local produce and meats, regardless of whether the farm in question spent money on certifying the item as "organic" or not.

    I agree, Buying local is a more worthwhile avenue than going for organic. Saving resources on Food transportation and supporting local growers is a great thing. At the same time, without the option to buy non-local food, access to many foods would not be available year round or at all if the food is not made locally. While local purchasing is great, food that is brought in is a necessity.
  • RemothRemoth Posts: 103Member Member Posts: 103Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »

    I'm almost positive people who opposed golden rice did so because of their opposition to genetic engineered food, not because of their opposition of conventionally farmed food. I did a quick google search and this seems to be the case. Being anti GMO and pro organic farming practices are two different things. For the sake of clearing up some potential misunderstandings, there are people who are opposed to both "conventional" farming practices and GMOs, but they are ultimately two different issues.

    And no, I don't have strong feelings about either of these issues.

    Sorry, I didn't see your reply earlier. I do agree with what you say. They are different issues. I could argue that many of the people/organizations that claim organic is better also bash on GMOs, so it sure feels like they are part of the same issue. I wont argue that, I do agree with your post, and would like to thank you for pointing out my wrong doings!

    On a related note, Golden Rice has been approved for use in Bangladesh and could be in production within 3 months! Article link
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 3,544Member Member Posts: 3,544Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    just_Tomek wrote: »
    What I get from this thread is that if money wasnt an issue most people WOULD buy organic. Which to be honest surprised me because in any other thread of conventional vs organic, organic gets trashed to *kitten*.

    I'm getting the opposite view actually. I went back and counted (yay having too much time on my hands during spring break!) and 7 people said they'd buy more things locally (regardless of whether or not they were organic). One person said they'd buy more things that are organic, a few people said they already prefered to do that, and a few were neither here nor there.

    That was my impression too.

    For the record, my answer was that I prefer to buy local and already do for the most part, when it's growing season.

    If I cared about organic, I'd buy it now, but I don't. Much of the local stuff I buy happens to be organic, but the reason I buy it is the local small farm factor.
  • COGypsyCOGypsy Posts: 470Member, Premium Member Posts: 470Member, Premium Member
    I can't imagine that organic anything would instill the desire to shop for and prepare food. If money were no object, I'd hire a chef and let him figure out the rest.
  • debrakgooginsdebrakgoogins Posts: 1,811Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,811Member, Premium Member
    COGypsy wrote: »
    I can't imagine that organic anything would instill the desire to shop for and prepare food. If money were no object, I'd hire a chef and let him figure out the rest.

    Good point. I might ammend my original post to hire someone to plant a garden for me and take care of it so that I have fresh vegetables right out of my own yard without the intense work it took to maintain it when I had one. I would still do a farm share for the meat.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,694Member Member Posts: 12,694Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    For all the fear of Glyphosate, it is one of the more safe and effective herbicides available, with a lower toxicity than many other compounds we eat and lower environmental impact. Most of the issues with it have to do with the business practices of the company it's most associate with, although it's been off patent for a long time at this point, and the over reliance on it leading to resistance by weeds.

    Glyphosate breaks downs pretty readily in the environment and has low toxicity compared to other herbicides. Organic farming methods still use pesticides, and just because they are naturally derived does not make them any less toxic.

    http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html
    https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/pubs/fatememo/glyphos.pdf

    I've even used glyphosate in the landscape setting at times, and would again in certain circumstances.

    I don't think it's irrational, though, to "vote with one's dollars" as a wealthy (in global terms) first-worlder for foods that minimize its industrial/commercial use. The issue is not simply toxicity, and I take your point about some alternatives being worse environmentally, but it's not zero impact. As you say, over-reliance and resistant weeds become an issue, and in some contexts, so are overspray and drift.

    I have great respect for industrial agriculture and edge agricultural R&D as important strategies for feeding the world (something we've improved at materially since my 1950s-60s childhood thanks to industrial architecture).

    I would (and I'm sure do) eat foods whose production involved glyphosate, without much qualm. I'm not, I think, making a sniffy privileged argument here, that industrial agriculture is fine for "those people" but not for me. Health-wise, I think it's fine for me.

    At the same time, I feel like it's a good thing to minimize the harm I cause in the world where I can do so relatively easily. (This, in a context where I think we relatively wealthy first-worlders are unavoidably little bundles of resource-sucking, environment-injuring global harm, and we can't individually fix it all: Not possible.) I acknowledge that I'll get the details wrong sometimes (maybe there's something better I could do that's equally easy for me), because I can't or (don't) research every last decision to an ultimate correct answer.

