Since 1989, when organic-food activists raised a [bunked] nationwide scare over the pesticide alar in apples, many scientists have seethed quietly at what they perceive as a campaign of scare tactics, innuendo and shoddy science perpetrated by organic food producers and their allies.
Indeed, organic food activists are increasingly open about their fraudulent agenda. Organic Valley Marketing Director Theresa Marquez, for instance, laid out, in no uncertain terms, her strategy of falsifying data to dupe the masses into thinking organics are worth their premium price:
“We think it’s important that people pay more for food,” she said. “The question is: ‘Will consumers pay more for that?’ and ‘How can we convince them to do that?’”
And yet: “Organic food has no higher nutritional value compared to conventional food,” says Nutrition and Diet Professor Tom Sanders, of Kings College London.
Which is hardly news, however.
In fact, Professor Sanders is merely echoing what science has been saying for years.
The only people who really disagree are environmental groups and animal rights activists, with all their agendas and quackery — in response to which quackery, food science professor Joseph Rosen, of Rutgers University, says this: “Most [of their studies] are not designed, conducted or published according to accepted scientific standards, and many were done by groups that openly promote organic foods.”
Where, then, is all the proof that organic food is better and better for you?
“The short answer, food safety and nutrition scientists say, is that such proof does not exist” (Los Angeles Times, February, 2007).
Indeed, the very word “organic” has been commandeered by phonies, so that the term, which was once legitimate, has now become a conceptual void. Quoting, at length, the erudite R.I. Throckmorton, Dean of Kansas State College:
This cult has sought to appropriate a good word “organic,” and has twisted its meaning to cover a whole crazy doctrine. The facts are that organic matter in its true sense is an important component of the soil — but soil fertility and the kind of crops you grow on a soil are not determined by humus alone.
Soil fertility is determined by the amount of active organic matter, the amount of available mineral nutrients, the activities of soil organisms, chemical activities in the soil solution and the physical condition of the soil. Ever since we have had soil scientists, they have recognized the values of organic matter. The loss of soil humus through cultivation has long been a matter of concern. So the faddists have nothing new to offer on that score.
Organic matter is often called “the life of the soil” because it supplies most of the food needs of the soil organisms which aid in changing nonavailable plant food materials into forms-that are available to the plants, and contains small quantities of practically all plant nutrients….
The antichemical-fertilizer doctrine makes a great point of the fact that plant food in organic matter is in a “natural” form, while in chemical form fertilizer it is “unnatural” and thus supposedly is harmful, if not downright poisonous. The logic of this escapes me. Science completely disproved the conclusion. The facts are that any plant foods, whether from organic matter, or from a bag of commercial fertilizer, necessarily came from Nature in the first place. Why is one more “natural” than another?
A Plant takes in a given nutrient in the same chemical form whether it came from organic matter, or from a bag of commercial fertilizer. The facts are that practically all plant-food elements carried by organic matter are not used in their organic form; they are changed by microorganisms to the simple chemical forms which the plants can use — the same form in which these elements become available to plants when applied as chemical fertilizers. For example, it is foolish to say that nitrogen in commercial fertilizer is “poisonous” while nitrogen from organic matter is beneficial. The basic nitrogen is the same in either case (“The Organic Farming Myths,” R.I. Throckmorton).
Muck soil, as it’s called, holds as much as 50 percent organic matter — “organic” in the real sense of the word — and yet, according to organic pseudoscience, “You could do little to improve such soils.”
But in fact all that these soils need is fertilizer, as Doctor J.F. Davis, of Michigan State University, discovered:
The yield of wheat on unfertilized muck soils was 5.7 bushels an acre, while the yield on plots receiving the chemical phosphorus and potash was 29.2 bushels per acre. The yield of potatoes was increased from 97 bushels an acre with no treatment, to 697 with commercial fertilizer carrying phosphorus and potash. Cabbage yields were boosted by the same means from 1/2 ton to 27 tons.
