My Kids Don’t Eat Organic. Here’s Why

Last summer my family joined a CSA (short for Community Supported Agriculture). We buy a share of a farm’s output over the season, pay up front, and receive a box of fruits and vegetables every week throughout the spring, summer and early fall. Part of our share includes picking a certain amount of fruits and vegetables ourselves on the farm, which bills itself as organic. The farm sees it as free labor, as a mom, I see it as a learning opportunity. My daughter learned about how her food was grown and got countless hours of outdoors time in the fresh air.

One day as I was picking raspberries, my daughter ran off ahead to pick alone. Given that she is a toddler, far more berries ended up directly in her mouth than in her pail. A farm worker approached us and told me “You really should wash those before she eats them. There’s a lot of junk and pesticides out here, on the berries in particular.” I laughed and teased about the farm’s status as organic, one of the few CSAs in the area that boasts of this. He looked at me grimly and reiterated the warning.

What exactly is organic and why do people pay sometimes a 100% markup for the designation?

In my supermarket, there’s a gullible section of the produce aisle. It’s not exactly labeled as such, but it might as well be. You can get bananas, cauliflower, lettuce and more that looks and tastes exactly like their non-organic cousins, but for $1 or more per item. Customers think it’s healthier, and parents convince themselves that buying fewer fruits and vegetables but spending more is worth it to keep their children “safe” on organic. Like most food crazes, organic is a marketing ploy — something I tell my kids when they reach for the wrong kind of apples.

Over the summer Forbes published a blistering expose on the hoax that is organic produce. Henry Miller wrote,

Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than 100%—for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides. If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted. However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

Most parents, myself included, spend a great deal of time and energy teaching their kids about healthy eating and being responsible global citizens. Because both are important to me, when my kids reach for an organic item, I give them a variation of the admonishment, “We don’t buy that; organic is a scam.” I say it loudly, hoping other kids and parents around us will hear me.

One of the most important values parents can give their children is an understanding of the importance of caring for the world around them. For hardline progressives, that involves recycling. The rest of us care more about people.

What does buying organic do to the world’s food resources? Here in the United States we are lucky enough to never fear mass hunger. This isn’t true in many other corners of the world.

In the New York Times, Roger Cohen described his frustration with the privilege of those who promote the organic food industry,

To feed a planet of 9 billion people, we are going to need high yields not low yields; we are going to need genetically modified crops; we are going to need pesticides and fertilizers and other elements of the industrialized food processes that have led mankind to be better fed and live longer than at any time in history.

I’d rather be against nature and have more people better fed. I’d rather be serious about the world’s needs. And I trust the monitoring agencies that ensure pesticides are used at safe levels — a trust the Stanford study found to be justified.

Mothers never want to raise selfish children, but teaching them to only eat organic does just that. For the sake of our feelings alone (based on no real science about the health benefits of organic food), those who fuel the organic industry are endangering the diets of countless of others around the world who aren’t fortunate enough to stroll down their grocer’s aisle and choose among twenty different kinds of apples.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The adage could describe many things: a boyfriend, a job offer, an email from Nigeria about a prince with a large bank account. It also perfectly illustrates the industry around “organic” foods and products. Nobody wants to raise a sucker, which means raising kids with a healthy skepticism about the claims presented to them.

From the emails they get in their inbox to the contents of their cereal boxes, kids should grow up encouraged to ask questions and seek out reliable evidence. In her book, Teachable Moments, Marybeth Hicks encourages parents to use moments from everyday life to teach kids about life’s bigger lessons instead of having scheduled, intense and awkward lectures on the couch every few months. Walking down the organic produce aisle just such an opportunity for a Teachable Moment, when parents can and should have a meaningful conversation with their kids about the organic food industry and its impact on individual consumers and the wider world.

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289 responses to “My Kids Don’t Eat Organic. Here’s Why

  1. Soooooo, what is the proposed solution? Or are we all just effed?

    The point of buying organic is to get non genetically modified food and less processed items, if any/all produce I get is going to be sprayed with pesticides, wouldn’t it make sense to pick the lesser of two evils? I understand that could be marked up, but you are still paying for non GMO food, so that is where the mark up can be attributed to. A peace of mind comes from when I buy local and or organic, I am getting the best possible produce to put inside of me, the other one that is $1 cheaper was still genetically modified to look better and bigger so that you want to eat it (but, eff that, not falling for it) and no such attention was paid to using “less harmful” pesticides during production. I try to buy local and organic, still worth it for me despite the higher cost.

    1. Which is why you are being ripped off. There isn’t much produce available anywhere that has been genetically engineered. Some sweet corn, some papaya on the west coast, a bit of squash. Everything else is the product of selective breeding or mutagenesis.

      Organic farming still uses pesticides, just natural versus synthetic. Natural does not mean safer, it just means natural. Processed foods are still found in organic. Organic is just a huge marketing scam.

      1. So anyone who chooses to try to avoid synthetic chemicals is just blindly following an assumption that “natural is good, unnatural is bad” and being ripped off? Yeah, keep telling yourself that. There’s a huge difference, by the way, between breeding or crossbreeding plants for characteristics, and “modifying” them by inserting DNA from an organism it cannot breed with into its genetic makeup.

        Even then, the issue that many of us take with the practice is the resulting large increases in synthetic pesticides and herbicides the crops have been bred to withstand, rather than even the modification itself.

        There are many other elements that find their way into GE foods, that are not in organic foods, I am avoiding those, and getting significantly reduced levels of natural pesticides, not RoundUp and biosolids or preservatives. The author has little in the way of “true science” to back up any of her claims – which is why this issue, like most, is up to each of us to decide what we feel is best for ourselves.

        1. Your entire argument is based on the assumption that natural is better, which is pure pseudoscience. Organic seedless watermelons are created by taking toxic chemicals and using them to double chromosomes and then crossing the result with the original to make terminator seeds. The organic pluot is the result of two different species that could never cross in nature. The organic sweet potato is the result of agrobacterium transfer that occurred naturally.

          Artificial selection is also used to make herbicide tolerant crops, and not all GE crops have that trait.

          Organic is a marketing scam aimed at first world suckers that have never known hunger.

          1. Maybe you can sell that bridge to the people who found their medical issues got better or went away when they switched to clean healthy organic food without the cancer causing Roundup laden GMOs that were making them sick.

            Good luck with that suicide mission.

          2. My headache went away the same day I bought a green pair of jeans. Want to buy into my Green Jeans Headache Remedy kickstarter? It’s exactly as legitimate as anecdotal claims of an organic diet curing ailments.

          3. I don’t respond to off topic baiting troll bait …

            After this time I’ll just flag and not respond.

        2. Yes, there is a huge difference. With GM a single gene is carefully inserted or removed (or sometimes simply turned “on” or “off”) and then it is tested extensively before it goes to market. With crossbreeding hundreds or even thousands of genes are inserted or removed completely at random, and it can go to market immediately, with no testing.

          1. “With GM a single gene is carefully inserted or removed (or sometimes simply turned “on” or “off”) ”

            Utter Monsnato Bullsh*t

      2. Most organic farmers use no pesticides at all. When there are special circumstances they use approved natural pesticides which can be removed by washing.

        The USDA studies show that 96% of organic food meets or exceeds USDA organic standards for pesticide contamination.

        Compare that with the 100% of cancer causing Roundup laden GMO foods that are contaminated with at least one and often more synthetic pesticides.

        You are just spinning the corrupt GMO pesticide industry disinformation echo chamber PR designed meme lie that organic foods are no different from pesticide laden GMO foods. After all you industry does not make a penny on clean healthy organic food.

        1. “100% cancer causing Roundup GMO” Wow. You really are incapable of thinking for yourself aren’t you? Help! The safest food supply in human history is dangerous! I need to pay more for food that still uses pesticides! #firstworldproblems . Go buy your organic food. No one is stopping you. Just keep your labels off of my food.

          1. Monsanto’s own scientists told them Roundup/glyphosate caused cancer over 35 years ago. Instead of disclosing that fact, they called the science “inconvenient” and hid the science away from other scientists, the courts, and the people as a trade secret while at the same time telling us it was safe.

