Tuesday, July 15, 2014
If It Is Not Organic And Is Natural It Probably Is A Rock...How Organic Foods May Kill You.
The Dark Side of the Organic Food--The Three P's Organic Farming Promising Sustainability and Virtues of Purity Has Some Hidden Secrets Those Concerned Should Be Aware Of Lex Loeb Contributor Network . When you go to a super market or a farmers market and buy Organic produce or meat the first two thing you always encounter is a high price for the items and a big flashy advertising campaign to market the reasons you should be willing to pay the higher price. The signs really say " Our products are better than others because we have this umph called organic and theirs don't." The secret of a lot of organic farming is the products can actually cost less to produce than products that rely on other food growing techniques. Much of the time the organic products are indistinguishable from "non organic" products. The standards in oregon and federal law actually can automatically label an organic product such just because of the size of the farm being small. Other larger farms are getting certified where it is hard to see any real standards applied. Organizations have sprung up like Oregon Tilth to certify farms as organic by going so far as to test the soil for traces of commercial fertilizer that might have been used in ten years or so to give some farms a greater "organic" certification than others. If a farmer can sell produce for more money with more "organic" certifications it becomes worth paying to be certified but does that really make being organic better than other farms? It is more like selling the sizzle and not the stir fry for the vegan community I guess? You might be no better off having a buddhist monk , a catholic priest , a rabbi or an organic shaman blessing farms to certify them? The real question is if some of the outbreaks of e coli and listeria might even be because of the use of animal based fertilizers instead of in organic fertilizers. As a farmer I actually experimented with manure which actually caused trees to become infected and die. Some "Organic" practices maybe less safe than more traditional ones. With such a huge movement toward "organic" methods it maybe that the science works to protect "organics" by filtering away any evidence of problems that arise? It is one thing to be pesticide free and another not to use inorganic fertilizers. Organic farmers can use inorganic additives to soil including lime and raw unprocessed mined versions of fertilizer sold as having "mineral content". I have been to the farm stores and seen the over priced packages of stuff labeled "organic fertilizer" that has very low content of the three components that actually work as fertilizers in the mix and the store sales persons tell me that that it is really a soil amendment that does not waste the fertilizer ingredients it has in it as run off the way as the inorganic version do. Of course that is nonsense. The ingredients are the same in both the organic and the inorganic with just less of them in the "organic" bags which unlike the inorganic ones are made of plastic not paper. If worried about run off of fertilizer the farmer just uses less of the pure inorganic fertilizer per square foot or per acre and he applies the fertilizer timed at the time the tree roots are most active to absorb it when rain is less prevalent. The experience most consumers have of the organic brand is the same sort of treatment one gets with a vitamin sales operation or a luxury car dealer. I have nothing against produce of any kind and as it happens I pretty much don't care exactly how it is grown so long as the quality of the product is good. A lot of non farmers don't necessarily realize that a lot of farm goods are automatically grown "organically" by all producers. Farmers don't waste money on fertilizers that are not necessary to achieve the growing of their crops. Not all produce requires pesticides or other means of thwarting pests from harming the crops. Sometimes the farm goods labeled organic are grown essentially by the same manner as less costly alternatives in the same market place. Once the word organic is applied to a food that is not necessarily enough. Because there is so much competition between farms and farmers for limited supply of big spending organic buyers, many farmers go to have their farms certified by various private rating services or as a tilth farm operation. If that is not enough some eventually will probably have to have the blessing of an agricultural god or goddess though a shrine to fertility. When I go organic I want my farm to be blessed by mother earth herself. That should give me an even higher price in the market place. Being Organic is about being worthy of a higher price. Small farmers certainly do deserve respect and the honor of having grown good food. I find the excessive over marketing of organic to be as phony as plastic corn for decorative purposes. In some states, or by federal USDA designation, a farm can declare itself as "organic" based on nothing more than it's small size and the label has nothing to do necessarily with use of chemical fertilizers and or pesticides. Organic farm practices vary to a large degree. Go into a farm supply store and ask about the difference between organic and regular fertilizer. The regular fertilizer has a higher level of nutrients as labeled on the bag and the organic alternatives are comparatively useless. Ask the store people why you get so much less in the way of nutrient for a higher price in the so called organic bags than the ones containing the evil chemicals and they are taught to tell you that it takes less of the organic fertilizer than it does of the chemical fertilizer. That makes no sense, though it is true that trace nutrients are often all plants need to accellerate growth but then one could just use less of the more potent chemical fertilizers to get a more enhanced effect if true. A bigger