And if you believe, as many people do, that “inorganic” food contains more cancer-causing pesticides, think again:
It’s a well-known fact that so-called organic farmers routinely spray pesticides on crops — albeit naturally occurring pesticides — one of which, pyrethrum, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified as a “likely human carcinogen.”
This, along with a number of other findings, calls into question the very philosophy behind “organic farming.” Beware the scare-mongering, I beg. Read this exceptionally well-written article, from an exceptionally well-informed lady.
For a long time now, environmentalists have alleged that organic food is healthier. In addition to this, environmentalists have told us over and over that organic farming is better for the environment because our laid-back green farmers use no “synthetic” pesticides.
What they don’t tell you, however, is that these same laid-back organic farmers are permitted to use (”permitted” in the sense that they can spray with it and still qualify as “organic”) a number of so-called natural chemicals to kill pests, which natural chemicals are neither as expedient nor as purely benign as you might think. For instance, it was discovered almost a decade ago, in the year 1999, that rotenone, a natural insecticide squeezed from roots of tropical plants, causes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats. That discovery came in addition to the previously mentioned pyrethrum data. It is true that in tests, these pesticides are administered in extraordinarily high doses, but so too is the dosage for synthetic pesticides. The fact is, neither are what you could legitimately call dangerous.
From the New York Post:
The EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee based its 1999 decision on the same high-dose rat tests long used by eco-activists to condemn synthetic pesticides. Because no one knows just how pyrethrum causes tumors, the committee also recommended assuming that even the tiniest dose can be deadly. (The same logic is used to brand hundreds of other chemicals as carcinogens.) Charles Benbrook, a long-time organic activist, notes that pyrethrum is applied to crops at low rates and that pyrethrum degrades relatively rapidly, minimizing consumer exposure. He’s right, but all this is true of today’s non-persistent synthetic pesticides as well. Pyrethrum and modern synthetic pesticides break down so rapidly that consumers are rarely exposed to any at all. Two-thirds of all fruits and vegetables tested as they leave the farm in the U.S. have no detectable pesticide residues — despite our being able to detect chemicals at parts per trillion levels.
Pyrethrum is extracted from a type of chrysanthemum grown mainly in Africa. It is literally a nerve poison that these plants evolved to fight off munching insects. The dried, ground-up flowers were used in the early 19th century to control body lice.In fact, many of the widely used synthetic pesticides are based on natural plant-defense chemicals. Synthetic versions of pyrethrum (known as pyrethroids) make it possible to protect a crop with one or two sprays instead of spraying natural pyrethrum five to seven times at higher volumes. Organic activists hold to the twisted logic that if a toxic chemical can be squeezed from a plant or mined from the earth, it’s OK — but a safer chemical synthesized in a lab is unacceptable. It is possible to farm without pesticides, as demonstrated by a farm family recently highlighted in Organic Gardening magazine. They use a Shop-Vac and a portable generator in a wheelbarrow to daily suck insects off crops. And even that won’t fight fungal or bacterial diseases, or insects that eat crops from the inside out. Organic coffee growers in Guatemala spray coffee trees with fermented urine as a primitive fungicide. Bruce Ames, noted cancer expert and recent winner of the National Medal of Science, notes that more than half of the natural food chemicals he tests come up carcinogenic — the same proportion as synthetic chemicals. These natural chemicals are collectively present in large amounts in the very fruits and vegetables that are our biggest defense against cancer (June, 2001).
The main thing for you to remember is this:
It’s not that which goes into a human that defiles her, but only that which comes out — for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Our lives consist of more than the vegetables and meat.
The food snobbery of the vegetarian, the vegan, or the organic-only nut is every bit as beastly as the food snobbery of the gourmand — and ultimately every bit as dangerous.
It’s all a form of gourmandizing.
“And gourmandizing,” as Karl Shapiro once sagely said, “is a sure sign of stupidity.”