            Dr Brian John says: “In 1981 both Monsanto and the EPA were already aware of malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions in the test animals which were fed small doses of glyphosate in the secret feeding experiments (4). Although concerns were expressed at the time by EPA committees, these concerns were later suppressed while Monsanto was allowed to bring forward a range of cynically manipulated and fraudulent studies purporting to show that glyphosate was harmless (2). None of these studies has been made available for independent examination. That is a scandal in itself. There has been a protracted and cynical cover-up in this matter. Monsanto and the EPA have been fully aware of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate for at least 35 years. If they had acted in a precautionary fashion back then, instead of turning a blind eye to scientific malpractice, glyphosate would never have been licensed, and hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved.” ” http://www.gmfreecymru.org/news/Press_Notice06Nov2015.html

          2. Drink it down, put it on utube, better yet, consume a gram a day for the next five years. We can all cheer you on …

        2. Citation needed. On what are you basing your spurious claim that “Most organic farmers use no pesticides at all”? That’s clearly not the case, and there’s no rule that says organic producers can’t use pesticides. That their pesticides are mostly “natural” doesn’t mean anything either. Snake venom is natural. Arsenic and radon are natural.
          “The USDA studies show that 96% of organic food meets or exceeds USDA organic standards for pesticide contamination”. That’s a tautology. Circular reasoning. Produce is only USDA Organic if it meets USDA organic standards. If your cited stat is true, it means that the USDA Organic certification system has an abysmal 4% failure rate.

          1. I find it humorous that you think a 4% failure rate for organic food pesticide contamination is bad. I agree that it should be better.

            Lets compare that with the 100% of cancer causing Roundup laden GMO food that are 100% contaminated with at least one and often more synthetic chemical pesticides.

            Smart people get it right away.

    2. Virtually every fruit and vegetable you have ever eaten or will ever eat is genetically modified. These days, they don’t have to do it the old fashioned way via grafting etc. I spent 35 years in the produce business. The organic thing IS a scam. It’s nice to live in a country (USA) where we can spend time making up things like this to worry about. But, it’s your money.

    3. Because there is also no evidence that supports your batshit crazy claim that GMOs are evil. Seriously, get a grip. “Organic” isn’t healthier, and GMOs aren’t harmful in any way. Also, READ the article and try to comprehend that “natural” pesticides are not “less harmful” than the ones used on non-organic food – they are INSANELY regulated.

      So, you spend more money and look stupid. That’s your choice. Not everyone has that choice and you and other ignorant people like you are hurting those people. Way to go!

      1. Haha I did read it and understand that, there still are significantly reduced levels of natural pesticides that are on organic food in comparison to non natural pesticide levels on other crops, so that is a definite plus. The food I get from a nearby farm is way healthier than any mass produced food shipped from overseas, or many areas here in the US. It just is, and if you can’t comprehend that, then agree to disagree and good luck, just hope for you sake you aren’t wrong. I would bet everything I own that my food isn’t less healthy than that alternative, so who cares if I pay a little more for reduced risk even. Because you are right, scientifically, we don’t have all the answers yet, on both sides. SO, no, I don’t blindly trust the synthetic and fake poison that companies develop in the same of maximizing output of crops. Just like you can claim that there is no evidence GMOs are evil, there is no evidence saying that they are good for you, or even safe. Antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, heavy metals, synthetic preservatives are all stored in fat cells, don’t call me crazy for wanting to hass less of that shit inside of me, I’d say you’re an idiot for thinking that stuff should be inside of you.

        1. I will call you crazy. Even “Organics” have some level of GM, be it selective breeding or cross breeding. If they didn’t you wouldn’t have corn or bananas as we know them today, among other veggies, like broccoli. The difference is the GM that isn’t labeled as a GMO is more random, its less tested and it could very well have a harmful outcome, even a toxic one. The GM that’s labeled as GMO is done in a lab, its more specific, more precise and tested before its even released to farmers, orchards and gardeners to grow. They know its not going to be poisonous before its on your shelf. Ok so a synthetic pesticide or herbicide may sound scary, but its already been pointed out to you that the ones that are certified for organics are often more harmful than the synthetic ones. That said I do agree if you can buy local grown, if you want to stick to organics because you want less “chemicals” (FYI your fruits and veggies organic or not are made of chemicals) make sure you personally know the producer and know what they use. There is a local gardener here who isn’t certified as organic, but most of what she grows doesn’t have a GMO option anyways, and she doesn’t use pesticides and herbicides in her garden, instead when she’s not spending a day inside baking her treats for the local farmers market she’s out hand weeding and watching for bugs so she can deal with them hands on. If I buy local I buy from her, otherwise I avoid the organic label because its bitten me in the butt more than once getting home and opening a corn on the cob to have it half eaten and not fit to feed my family, or go mouldy between when I purchase it in the morning to go eat it at night.

          1. That’s rubbish! Everything is not a GMO. What you are describing is hybrid/traditional breeding. What we discuss is transgenic, genetic engineering. It is completely different. Always trying to confuse.

          2. Genetically modified is what most all the plants we eat – and most animals for the meat eaters. Gene-slicing or not might be a useful difference.

          3. Can be harmful if its wanted to be, but no its not useless and its not generally harmful. Generally speaking its completely safe.

          4. It is not! I suggest you research unbiased science because you are clearly stuck on industry spun pseudo-science.

          5. Wrong, it doesn’t matter what the tecnique used is its still modifying the genetic make up of the organism, there for its still GM. Your name on here screams out that you’re just trying to stop something you don’t understand because clearly the science is too complex for you. The traditional methods of breeding in the end can be more dangerous, I mean now we can still test those in a lab to make sure they won’t kill you before you consume them but without that you don’t know that a cross breed may have the exact opposite outcome as you were hoping for and actually kill you, or taste worse than what you started with. The in lab GMO methods can be tested before they’re actually grown for anyone to consume to know they’re going to be safe. They’re not adding chemicals to them, they’re simply altering the genetic make up allowing traits that are desired, like a resistance to ear worm (corn) or removing traits that aren’t, like the part of a potato that causes cancer when fried.

          6. Obviously the science is too complex for you if you believe “it doesn’t matter what the technique used is its still modifying the genetic makeup of the organism”. But perhaps you are deliberately trying to confuse people into thinking that traditional breeding is similar to transgenic. You should look up exactly what it means when a plant is resistant to insects, it means the plant itself becomes an insecticide and I sure don’t want to eat that. By the way, the “in lab GMO methods” may be tested, but they have never proven GE foods safe for long term human consumption.

          7. Actually Debbie they have been proven safe, and I do understand science, obviously better than you do. Traditional breeding is still a form of GE, GM, whatever you want to call it. Its still altering to get the outcome you want. With in lab, yes they are proven safe for consumption before they even leave the lab, unlike traditional cross breeding which you won’t know if its deadly till its too late.

          8. Wrong, there is not one study that proves GE foods are safe for long term human consumption and if you don’t get that then you really don’t understand science.

          9. You clearly do not understand the differences and don’t know what you are talking about. Here’s a simple explanation. Creating a GMO involves forcing genes from one unrelated species into another. Viruses, bacteria and antibiotic markers are used in the process. Collateral damage to the plant’s DNA can occur and there are unpredictable outcomes. These organisms create foreign proteins that our bodies are not familiar with and increase the risk of allergies and autoimmune reactions. There are basically two traits that these plants have been engineered with. One is herbicide resistance. All of the GMO corn, canola, cottonseed oil, sugar, soy & alfalfa are heavily sprayed with Roundup or a stronger herbicide. It doesn’t wash off. The other trait, is pesticide producing. The corn in our food supply is actually registered with the EPA as a pesticide because every cell of the plant produces its own pesticide. When insects bite into the corn, their stomachs rupture.

          10. It’s natural for species to acquire genes from unrelated organisms. For example, beans have hemoglobin genes.

          11. These organisms have been created by natural selection and tested in the environment for hundreds of year.

            GMOs are cobbled together i a lab from totally unrelated species and release to the environment with no safety testing.

            You are using a false equivalency.