secret is that the Organic produce is possibly less sustainable than the alternative. The reason why is that it may be more labor intensive and that could lead to more use of gasoline or diesel fuel. Smaller farms can be more fuel inefficient than larger ones due to economies of scale. Another major problem is if organic growing methods were the only ones allowed by law, the food supply would be at risk and so would be the wholesale number of acres required for cultivation. If organic farming were the only means allowed worldwide, one to three billion people might starve to death for lack of food and / or 10-40% more agriculture would likely have to be put into cultivation which adds less productive land to the total inventory and cuts into land to leave for the wilderness. Some bio-tech gene splicing companies estimate that within the next 10-20 years the crop yields will grow around 30% for the same amount of land that we now have worldwide in cultivation. This means that if food demand does not rise we could relieve the earth of 30% of existing farm now in cultivation rather eating up more wild lands for new cultivation. A strange thing has happened in the last hundred years mostly thanks to modern farming techniques and development. We may actually have more forests on the continent of North America than there were during pre-Colombian times. That may seem hard to believe especially if you are looking at the great plains farming area parceled off in giant squares you see flying over them that seem to go on forever. Out in the prairie lands it was never suitable for forests to grow and thanks to pumping out underground water to the surface there are in places more trees on the prairie than there used to be. The reason forests in forested areas have grown is that we now know that the native Americans would routinely set fire to lands to improve grazing for wild animals they hunted. Primitive nomadic people with fire are also just plain dangerous to forested areas in the dry season. You are never going to read a history book that tells you that native Americans had any means of suppressing fire once they started but you will find evidence that they did start wild fires for festive purposes and to corral animals for more easy hunting. Modern farming techniques have taken more than 80 percent of our population off the land and reduced the amount of land we need for farming purposes to an extraordinary degree. It has resulted in smaller more dense urban areas and some older farming areas near cities covered over with suburbs. The net result is more forestland than ever before with more trees growing. The new ongoing nonsense is that buying local saves the environment but that may be all wrong too if buying local means developing more land for farming purposes by cutting down trees and plowing them near suburbs instead of importing the food by truck and train from places more suitable for growing more efficiently. If land far far away has more natural fertilizer in it to begin with you don't need to put fertilizers on truck and trains and deliver them to less suitable areas that are local. Environmentalist bean counting often makes no sense what so ever. Their concerns of too much use of resources smacks of a socialist egalitarian planned community that they have in mind where all people have limits to consumption except for a dictatorial class of leaders. The organics movement also has elements of that going on where they don't realize that going to a non use of diesel fuel farming operation puts a lot more people back on farms with a lot less leisure time. By making it local it means that in a lot of areas forests growing back would need to be cleared and plowed under to make local organic yields high enough to make up for products lost from more distant supply areas. We are talking about wheat and grains to make breads, In states like Michigan and Minnesota forests that were destroyed to make wheat growing possible 150 years ago have been abandoned and have grown back as forests. Organic foods are a marketing plan that some group like Ad-busters should be going after and exposing for what they are: selling the sizzle and not the stir fry. It is not always clear when shopping that anything labeled as "organic" necessarily means it is better or different than other cheaper products on the market. I am not against foods being certified as kosher so I am not against foods labeled organic either if they have some kind of organic magic to them or if they obey some dietary of hippie tribes but I don't want the government getting involved and telling me that somethings grown from the earth are organic and other things, the same foods, are not organic. When i go to a farmers market I don't ask all the sellers if the food i want is organic. I might ask if they used pesticides or where their farm is located because there is nothing wrong with being local and local is why we have farmers markets. If I want organic pixie dust over my food I want to be able to add it in the privacy of my own home. I might actually want food in my super market to have labels that say it was irradiated to prevent outbreaks of e coli and listeria. That might be the best 'organics' label. From my experience as a farmer I may want to know that the lands are deer proof now that they have been identified as food borne illnesses vectors. I might also prefer non animal manure based fertilizer for the same reason. I like to know where the farm is located. It does not bother me that they can grow lettuce all year round near the Salton sea in California. When I see an organic label on produce it always looks like a stupid joke because all produce is "organic" . if they put rocks in the produce section they could put "inorganic" labels on those and that might make sense. If the labels on organics said something like " blessed by zen hippie shaman as organic" with a big zero instead of a K for kosher that is what i want to buy! .a