Thursday, May 01, 2008

How to wean yourself from organic kool-aid

Anyone who has ever focused his conservatism-enhanced gray-matter on organic produce for a moment instantly realized that it is massively more expensive to produce than regular-guy produce and not worth the wasted resources. Now, the Independent, awakening in horror to the sight of the giant organic carbon footprint winding across the leftist landscape, offers a pretty good debunking of organic food. Even I was unaware that organic foods can be grown with nastier pesticides than regular-guy produce:
Food scares are always good news for the organic food industry. The Soil Association and other organic farming trade groups say conventional food must be unhealthy because farmers use pesticides. Actually, organic farmers also use pesticides. The difference is that "organic" pesticides are so dangerous that they have been "grandfathered" with current regulations and do not have to pass stringent modern safety tests.

For example, organic farmers can treat fungal diseases with copper solutions. Unlike modern, biodegradable, pesticides copper stays toxic in the soil for ever. The organic insecticide rotenone (in derris) is highly neurotoxic to humans – exposure can cause Parkinson's disease. But none of these "natural" chemicals is a reason not to buy organic food; nor are the man-made chemicals used in conventional farming.
We also learn in the course of the article that organic isn't "more sustainable," isn't "healthier," doesn't "contain more nutrients," and more. You can still buy alfalfa sprouts; just don't waste your money on organic ones.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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