          12. Cancer causing Roundup laden GMOs are poisonous, and they are being purposely hidden from us in the foods we feed our family.

          13. Your ignorance is really showing here. There is a big difference between HGT of already existing DNA sequences in nature and recombinant DNA techniques in a cell-free system and the transfer of synthetic DNA sequences as we have with GE crops.

    4. Organic pesticides aren’t less harmful alternatives. They’re just the “natural” alternative. If they were less harmful, frankly, they’d be the industry standard already. Rotenone, for instance, is a certified organic pesticide, and is way more toxic to mammals than even DDT. Even neonics are better than that stuff, but it’s derived from “natural” sources, so it’s what goes on organic crops. Literally the only reason to buy organic is emotional, and even that’s a lie.

      1. The levels of natural pesticides used is so much less than the alternative, plus there are other chemicals that you are omitting that are a huge part of GE foods. Biosolids, growth hormones, antibiotics, synthetic preservatives are also not allowed in organic foods but are a mainstream of GE foods. Go talk to a local farmer and tell them their life is a lie, see what they say.

        1. Completely untrue — with a lot of “organic” pesticides they have to use MORE, not less. And even if you were correct and they did have to use less, why would that be? Because they’re more toxic than the alternatives so you don’t need as much? Oh good.

          1. Then how are the overall levels of toxins and insecticides in humans that eat organic lower than in those who don’t (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php)? I understand that plenty of organic crops use pesticides (not all need them for all crops, and looks like most use less than big farming processes require – I understand too, that a lot of “organic” farming has crossed over in order to meet demand and is now employing a lot of those processes, I wouldn’t consider that scale of it, organic anymore)…they (more traditional organic farmers) still use less overall chemicals (including other things, like preservatives, growth hormones, antibiotics), feed livestock grains and other shit, which are inflammatory…who knows what else there “feed” is really made of. There is a collective reasoning for me to buy and eat organic, not just pesticides.

          2. Not only is that site not a reliable source of information, you didn’t even link to an actual page.

          3. Oh really, and what makes you know or credible enough to determine that it is not reliable? The study in which I am referring to wasn’t done by the site either, it was done by the University of Washington…so are you saying they are not reliable as well? Sounds like you are just denouncing what I post with little to zero reasoning, simply because it is in dissent of your opinion.

            http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php try copying and pasting it into your browser if you can’t figure it out.

        2. You’re saying a bunch of words but they don’t make any sense. I don’t think you know what they mean. Where did you get the idea that gene-spliced organisms are produced with “biosolids, growth hormones, antibiotics, synthetic preservatives”? None of that has anything to do with “GMO”. GMO only refers to variants produced through gene splicing instead of selective breeding or random mutation – which has zero impact on anything, until you’ve subsequently selected the most desirable offspring and selectively bred them some more. Furthermore, most fresh fruits and vegetables don’t even have a gene-spliced variant available. Lastly, please tell us where you sourced your very suspicious claim that “The levels of natural pesticides used is so much less than the alternative”. I think you simply made an assumption based on your belief that organic produce must somehow be better. If it is better, it can be reliably and repeatably measured. I haven’t seen any published studies to corroborate such a claim.

          1. Well, then do some basic research, here is a link and excerpt from an article that shows a published study that people eating organic produce have significantly less insecticide inside them than otherwise.

            Also, do some research on how most of your food is processed (entire life cycle), and you will see that the livestock and soils you eat meat and produce from is contaminated with heavy metals, bio solids, and chocked full of preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics, in addition to whatever pesticides needed to ensure a good output.

            http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
            “How consumers can avoid pesticides:

            Smart shopping choices matter. People who eat organic produce eat fewer pesticides. A study by Cynthia Curl of the University of Washington published February 5, found that people who report they “often or always” buy organic produce had significantly less organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples, even though they reported eating 70 percent more servings of fruits and vegetables per day than adults reporting they “rarely or never” purchase organic produce (Curl 2015). Several long-term observational studies have indicated that organophosphate insecticides may impair children’s brain development.”

            My apologies for seeking out alternatives processes that limit the amount of processing, additives, stress, and ultimately, toxins, while trying to invoke a more communal approach towards farming. And even it is pure placebo…placebo effects still scientifically are known to show improved results, despite being placebo.

        3. I grew up with farmers. Most of them see organic as a scam. Some of them see it as a scam they’re in on. Those who grow biotech crops are always excited about it, proud to be on the cutting edge, feeding the world, helping the environment, and making better money all at the same time. They eat what they grow and proudly serve it to guests, who often get a fascinating lesson along with a great meal.

          1. “You grew up with farmers”….Okay, was that, on the farm and farming with them? At what capacity did you, grow up with farmers? Sounds like a reaching statement to try and qualify yourself for something that you aren’t, or maybe it is just not very well articulated.

            I think that is the difference though, one method, the one you speak of, has been strategically thought out and capitalized upon (designing synthetic crops to better withstand the synthetic pesticides, its simple that will create higher yields, same with designing feed with hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives to do the same with livestock, more control over for better crop and livestock yields, generally with the cheapest resources possible, to maximize profit) – yeah, I bet that a bunch of farmers got really jazzed up with a bunch of marketing, new processes, equipment, and resources coming their way, but they only get to lease things it in most cases and don’t make much profit in wake of the larger companies.

            Monsanto is a good example, they are $55 billion company. They provide agricultural products to farmers, they used to make Agent Orange, now they have products like the Round-Up Ready Soybeans, which corners 90% of the soybean market. Glyphosate may be what you want to put inside of yourself, but I’d rather not if possible. Clearly, the crop grows a lot better and more efficiently…does that make it healthy or safe? No. Would they want to spend lots of money and time trying to figure out that there money maker is not safe? No.

            At some point, you have to realize, that some people, don’t give a shit about others. Executive leaders often forget about outside factors and focus on the fact they have a business and margins to meet, ethically not caring about the wake they leave behind because that won’t come out or will not matter when profits are realized. Will the NFL admit they covered up CTE and concussion links, Oil companies admit they have better, more efficient, but less profitable ways to consume energy for travel and synthetic/plastic products…? You are relying on moral/ethical decisions to be made in an arena which hasn’t showed a historical record of favoring the people over profit. Might seem peachy keen now, but generally big business fails us (oil, stocks, banks, cars, you name it), and this is something I would rather not figure out I am wrong about 25-50 years after the fact and having ate poison for other people’s profit. I am a business graduate and work in business, so I am not just bashing corporations, but we have seen commodity-like industries fail us time and time again, so forgive my health skepticism with the way farming has been commercialized, rather try to be safe than sorry with what goes inside me.

          2. All right, then, in order. I’m from a small town where the only economic activities to speak of are farming and logging. This is a town where elk season is an excused absence from school. You can’t spend long in that kind of a place without talking to any farmers. Further, my uncle is a commercial farmer, and my cousin and brother both have degrees in agri-business. So yes, I definitely grew up around farmers, wouldn’t you say?

            You misplaced a decimal point in your valuation of Monsanto. They’re more like a five billion dollar company. They’re also not the company that made Agent Orange. The Monsanto chemical company bought an agricultural firm after the Agent Orange era. The part that did the chemical work was subsequently bought by Pfizer, while the ag company that was left kept the name. You realize that no one makes any farmers buy their seed, right? They have a huge share of the soybean market because their product works. It works really well.Farmers are not brand-loyal, especially to seed companies. If they find an option that’s even a hair better, they’re gonna jump ship.

            If I may, why zero in on Monsanto? They’re like five spots down the Big Ag totem pole. Syngenta is an order of magnitude bigger, and also breeds herbicide-tolerant seed. They got theirs by mutagenesis and hybridization, though, so it didn’t have to go through any safety testing whatsoever.

            Interesting you should mention that you don’t want to find out about some risk 20 years too late. Have you heard of the 29-year, multi-generational, 100 billion-animal, trillion-meal feeding study that was recently concluded on the safety of biotech feeds? It concludes, with the greatest confidence, that there are absolutely no ill effects linked to the method by which the feedstocks were bred. The science in this area is just as settled as it is on climate change, and considerably more settled than it is on gravity.