    In some sense, there's an analogy to antibiotics. We're now in a position where resistant bugs are a real issue. Part of the reason was first-world-led agriculture practices that involved overuse in livestock mainly (as I understand it) for rapid-gain purposes, and medical practices that would provide antibiotics "just in case" for minor illnesses of unknown cause, or to people who clearly had a virus but fussed to get the antibiotics (or who needed them but stopped taking them part way through the course because they felt better).

    So, I think there's rational room where one can be not demonizing non-organics, and even boosting mainstream chemical/GMO R&D as potential parts of a collective good solution, but using one's global-terms wealth in ways that make sense to minimize use of certain products, and (being pollyanna-ish here) maybe even create an example of how near-first-world countries might begin to rein in practices that perhaps become less essential over time.

    When I've gardened (veggies/fruit), I've done so organically. Faced with a problem, I've fairly carefully researched alternatives, and sometimes used an organic control that seems reasonably safe (many things are practical on a home scale, less so commercially), and occasionally just given up growing a particular thing because the only functional control was more toxic than I personally wanted to deal with (either from an application-risk standpoint, environmentally, or at the consumption end of things). I've used profoundly toxic things on houseplants, where the risk to me/environment was low (tobacco application for soil pests, for example).

    There need not be an "organic warrior" vs. "feed the world" proposition, or any similarly polarized framing. It's more nuanced, IMO.

    *agriculture, not architecture, and noticed too late to edit. Ugh. I'm sure everyone assumed "agriculture", but I can't stand it. Apologies.
  • SpadesheartSpadesheart Posts: 417Member Member Posts: 417Member Member
    If money was no issue, I'd have a little hobby farm with my own cows and chickens, and fruit trees and a nice garden so I could have my own fresh... lots of stuff.

    We can't make really high quality cheese here because we force pasteurize our milk. Not inherently bad, but I would like the options regardless.

    We are suggested not to use our eggs raw in the same applications the Japanese do as we cannot be truly sure of their freshness unless you go out of your way to buy from a farm.

    Apple's can sit in deoxygenated chambers for up to a year without rotting, which is why they're always mealy come winter. Similar for many other fruits.

    Herbs are just too damn expensive. Mint is literally a weed and basil grows like one.

    Failing that, the best you can do is shop sales and buy from a good farmers market (not a trendy one where the fruit and veg is actually more expensive than a normal grocery, but one where you can buy whole bushels.)

    Meat...probably more lamb and fish as opposed to mostly chicken and pork now. Asian groceries where I live get decent quality pork to a dollar a pound. Can't justify the more expensive meats right now.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,212Member Member Posts: 3,212Member Member
    If money was no issue, I'd have a little hobby farm with my own cows and chickens, and fruit trees and a nice garden so I could have my own fresh... lots of stuff.

    We can't make really high quality cheese here because we force pasteurize our milk. Not inherently bad, but I would like the options regardless.

    We are suggested not to use our eggs raw in the same applications the Japanese do as we cannot be truly sure of their freshness unless you go out of your way to buy from a farm.

    Apple's can sit in deoxygenated chambers for up to a year without rotting, which is why they're always mealy come winter. Similar for many other fruits.

    Herbs are just too damn expensive. Mint is literally a weed and basil grows like one.

    Failing that, the best you can do is shop sales and buy from a good farmers market (not a trendy one where the fruit and veg is actually more expensive than a normal grocery, but one where you can buy whole bushels.)

    Meat...probably more lamb and fish as opposed to mostly chicken and pork now. Asian groceries where I live get decent quality pork to a dollar a pound. Can't justify the more expensive meats right now.
    Honestly, if you have the space just grow your own herbs. There are a number that grow well inside if you don't have anywhere to grow them outside but whatever you do, don't grow mint outside of a pot.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,190Member Member Posts: 6,190Member Member
    MmeZeeZee wrote: »
    Money is not a problem for us and even when it was, I prioritize health, the planet, and my fellow humans over $1 off a can of beans.

    We buy organic for several reasons:

    1. Exposure to specific carcinogenic pesticides. We aren't stupid. We are aware that there are some allowances for pesticide use in organics, but they are used far, far less and there are far, far fewer of them allowed.

