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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from ca
...turns out to be no different than regular.

 3:05 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

One of the primary drivers of the growth in organic food sales over the last couple of decades is the perception that organic food is healthier than conventionally farmed food.

It stands to reason, doesn’t it? After all conventional crops depend on chemicals and organic food doesn't.

And we all know that chemicals, in this case mainly pesticides, are bad for you. Ergo organic food should be healthier, and the strong growth in organic food sales (up 2.8 per cent last year, after a few years of downturn during the recession) attests to how popular opinion has accepted this assertion.

This is why the results of a new UK study that looked at cancer risk and the consumption of organic food is so damned inconvenient. Where organic food advocates have pushed organics as a way of reducing cancer risk, the study shows that it makes little difference one way or another. Hence uncomfortable headlines from the likes of the Daily Mail: Eating organic foods does NOTHING to reduce the cancer risk among women, says new study.

Gave up years ago trying to explain the same (chicken is chicken, for example "range free" or in a "cage"). No skin off my nose. I bought the farm raised stuff and saved a bundle.

But somebody else will find a new way to sell H2O for double value, mark my words. It's the nature of the beast. And one of the reasons why we web: we think we can do it better than the other guy. :)



 3:19 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I hate to tell you but the whole organic food craze is nuts.

I grew up in farm land with pesticides everywhere and none of the farmers living and breathing that stuff, also eating more of it than anyone else, got cancer from the food.

However, ironically I got lymphoma and the doctors claim it was probably from the ground water which gets contaminated from all the run off of all the fertilizers and stuff, not the food.

Everyone has cancer all the time as the definition of cancer is mutated cells that do the wrong thing and in a perfect situation your immune system can flush it out before it grows.

That's difference of having cancer or not.

Obviously external causes can influence it, but AGE is the biggest health factor as our DNA isn't designed to last as long as people currently live.

Fix the problem with degenerative DNA and you're way closer to curing cancer than all this nonsense.

FWIW, the SUN causes cancer, yet without enough SUN you suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

Go figure.

Also, traveling across country in airplanes exposes you to high doses of radiation that the atmosphere normally protects you against, should we ban airplanes?

TBH, if we go all organic more of the world would probably starve which is much worse than cancer as most of that can be cured.

However, in the end, I'd prefer purely organic farming as the eco system can protect our crops from pests just as easy as chemicals. I'd rather employ specific bugs, birds, and animals that keep the pests at bay as we're better off keeping those helpful critters alive and using them for domesticated purposes.


 6:39 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

A few things:

1) Not all organic food is equally good, and a lot of supermarket organic sold now is cheap, use very loophole, organic. What you really want is good quality which is much more elusive. Beef being grass fed makes a far bigger difference to taste than it being organic, for example.

2) Not related to cancer risk != not more healthy. There are lots of other diseases!

3) I can well believe that run-off in the ground water is the problem.

4) The biggest problem by is people eating lots of cheap or convenient junk. Far too much sugar (typical modern diets have an order of magnitude or two too much sugar), and far too much heavily processed food. This includes a lot of supposedly healthy things like fruit juice and breakfast cereals. Any difference organic per se makes is going to be tiny compared to this.


 9:03 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

As a rule, the organic apples at the Publix where I shop consistently taste better than the non-organic. I'm paying extra for the taste, not because I'm an organic person.


 9:18 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

And we all know that chemicals... are bad for you.

I've often wondered about this, because what happens when we actually get ill? as soon as there is something wrong with us we start taking all sorts of pills and tablets and chemicals to get us better. stuff cooked up in a laboratory test-tube somewhere, by blokes in white suits. no one minds about taking those. but as soon as we are healthy again we think chemicals in our food are evil.


 9:22 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am the same. I sometimes buy organic but it would be for taste as opposed to potential health benefits. The overall, balanced diet is clearly much more important.


 12:55 pm on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

If something tastes different, it must reflect some nutritional difference - our sense of taste evolved to let us identify good nutrition.


 8:20 am on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

The claim that organic food is not healthier is a simple strawmans argument. It's like arguing that the quality of coal mined by children in Afghanistan coal mines is not inferior to coal mined in the US.


 4:46 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Our family once had a pet rabbit which would not eat carrots. Odd, you may think.

One day, we gave him organic carrots and, surprisingly to us, the whole lot were consumed.

We tried all kinds of variations, including mixing organic in amongst the others (we hid the wrapper just in case he could read ;) )
That rabbit could not be fooled.

I have no idea why the rabbit would only eat organic, but it did get us thinking.

We have noticed much better flavour from our own, home-grown veg. We don't use chemicals chemicals, although i'm not swayed that there are any fewer nutrients in one or the other. I eat organic veg for the taste, and to ensure i'm not consuming unwanted chemicals that may have been absorbed into the plant. However, it's important to eat veg for the nutrients, so I will eat non-organic if there's no alternative.


 5:22 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

our sense of taste evolved to let us identify good nutrition.

The problem is that crap food has evolved faster than human evolution to identify it as crap food even though it tastes good.


 7:07 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

The problem I currently see with organic food, is that the quality is declining too.
The reason I normally prefer organic food is not necessarily that it is organic - but that organic farmes usually used varities of crops that were not breed to look nice, have a certain color or thickness of the peel for better transport but tasted good.

Unfortunately since the big companies have started to get into the business with organic food this is about to change.

Same goes for processed food. If you checked the ingredients list of - for example organic pesto it contained only what pesto should contain - olive oil, pine nut, basil, parmesan cheese....

Nowadays you see "organic" pesto and while it contains only organic grown ingredients, the pine nuts are replaced with cheap cashew, the olive oil replaced with cheaper undefined oils, and it containts potato flakes instead of parmesan cheese.


 8:25 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

i buy organic or free range as much as possible ... but not from supermarkets, where as has been noted above i suspect the big volume suppliers cut corners.

i try to use farmers markets and buy off the farmers themselves - in part because i believe in trying to help the independent/little guy ... after all i'm one of those independents myself, just in a different industry.

the guy i buy pork from for instance, rears what would be called rare breeds, partly because i guess he's an enthusiast and independent minded but also because they taste better, although the yield is less ... and i honestly feel his pork does taste better. i would also note that he swapped back from organic to free range (both legally defined terms) a couple of years ago, because he said fulfilling the criteria for organic was just too expensive, the finished product is just as tasty.


 10:31 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nowadays you see "organic" pesto and while it contains only organic grown ingredients, the pine nuts are replaced with cheap cashew, the olive oil replaced with cheaper undefined oils, and it containts potato flakes instead of parmesan cheese.

Surely, that should not be labelled Pesto!


 11:43 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Surely, that should not be labelled Pesto!

But it is! Just look here:
Sunflower oil, only a tiny fraction of olive oil (last in the list of ingredients, which means it contains probably only a drop). Mainly Chashew nuts and only a small quantity of pine kernals, no garlic but natural garlic flavoring.
At least the basil seems to be ok. But I have seen even worse.


 12:25 pm on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

FWIW, the SUN causes cancer, yet without enough SUN you suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

That is only true for fair skin people. Darker skin people need more sun to get the same amount of Vitamin D. Fair skin people need less sun.

The other issue is the preservatives used in non-organic products. For example, scientific studies have shown that artificial coloring and preservatives like Sodium Benzoate have a negative effect on children.


 2:10 pm on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

A simple rule: try to avoid ingesting things that one can't pronounce!

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