          3. Sounds like you have grown up around farmers, very nice. I hope they are not succumb to the Big Ag giants you refer to. I am reading more into the study you reference, looks pretty good, but I still just think its a more complex situation than to say, yep, its allllll safe – or the contrary as well. I am looking at fass.org, which is a part of that study, and I just find things conflicting when I read on their site that WHO and IARC published a reporting (October 2015) claiming that red and processed meats are linked to cancer…well aren’t processed (rDNA, rBST, GMO feed) meats determined to be okay as per the large, comprehensive study you note?

            According to Forbes, Monsanto has a market cap of $55 billion; http://www.forbes.com/companies/monsanto/

            Also, interesting that you say they didn’t make Agent Orange, but rather a spin-off, when their own site details Monsanto as one of nine government contracts that did manufacture, Agent Orange… http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/agent-orange-background-monsanto-involvement.aspx no such indication it was a subsidiary or future purchase, but maybe so, not really that big of a deal, just interesting.

            Kind of naive to say that farmers aren’t forced to buy seeds…No one makes Wal-Mart suppliers sell their goods to Wal-Mart – oh wait, yes they do, and they get to dictate the price they buy from said suppliers, or they get priced out of the market…so yes, in a sector where you own 90% or more of the market (soybeans), I would say that there are many farmers forced to buy their seeds.

          4. The cancer risks associated with excessive red meat consumption have nothing to do with what the animal is fed. It has more to do with the the protein structures in red muscle tissue, and the metabolic by-products of its digestion. Processed meats, like Slim Jims, have their own host of issues, again having nothing to do with the diet of the cow.

            And no, it’s not naive to state that farmers aren’t forced to buy seeds from any specific supplier. I’ve seen them shopping around, talking to various sales reps, seeing who’s got the best deal for what they’re trying to do. They don’t even, strictly speaking, have to buy seed at all. They choose to do so, because it’s far more efficient than losing part of your crop to the labor-intensive seed reclamation process. If one company winds up with the lion’s share of the seed sales for a particular crop, it’s because they offer the best option for the lion’s share of growers.

          5. Well the by-products aren’t effected by what is ingested? A more grain rich diet and more additives is going to lead to more inflammation and more inflammatory and acidic by-product and product. I think it is a bit too easy to say that the diet of the animal has no effect, it depends how it is nurtured to some degree.

            You definitely do not need to have the best product to be the most successful business in any given market, especially ones that are not service-based. They likely have the lion’s share of seed sales because they price out other seed suppliers and most growers more or less have their hands tied because after shopping around, talking to various sales reps, seeing who’s got the best deal, it is going to be the same few Large options.

          6. Not true. Small seed suppliers are everywhere, and they get used when they have what the grower needs. It’s true that they tend to specialize in niche products, but that’s what small suppliers of everything do. Don’t forget, too, that soybeans, to continue the example, are seeds. Any farmer who wants to can switch over to being his own supplier at basically any time. Almost no one does this, however, for good reason. Seed saving sucks. It’s labor-intensive, and hybrid traits don’t carry over well in subsequent generations. Producing high-quality seed is a highly specialized business. If a company’s product isn’t the best, they will not get buyers, no matter how big they are.

          7. You may find a lot of the smaller players are really just subsidiaries of the same 5 or 6 conglomerates, so I don’t know if you want to refer to them as small, or if they truly encompass the meaning behind small business practice. https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html I highly recommend you take a look at the Seed Industry Structure, click it to zoom in. For the record, Monsanto looks like a pretty large player despite your claim’s of them being 1/10th of their actual worth and they clearly have their imprints across the industry, rivaling or exceeding the capabilities of any other competitor.

            So yep, small seed suppliers are everywhere, yet they are no where if they only make up small percentages of the market, way smaller percentage if you incorporate these subsidiaries and partnerships. When you are buying from the small-er subsidiary, its a lock they have a burden on their prices that is a profit margin for the Conglomerate, that’s just the way it works – it still might be cost effective, but buying from their subsidiaries is still supporting the parent company, despite thinking you are buying from a small supplier.

          8. This all distracts from the real question. Why does it matter? Food gets grown. Does it matter who did the breeding, if they all used the same method? If they didn’t all use the same method, are you arguing method or producer? None of your anti-corporate arguments are germane to the organic farming issue, especially since Big Organic is working as hard as it can to take the place of Big Ag.

    5. Bullshit. Bt corn, for example, produces its own insecticide, one which is completely harmless to humans (and is commonly used in organic farming), and Round-up is the most potent herbicide on the market (as well as the least toxic to humans), requiring far less than “natural” herbicides, like the carcinogenic copper sulfate, to be effective. There is *no* documented, peer-reviewed, evidence, whatsoever, that organic foods are any less risky than conventional and GMO foods. “Natural” does not mean “safer”; don’t forget, arsenic is 100% natural.

      1. Right, but fake doesn’t mean safer either – new synthetics would need to be tested for short and long term effects before you could determine they are in fact, safe or safer than alternatives. I will take a health skepticism over just trusting companies that are designed to make a profit and corner so much of the market. They have failed us before, not sure I want to wait to find out that our food has had high levels had carcinogens all this time, or their was some other effect that this led to later. Nah.

        Still find it interesting that everyone is telling me that organic crops need more “natural” pesticides, yet every article I find, they still have way less pesticide levels than the alternative. I get that there may need to be plenty of natural pesticides used on certain organic crops, but from all the things I have seen, still looks to be lower levels than on other produce. Its not really just GE vs Organic genes, because there are other contaminants and poor processes that turn me off of that food than genetic modifications and synthetics pesticides.

    6. you can have organic GMO’s you know-nothing.
      Non-farmers talking about farming is hilarious.

      1. Yeah, well let me ask you this, Know It All, can organic foods be non GMO?

        I don’t take a huge issue with GMOs as much as I just want clean food, I think organic products enable better chance to eat clean overall (less bio solids, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics, etc) based on the way industrialized farming and other practices have shifted the way we make food. To me, an organic factory farm is just as bad as a regular one.

        People adding zero value to a thread but for some snarky comment and thinking they are cool, is also hilarious btw.

        1. There is no such thing as clean food, know-nothing.
          A peach naturally contains cyanide.
          A human mothers breast milk naturally contains mercury.
          The dose makes the poison not the substance.

          TLKS (too little knowledge syndrome)

          1. Lol….wow, that’s the way you want to steer the conversation? I understand and knew those things – and your examples are fucking stupid, because none of them are in reference to the bio solids, pesticides, preservatives, and antibiotics I mentioned above. So you are just going off on tangents, stroking your own ego and taking a high level statement of “eat clean overall (less bio solids, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics, etc)” and being an absolute (pun intended) idiot about it. You must be one of those losers that if someone asks you to “hold on” because they need a minute before they can get to you, you ask, “to what”?

            Because you have to have your hand held to understand English, simple implied rhetoric, or just trying to be a nit picky douche bag, I would rather have food that has lower levels of elements that when consumed in high volume, can be toxic towards your health. I guess it’s not your fault you don’t grasp esoteric thinking and can only see things in absolute terms. You clearly can’t have an in-depth conversation, or a logical one for that matter.

            What a winner in TLKS…you come up with that one all by yourself? GTFO

          2. TLKS is an acronym used in aerospace engineering.

            How many acres of food are you responsible for?
            How man acres of food have you grown in your life?

            Your backyard organic garden…although you may think it is cool, does not count.

          3. So, are you an aerospace engineer or a farmer? Or someone who just twists their argument and doesn’t address the previous comment because you have no validity or capacity to respond?

          4. I design drones that farm. Organic is a scam. A marketing scam.
            But if you want to pay a higher price for food with a useless label on it, I will gladly slap that label on it.

          5. What part of design do you do? The CAD? Engineering? Software?

            You are an idiot, the idea of eating food with less additives and shit inside of it is not a scam. Industrialized organic farming is more of a scam, as it just mimics a lot of the processes that really make, not organic anymore.