    2. For the bees and insects. insect populations have dropped 40% globally over the last 40 years. That's all insect biomass. We are in an environmental catastrophe. Warming is part of it, pollution is part of it, and pesticides are part of it. It's terrifying. We have to do literally every single thing we can to slow this trend. We don't have 60 more years before our food chain is severely impacted.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/26/widespread-losses-of-pollinating-insects-revealed-across-britain

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/02/why-insect-populations-are-plummeting-and-why-it-matters/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html

    4. I don't oppose genetic research in general, especially as regards health care uses. I do oppose the patenting of foodstuffs that would create a situation that enabled multinational corporations to game and then corner the market, in such a way that could distort the global food market. The same people own fertilizers, land, and seeds. I find that terrifying and if you don't, you need to read more history. That level of centralization of power is not good. It has never worked out well. Starting reading (because this is a complex system):

    https://hbr.org/2019/01/rethinking-efficiency#the-high-price-of-efficiency
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed
    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/03/why-do-civilizations-collapse/

    There is free market and there is monopoly, I don't oppose free markets but I oppose monopolies.

    5. For the workers who are exposed to these chemicals. There is extensive proof the harm caused to workers by using unsafe levels of pesticides. I don't want to put my money towards that.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5606636/

    So yes. We buy organic. Whenever possible, we buy from locally-owned producers to further reduce as much as we can the centralization of the food supply. We shop at union stores (not Whole Foods, except for the cakes, their cakes are amazing).

    We vote with our dollars. This is our #1 financial priority. We are lucky to be able to also be homeowners and go on modest vacations, but we absolutely do spend $100-$500 more on food for our family in order to ensure we support a better world.

    When we had to make harder choices, I was still able to feed my family in this same way. I just bought less meat, more beans. We were probably healthier then. :smile:

    Organic certification is far from what it needs to be but it's the best thing we have to achieve these goals.

    @Remoth That's an advertising poster. It's literally an advertisement for pesticides and it's extremely misleading and in some cases, totally false.

    The poster completely confuses the difference between toxicity and dosing with the explicit purpose of confusing people with respect to how carcinogenic something is. If you seriously believe that roundup is less toxic than caffeine I don't know where to start, but let's try.

    First of all--and this is just one egregious lie in that poster--rotenone is no longer allowed in organic farming. Because they update the regulations with updates to science.

    Second of all, there are 25 organic approved pesticides vs. 900 pesticides approved for conventional. Nine hundred 36x more different kinds of chemicals in conventional farming. But that's not all.

    Organic farming only allows pesticides for which there is no EPA-enforced limits, and yes that does include things like copper. But organic farmers use about 40x less copper than conventional farmers. I will try to find the best source for that.

    Real scientific research on pesticide toxicity:

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6345/1395

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6345/1393

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15862083

    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/how-toxic-is-the-worlds-most-popular-herbicide-roundup-30308

    http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/3/264/pdf

    My hobby is arguing with shills on the internet so by all means, if any of you get paid per post for arguing that "this carcinogenic cocktail is surely not a problem compared to a minimal amount of organic pesticides so please do not boycott the things that are directly linked to biomass extinction", here's your chance! Let's get you that weekend holiday.

    You sure this hobby isn't virtue signaling?

    Well we only have 12 years left on the planet anyway...
  • zeejane03zeejane03 Posts: 993Member Member Posts: 993Member Member
    Thank you for your question and comments. I would buy just as I do now. I buy only organic/non-gmo/pasture-raised and finished. I would rather have less food that is high quality, than cheap/pesticide-laden unhealthy food that only fills the belly. That said, I really don't think it costs much more, and sometimes is less expensive than its counterparts. I've been doing this for a long while and the only foods that I think cost a significant amount more in dollars is meat.

    Happy nutrition!

    This will vary quite a bit though based on location, season etc. It's definitely more costly where I live to buy organic/pasture raised etc. I've been pricing out some things since the newest edition of the EWG's Dirty/Clean list came out a few days ago, and it would add a significant amount to my grocery bill if we started switching items out. Like I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have a grocery budget of $100 a week for 5 people which includes all of my kids lunches, as well as non-food items like pet food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, feminine hygiene items for 3, etc etc.

    I'm currently working on my April menu plan/grocery list and when I walk into Aldi next week it will be with a pretty tight list that doesn't have a lot of wiggle room on it, (I also pay in cash, which keeps things locked down). It's really interesting to hear others perspectives though and getting a peek into other peoples shopping habits etc :)
    edited March 27
  • 33gail3333gail33 Posts: 231Member Member Posts: 231Member Member
    I already buy certain things organic, if money was no object for sure I would buy everything organic that I could. I mean I understand that eating well is a privilege that not everyone has and I respect that. But why would I eat any amount of pesticide residue if I didn't have to?
    But my husband is super frugal so I would have to shop by myself so he didn't have a stroke when he saw the bill. :smiley:
    edited March 27
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