            When you are too stressed, you get sick. An animal has similar physiological behaviors. Animals who are bred into an assembly line and severely distressed from cradle to grave are not going to taste as good and will have cellular issues stemming from said stress. The feed they eat is inflammatory, so eating them is inflammatory. I choose not to eat inflamed, destitute, and mistreated livestock swollen with additives lining their guts. I don’t always eat organic, I just go for local and minimally processed foods and don’t shop at chain grocery stores. I am not getting scammed at all.

          6. without factory farming you starve. You dream of a garden of eden where the lions don’t eat the prey.
            I call people like you anti-human, de-growthers.

          7. Wrong again.

            So admittedly, organic farming is about 10-20% lower in crop/livestock production:

            http://news.berkeley.edu/2014/12/09/organic-conventional-farming-yield-gap/

            However, we also waste 40% of this food that you think is unstable and would disappear, and that everyone would starve as a shift towards more sustainable farming was implemented:

            https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e578bcea61&view=att&th=153e85e213201666&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1530808125796384768-local0&safe=1&zw

            How stupid do you have to be to think that factory farming would just disappear and not be phased out for more regional mid-size and local farms? They also would be free to use more direct channels (more profits for them, not the parent co.) and would still be producing a very similar level of food?

            Now, I am not a math wizard, but you tell me, what would happen if we increased the amount of food we can consume (and is already produced), say by 30-40% while also slowly decreasing (or streamlining new/better practices) the production by 10-20%?

            There are plenty of hungry people in America right now, and they aren’t starving because we don’t produce enough food.

          8. you need a xanax and a breather, righteous indignation is your drug of choice.
            Unfortunately for people like me I have to work to solve the reality that 2 billion humans (the majority of which are children) went without food today.
            Meanwhile in your home with power and internet you type nonsense online to try and sound smart to fuel your righteous indignation.
            Modern science has given you too much time on your hands.
            To quote Norman Borlaug (you have no idea who this is)
            “It is easy to protest when you are not hungry”

          9. We can still feed billions of people with different farming styles. Hmm, with that burden on you, then the food waste article should make your skin crawl, as it does mine. Oh, I didn’t see you say anything about that in your response though, interesting. Pardon me for caring about that side of the same issue you are trying to solve.

            So thanks for the pathos and cute little role model quote, I could have been spared. Once again…replying to the comment, but not really responding to the content.

            Do you think Big Ag company boards, leaders, lobbyists, and other stakeholders meet and talk about how to fix world hunger, or how to strategically manage their business?

          10. “We can still feed billions of people with different farming styles.”

            No we can’t. You see actual experts who actually know what they are talking about have already looked into this.

          11. I just think that is more up for debate than you think. As I noted, the production of food (or lack thereof) isn’t why people go hungry now and we have lots of room to continue expanding industrialized farming, to the detriment of our own soils, streams, and habitats. People can starve in some apocalyptic world you speak of, people can also be poisoned by contaminated water…lots of heavy metals in livestock shit that seeps into our water ways, not to distant from the heavy metals found in Flint, for example. Regional production and supply isn’t that out of the ordinary and can be better utilized to combine with (a little less) massive industrialized farming to achieve a better balance in how we produce food – while still producing enough for everyone.

            As population levels rise in the future…the logical thing to do, would be to ask ourselves if there is any way we could be more efficient with our consumption, before just earmarking (in 2009, congress gave Big Ag nearly $200M) money to fund more industrial farms? We don’t need more of those for quite some time.

  2. While I agree on the point that organic has become a marketing label I wouldn’t go as far as to dismiss organic as nonsense. It all comes down if you put in the extra time to research what they advertise as being organic or not. In my opinion teaching a kid “all organic stuff is just overpriced rubbish” (as it comes of this article) is just as preposterous as saying “all organic stuff is good”. If you want to teach your kid something, teach them about asking, reasearching and then making individual judgements.

    For me GMO food is not an option as I don’t see the point in making plants more sustainable for pestizides instead of the bugs itself and by that cutting down on the natural variety of food we otherwise would have. Also, while some plants already have proven themselves as having an catastrohpic effect on some animals (f.e. blinding deers or being toxic to the usefull kind of insects), we simply do not have enough information of long term consequences on nature, us and our bodies. And for those that don’t want to hear about the long term consequences: It was only last year that a spanish man died of an allergic reaction to seafood caused by a genetically altered tomatoe. GMO food is not only a problem for nature but also for those with allergies (which somehow become more and more frequent).

    The real organic food – meaning the food you grow yourself or get from a trustworthy source – is by all means much healthier than anything you can buy at a store – be it organic or not.

    1. Long term consequences: it was only last year that a parody website put out a joke article saying that a Spanish man died of an allergic reaction to seafood caused by a genetically altered tomato. Even though there are no tomatoes with seafood genes currently on the market. Yet I still have to hear about it like it was a true thing that actually happened. Remember kids, scientific literacy is a good thing.

    2. //It was only last year that a spanish man died of an allergic reaction to seafood caused by a genetically altered tomatoe// Since there are no GMO tomatoes on the market, I call BS – let’s see your source for that astonishing piece of nonsense. No, Natural News or March Against Monsanto does not count as a source.

      Research has amply demonstrated that there are no health risks associated with GMO that are not also posed by conventional crops. GMOs are safe.

    3. “For me GMO food is not an option as I don’t see the point in making
      plants more sustainable for pesticides instead of the bugs itself” — ummm, you do know that there are a lot of different GMO crops and that many of them ARE resistant to the pests themselves, right? Also that GM can and has been used to make produce last longer without spoiling, or add vitamins or minerals (ie Golden Rice which added vitamin A). It’s interesting to me that you have a problem with labeling anything “organic” bad but you seem quick to label anything that’s a GMO bad. The fact that the organic label requires things to be GMO free is, for me, the number one reason to avoid organic. Advocating that people grow their own food is great — I’ve always said that I’d rather have vegetables than flowers — but it’s also a privileged suggestion which assumes that people have land, or at the very least, access to outdoor space that is suitable for growing. A lot of us don’t. Also, regarding the “confirmed death” from GMOs, since you’re a fan of research I suggest you read this: http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/gmodeath.asp

      1. The reason they’re resistant to the pests themselves is because the plant itself produces the bt pesticide. That’s what it was genetically engineered to do. So now every cell in the plant contains pesticide (which you then eat.) Tasty, no?

        1. This actually isn’t true. Sometimes it is, but most of the time, its because of natural causes.

          For example, the bananas we eat are the ones everywhere because they survived a crisis earlier. There was no gene-splicing or such. Thus, the bananas we have today are resistant to certain pests and diseases *naturally*. Of course, because its all one species, they are very vulnerable to a new threat that’s emerging.

          Additionally, even with the genetic modification in it’s truest sense, its common to simply make the plant less appealing, rather than making it secrete a pesticide. Marigolds for example naturally deter slugs. So if you had a low-lying fruit (such as strawberries), splicing in genes from marigolds could help protect them. No pesticides needed.

          1. That is correct. Humans do have a gut biome made up of other organism and we would die without it.

            Bt can and does effect the human gut biome and in some cases it transfers horizontally into the biome organisms and turns the human gut into a pesticide factory..

            Yum Yum eat up ….

          2. Can you point to anything credible that says Bt is harmful to the human biome? I have never seen anything that says it.

          3. Using Google, you can find sites proving that squirrels are conspiring against the human race.

          4. I can find sources that support my conclusion. Those sources do their best to work within a rigorous framework that removes bias. None of the sources that I can find that support your position do that. They do not work within that framework.

            So clearly the answer to my question is no you can’t. Because you have plenty of time to say all manner of things here, but when it comes to actually linking to things that might show your conclusions in a less than positive light, suddenly you don’t have time.

            Again, this is just trolling. You can flag me all you want but it doesn’t change anything.

          5. Nonsense.

            You supporting the corrupt GMO pesticide industry junk pseudo-science cult ideology that must be protected from real science and the truth at all costs.

            You are trolling me with your BS.

    4. I see you’ve done your research:
      “It was only last year that a spanish man died of an allergic reaction to seafood caused by a genetically altered tomatoe.”
      You said this and and a lot of other Organic Fan nonsense as expected.
      http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/gmodeath.asp
      The story was false, made up, a satire, not true, a fallacy and it was done so well that it was the predicted that Anti GMO et al crowd would leap in to it a use it to prove their case.

      And you did just that. You are wrong as you are wrong with just about everything else in your comment.

      1. This article and study is probably a big steaming pile of shit then isn’t it…? http://sph.washington.edu/news/article.asp?content_ID=4956 and for the fully study, http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1408197/ (had a link issue before, copy and paste that in your browser if its not working) Is that not credible or real research? Must not be, since it’s just logical, science backed, and dissents to your opinion.

        You think that we are the ones being fooled into buying less processed food from people who care more about giving back to their communities over their own profits? ….Right…Because mega corporations have always been trusted to do the right thing in the name of people…Keep trusting them and go about your life as is, as this is a consumer issue at this point, up for each of us to decide. However, if you are wrong, and eating poison (not to mention, all the other additives and shit that gets into mass produced food) at the hands of these producers, that will be unfortunate, wouldn’t it? Kind of like when you find out your retirement has been obliterated because the firm you trusted with your money was siphoning it off for its own bad investments and by the time you find out, you are…just fucked, oh well.

          1. When the only sources you find credible are the ones that support your conclusions you live in an echo chamber.

            If you want to be something more than a troll, think about criteria for what makes a proper source, and then test your sources against the same criteria and the other side’s sources. And be willing to debate the usefulness of your criteria (i.e. subject yourself to peer review).

          2. I am not here to represent a “side”.

            The rest of your post is opinion which you are entitled to, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

          1. Snopes moved. They are no longer considered o be an unbiased source of accurate information.

            Maybe you can cite a credible source.

  3. Maybe the reason why there’s only 1 organic farm in my country because most of my people aren’t even going to afford any of it.

    1. Wow, and Monsanto doesn’t get anything from organic farming – you are dreaming.

  4. I would choose organic over conventional any day. Many organic farms don’t use any harmful pesticide at all, and those that do don’t use synthetically made pesticide that can’t even wash off.

    1. you will not find a organic farm that does not use pesticides. You trully have no idea what you are talking about.
      Organic farms use MORE pesticides.

      1. That is not true. I have spoken with many organic farmers in my area and they will only use organic pesticides, if and when needed. Organic farms use LESS pesticides! Stop spreading lies.

          1. Yes it is but it is sprayed on and can be washed off from rain and can dissipate from sunlight. Bt toxins are inserted into each plant, therefore it cannot be washed off. Knowing your organic farmer is key and if you can grow your own, even better.

          2. But being naive enough to believe that your organic chemicals only stay on the surface of food is pretty sad. I work with farmers, most of them start spraying before anything has really started to bloom. I know because I’m selling them those sprayer parts, and they talk about when they’re spraying and what they’re doing, both with myself and the other farmers in the shop and store. Also they get into the soil, regardless of whats used that’s not avoidable. If your “organic” chemical is more toxic than the synthetic, its getting in to soil that way too. Here’s a great link I suggest you actually read this one. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/natural-vs-synthetic-chemicals-is-a-gray-matter/ You need to actually understand what your fighting against to actually be able to fight against it… otherwise theres no point even trying because you make yourself look bad. And yes, IF you’re going to pay more for organic knowing the farmer, or gardener is a benefit because then you can know. Also going with someone who’s smaller scale is better because they’re more likely to be out tending it by hand rather than using herbicides, and monitoring if pesticides are needed. I do know one lady that does this, and if I’m buying something organic it’ll be from her, never anyone else. I’ll stick to my GMO, I actually avoid the organic label as much as I can, and can probably count that label in my house, and that’s 2 kinds of tea, one I bought by mistake, and another that I can’t get the same without it.

          3. Oh so you have a connection to the industry, I see. This explains lots. I am pretty sure it is better than having the pesticides incorporated into each and every cell of the plant so that it produces it’s own pesticide when a bug bites into it, yum!! Organic chemical is not more toxic than the synthetic version, give me a break! Eat all the GMOs you want, nobody is stopping you but good luck with that.

          4. You have linked to a PR placement by the biotech chemical industry PR disinformation echo chamber.

          5. You are going to need more than a blog post from a kook site to make your point.

            Can you find a credible citation?

          6. Apparent you can’t read. She cited realclearscience and industry astroturf site.

            Please read the comments before you respond with your baloney.

          7. Thanks for the spin and industry dis-info.

            We can all see who you are working for here.

        1. ” I have spoken with many organic farmers in my area and they will only use … pesticides”

          DO YOU EVEN HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING

          1. What are you having a problem with? I like how you “forgot” the word organic before the word pesticides. lol Anyone knows if an organic farmer is in need of some help, they will use “organic” &, non synthetic pesticides if and when needed. They don’t use it unless they need to. What part of that do you not understand?

          2. I didn’t forget anything, you forgot that “Organic” means nothing when it comes to pesticides.

            “Non-Synthetic” LMAO. Arsenic is “Non-Synthetic”…

          3. Baloney.

            Certified organic food is grown following strict organic standards and certain natural organic pesticides are only are only used under extreme circumstances.

            Your claim is another bald faced lie.

          4. and the government sets those standards…they set standards for nuclear power too, happy with that?

          5. We are discussing organic food.

            Please try and focus on the topic and avoid extraneous issues.

          6. By the way you should change your name from “StopGMO” to “IWouldPreferMillionsDieOfStarvationAndMalnutrition”.

          7. Laughable! What you think I should be changing my name to, has been debunked over and over again. GMOs have not and will not feed the hungry. We have plenty of food to go around in this world and there is must waste also. The problem is location & the cost of distribution. Hunger is also a result of poverty. You should really do more research before deciding to comment on articles. It would save you the embarrassment of not having a clue of what you are talking about. http://cdn3.ewg.org/sites/default/files/EWG%20Feeding%20the%20World%20Without%20GMOs%202015.pdf?_ga=1.241053323.968784389.1427142250

          8. Nonsense you are not even good with your disingenuous out of context spin and lies.

      2. Most organic farmers never use pesticides. Your claim is a lie.

        According to USDA studies 96% of organic food meets or exceeded USDA organic standards for pesticide contamination.

        Compare that to the 100% of cancer causing Roundup laden GMOs which are contaminated with at least one and usually more pesticide.

        1. Roundup is an herbicide, not a pesticide. It binds quickly with the soil, so causes little groundwater contamination. Reputable government agencies and scientific organizations all over the world have found that while glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) is probably carcinogenic, it is not dangerous in the amounts that make it into the diet through its use in agriculture. GMO crops that are used in conjunction with Roundup are modified to be immune to Roundup, so the Roundup can be sprayed on the field to kill weeds without killing the target crop. Such genetic modification has no adverse effects as far as human consumption.

          “Meets or exceeds USDA organic standards for pesticide contamination” does not mean “no pesticide contamination.” The standard is not zero. So what are are saying, in effect is that organic foods meet USDA standards for organic pesticide contamination and conventional crops meet USDA standards for conventional pesticide contamination. One is not better than the other.

          Conventional farmers don’t spray for pesticides except when necessary, either — based on cost/benefit calculation same as organic farmers. Nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars on pesticide if they don’t have to.

          I raise cattle (and they’re organically raised!), but a pretty high percentage of people I know who do organic farming do so primarily because they are small farmers who can’t compete in volume, so appreciate that they can charge higher prices if they can slap on the organic sticker.

          As scale increases, organic farming becomes less and less viable.

          1. that’s why you can spray weeds around the garden and you won’t kill your other plants (with some exceptions of course)

          2. Roundup is a broad spectrum herbicide. It will kill most things. In that way it’s different from, say, a broadleaf killer that will get dandelions out of your lawn without killing your grass. So, in large scale agriculture, the crop is specifically engineered to be immune to the Roundup — most things aren’t. If you use Roundup on a typical backyard garden, it will kill everything. You can very carefully spot-treat with Roundup, as it doesn’t spread far in soil.

          3. Roundup/glyphoste is a herbicide but it is classified as a pesticide.

            The rest of your wall of words is mostly troll drool and as uninformed as your claims that Roundup is not a pesticide.

          4. They are both about equal. Troll drool is obvious to most smart people while cancer causing Roundup/glyphosate GMOs are purposely hidden in the food we feed our children.

    2. Any pesticide sprayed on can be washed off, but at the same time both “organic” and non “organic” can penetrate the plant, so really its no difference as far as that goes. And as I’ve stated before organic chemicals are very often more toxic than what is used with GMO. And even the ones that are safe for human consumption, they can still be damaging to the environment. Most people who are staunchly anti-gmo don’t understand them. In fact some of the sickest people, with illnesses that aren’t common at all, that I personally know only eat organics.

  5. “Acculturated” is right!! The writer is clearly acculturated to factory-farmed, chemical laden frankenfoods. What a pro-industry, propagandist, pile of antiscience drivel…(“We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden…”)

    1. actually it’s exactly the opposite. it’s well researched, logical, and built on a foundation of solid scientific study. i’m actually going to go out on a limb and say that you didn’t really read the article because the main thrust of it is that the label “organic” doesn’t actually mean getting “back to the garden.”

      1. Baloney. It is PR placed industry prophaganda with no basis in fact that supports it’s claims.

          1. On having read the article and understanding that the contents are pure industry propaganda with no basis in fact at all.

      1. I am not seeing anything peer reviewed, just a blog full of nonsense. What you’ve shared is nothing but industry spun propaganda.

        1. most (if not all) of the references in the scientific american blog are peer reviewed. you can see the list of them at the bottom of the blog. for sure anything posted in anything called “journal of…” is peer reviewed.

          i know that you are operating out of concern for many things…the environment, human health, loved ones, etc. i know because i used to think like you, used to think all the pro GMO stuff was lies. but the evidence against gmo’s just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

          1. I am sorry to hear that you too have been duped and brainwashed by industry spun pseudoscience. There is plenty of unbiased, peer reviewed studies, documents and papers which prove you wrong.

          2. if that’s true then post some links to them and let’s look at them, like i’ve done. i’ve never found an anti-gmo reference that actually holds up to scrutiny but if they exist i’d love to see them.

            that said, it still doesn’t mean i’ve been “brainwashed by industry-spun pseudoscience.” for that to be true the wealth of evidence supporting my position would have to all somehow be compromised, which is exactly what things like “double-blind” and “peer-reviewed” is supposed to guard against. so in a sense your position calls into question the entire scientific method. just something to ponder.

            or, maybe, you just really want me to be wrong and have closed your mind?

          3. You need to look a little deeper. Maybe try some real science sites and avoid the numerous biotech chemical industry astroturf site who pose as a source of science but only publish one sided propaganda that support the corrupt industry junk pseudo-science cult ideology that must be protected from real science and the truth at all cost.

          4. You throw a lot of stones but don’t back it up with anything concrete. How about you post some links to these real science sites? Or are you nothing more than a troll?

          5. I’m not throwing stones. I am simply educating you to the fact that the industry astroturf site you are using to inform yourself are not credible scientific sites.

          6. It is not my responsibility to help you with your remedial education. You made claims based on false information and you got called on it. Get some education then come back and you might not look so silly.

          7. What a ridiculous meme. Did you come up with that all on your own or did your buddy Food Hunk create it? Brainless idiots. Rofl!

          8. Actually its kinda true, after they decided to go organic they had a few locations have to close because people were getting seriously ill from the food.

          9. organically grown in mexico with workers that defecate in the field they are picking…

          10. Adolescent stuff, man ….

            The health of my family my community and the planet is more important to me than your mind controlled brainwashed adolescent BS.

          11. you have nothing. You have posted nothing.
            You are a food science denier. You are crazy.

          12. a food science denier? so is it settled then? do you win the argument? does that slay the dragon. you people are rich.

          13. Junk pseudo-science is that which rejects pesticides, GMOs, vaccines, and nuclear power and that embraces anthropogenic global warming and “green” energy. I’m convinced we’re going to need worldwide famine, a pandemic, and massive blackouts in this country before this “politics of the neurotic” is finally laid to rest.

          14. Baloney.

            You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to make up your own facts.

            We can all see that your comment is dripping with your industry bias.

          15. This is the only mention of nuclear anything in this discussion? I’m disappointed. Does this mean the anti-everythings can’t fight a multiple-front war?

          16. yes, people need to suffer from some “latte withdrawal” to come to their senses. think the indian child rummaging through the garbage of the slums of mumbai cares about whether it’s organic or not? and there are way more of them than there are of these pretentious twits and their pseudoscience

        2. Christie Wilcox is a PR flack and writer of industry propaganda.

          The piece is total baloney propaganda.

      2. just because a few “me too” scientists with a funding agenda agreed doesn’t mean anything. you act as if all scientists are morally pure.

        1. Not at all. There’s nothing moral about any of this. Actually that’s the entire point of peer review, of the entire scientific framework: to remove as much chance for bias (moral or otherwise) as possible. The human mind has a marvelous capacity for rationalization. We see patterns where none exist. We see what we want to see. The scientific framework is our best effort at making observations that are not biased. At seeing the patterns that do actually exist. Is it perfect? Not at all. Do people make errors? Absolutely. Do scientific findings reveal themselves slowly, in seemingly contradictory ways? Absolutely. Does this mean the framework is wrong? Quite the opposite. We should do our best top improve it.

      3. “Peer reviewed” means nothing today. You’d be amazed at the garbage that gets peer reviewed. Have you not been keeping up with the scandals?

          1. Here is something I read recently.

            http://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/05/scientific-regress

            “There’s an ­unspoken rule in the pharmaceutical industry that half of all academic biomedical research will ultimately prove false, and in 2011 a group of researchers at Bayer decided to test it. Looking at sixty-seven recent drug discovery projects based on preclinical cancer biology research, they found that in more than 75 percent of cases the published data did not match up with their in-house attempts to replicate. These were not studies published in fly-by-night oncology journals, but blockbuster research featured in Science, Nature, Cell, and the like. The Bayer researchers were drowning in bad studies, and it was to this, in part, that they attributed the mysteriously declining yields of drug pipelines. Perhaps so many of these new drugs fail to have an effect because the basic research on which their development was based isn’t valid.”

            So, it looks like “science” isn’t really science. Another pundit said: “To paraphrase, and reject, Daniel Dennett’s contention, do not trust biologists or sociologists or climatologists, or anyone else who calls himself a scientist, simply because physicists get amazingly accurate results.”

          2. That’s a very interesting article. I’ve read some of the things it mentions before but not this article specifically.

            I don’t understand some of the conclusions, namely “it looks like science isn’t really science.” It looks to me that the method needs refinement, not that it’s worthless. I still think applying the method is better than not. Or back to your original statement, “‘Peer reviewed’ means nothing today”, I disagree that it means nothing. I think something being published in a peer reviewed journal is making an attempt to remove bias whereas otherwise there is no attempt at removing it.

  6. Who said that health was the only reason to support organic foods??
    I don’t even care about health, I support organic foods because of the positive environmental impact!!

    1. And what is that environmental impact? I thought she covered that. How does low yield food work, what does that do – save the land for the higher yield food later? Any food that needs to have one set of chemicals replaced with another set of chemicals – is it really worth it. I think it will be found to be worse for us and the environment – only time will tell. Not to mentioned, many fields are treated with petroleum products, mostly propane / great CO2s – yup, I really want to eat that – not.

    2. Organic is in fact a NEGATIVE environmental impact.
      Your snobbish attitude is destroying the environment.

      1. factory farming and industrialized farming (both organic and non) are destroying the environment

        1. More efficient ways of growing plants have much less of an impact on the environment because they use less land. It’s that simple.

          1. A lot of things must be pretty simple for you!

            Does using more land for farming/clearing land negatively impact the environment…? Yes.

            Is the only variable in environmental impact…land? No.

            Sure, industrial farming yields 10-20% more crops/livestock, but just because they produce more, does not mean the processes and associated impact is not creating other factors and problems for the environment on a micro or macro level. We also waste 40% of the food we produce, so we have plenty of room to reduce or lose current outputs, by 10 or 20%, it would just require lifestyle changes.

            Think of a regular industrial factory, they make Product X and they make it better than the other methodology.. Product X makes, Z Waste, which is unusable, Z Waste gets dumped, burned off, or disposed in some fashion. A factory farm makes Product X and they make it better than the organic guy’s, Product X makes Z waste, it too, will need to go somewhere…Less land means little when the land is chocked full of so many products creating and spreading so much waste and leaving a barren terrain after they have used all the nutrients up. So it’s also less land, for now, because the practice isn’t sustainable to keep doing over and over on the same land, and about 30% or more of the CONUS is already used for factory farming.

            Here are a few other impacts industrialized farming has:
            Don’t need to get into a whole new topic of climate change, but on a micro level, deforestation for massive farms, fertilizer, chemical, and livestock shit in stormwater runoff gets into lakes and streams, soil erosion and salinization, the overdraft of water and threats to its long-term supply, the loss of biodiversity and crucial ‘ecosystem services’ (e.g. pollination, soil formation), and greenhouse gasses the livestocks fart out for us to breathe are all reasons to not want industrial farms.

            Read the article in full per the below link:
            https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e578bcea61&view=att&th=153e831f0a44f750&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1530805090694201344-local0&safe=1&zw

          2. and on the flip side, the chinese, who outnumber us by a factor of 4, will never read that article

        2. Yes it is far better to starve people and reduce world population. Just admit that you think tiny, hand labor, inefficient agriculture is just a way to reduce the world population because those poor people shouldn’t be alive. Mao and Stalin got nothing on organic, anti gmo, anti corporate farm crowd. Now get out there and feed your own family from your own labor you hypocrite because you are talking the talk but sure as hell aren’t walking the walk.

          1. Lol you certainly are pretty cynical, I hope you don’t approach all aspects of your life that way. So admittedly, organic farming is about 10-20% lower in crop/livestock production:

            http://news.berkeley.edu/2014/12/09/organic-conventional-farming-yield-gap/

            However, we also waste 40% of this food that you think is soooo unstable, would disappear, and that everyone would starve as a shift towards more sustainable farming was implemented:

            https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e578bcea61&view=att&th=153e85e213201666&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1530808125796384768-local0&safe=1&zw 40% of our food we toss out…

            Now, I am not a math wizard, but you tell me, what would happen if we increased the amount of food we can consume (and is already produced), say by 30-40% while also slowly decreasing (or streamlining new/better practices) the production by 10-20%?

            So, you don’t have to fear that your brothers will starve if we suddenly changed the way we farmed, we might just have to change the way we live slightly.

            I also get my food from locally sourced farms with the least amount of processing possible, most things I consume don’t come in packages, so stfu and go eat your shitty hormone-filled plastic crap that you call food.

        3. Yes, an environment in which there are billions of Humans starving to death will be certified “All Natural”.

    3. Oh good. Here comes target practice. Question #1 How much more organic produce must be planted to realize the same yield as non-organic? Answer. 3 times the produce. Question #2 How much more land is required to grow organic produce in order to get the same yield as non-organic? Answer: Three times the land. Question #3 How much more water must be used to grow organic as opposed to non-organic? Answer: 3 times the water.

      Bottom line: Please don’t YOU reproduce, organically or otherwise, your mental environment is defective

  7. Organic farming is also using liquid propane, to burn fields. While I might expect it on a burger, my plants don’t seem a good place to add CO2s to the atmosphere. Burning the ground and who knows what, field mice? Since when is Propane (liquefied petroleum gas), natural? Huge tractors with Propane burners. Of course I don’t know how much different from slash and burn – that does not apply propane.

    1. burned fields, trees, do not add more than natural composting of the crops and tress of CO2 to the atmosphere. burning natures crops or trees gives out the same amount of CO2 as it would while composting

    2. Are you serious? You do know that plants require CO2 to live, right? The more CO2, the better off plants are.

      Field mice are rodents. You can’t wipe them out.

    3. field mice? seriously? ever see how many you’ll have if you just let a couple procreate for a year?

  8. Indeed, if you want to hear some medieval anti-science hysteria, don’t ask a conservative about global warming… ask a liberal about GMO foods.

    1. There was no “anti-science hysteria” in the medieval period. Medieval Catholic Christians invented empirical science. It’s the people of today’s modern period who are buffeted by “anti-science hysteria”.

      Pro tip: learn history, it’s the science of unrepeatable events!

      1. except when the church decreed the sun and planetary objects revolved around the earth

    2. if you want to hear some … anti-science hysteria, don’t ask a conservative about global warming

      Right. Ask a liberal instead.

  9. I’m really getting a laugh out of these comments.

    “What a piece of propaganda!!!”

    “No you’re brain washed by the industry!”

    “I don’t need to back up my wild claims because you’re a brainwashed fool!”

    “Stop being so brainwashed by the corporations MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN”

    Holy hell, sometimes I wonder why I’m even involved in *actual* scientific research when morons like these people exist.

    1. Why does other people’s hysteria cause you to wonder why you are involved in *actual* scientific research?

    2. switch your specialty…..maybe you could come up with a vaccine against stupid….. 🙂

  10. >>In my supermarket, there’s a gullible section of the produce aisle. It’s not exactly labeled as such, but it might as well be.

    But they are buying “virtue”!

  11. I simply asked my kids, “What is the only 100% organic fertilizer?”

    Hint: It’s produced by most animals, most notably by cattle of the male persuasion — and this comment thread has more than its share.

    1. Only if the grass they are eating isn’t sprayed, or if they are grain finished (bad) it should be non-GMO grain.

      1. Do you realize that because the EU has been on a warpath against GMO crops “golden rice” can’t be distributed in the poorest parts of the world. GR is a GMO strain of rice with vitamins that prevent blindness. The leading cause of infant blindness – and resultant death – in the third world is a lack of those vitamins. By simply feeding kids GR their blindness would be stopped and they’d manage to survive childhood.

        The “Non-GMO” crowd will – hopefully – answer for the deaths of these kids.

        1. golden rice is one of the best things to result from gmo science…..it would improve the lives of all of the poorest peoples on the planet……..so, naturally, it must be destroyed….

          golden rice delendo est!!!!

    2. When I milked cows, we saved some of the milk in a can in the cold creek. We used it to make butter and cream and it was never pasteurized. And it always seemed to have a floating bit of that brown organic fertilizer that had fallen off the cow’s udder.

  12. Most parents, myself included, spend a great deal of time and energy teaching their kids about healthy eating and being responsible global citizens. Because both are important to me, when my kids reach for an organic item, I give them a variation of the admonishment, “We don’t buy that; organic is a scam.” I say it loudly, hoping other kids and parents around us will hear me.

    All this parent hears when you do that is “Whoa! There are virtue-signaling busybodies on both pro- and anti-organic sides!”

  13. It’s not clear to me that you understand that it was really unwise for your kid to be eating those berries. The farm worker was right. Rotenone — a common organic pesticide — degrades pretty rapidly over a course of days so by the time produce makes it to the stores, it’s far less toxic, but straight out of the field, it’s possible to consume enough rotenone dust to get sick, depending on how recently the crop was dusted.

    1. Thank you. You saved me the trouble of mentioning it. Water and/or other mild solvent washing makes all the difference.

  14. A question for the organic people: Do you have an explanation for the decline in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates, even for non-lung cancer? What are we doing right?

      1. If Big Pharma is that great … what does that imply about the anti-vaccine or anti-fluoride movements?

        1. Nothing that has to do with the subject being discussed here.

          Please stay on topic.

          1. Most people can read the article and understand what the topic is, if you aren’t one of them then that’s your problem.

        2. Well, as someone who’s alive thanks to what you dismiss as Big Pharma, I’ll just observe that you have probably never been ill enough to need more than routine medication. Or you’re still young and your health remains largely intact.

          So enjoy. While it lasts.

          Because someday, the continued survival of you or someone close to you will need something more powerful or more targeted than generic medications. That’s when you’ll start viewing “Big Pharma” in a different light.

          Also, never forget that just as organisms evolve, so do pathogens, and that’s why continuing research is needed to combat them. Again, this is where your reviled Big Pharma steps in.

          So as I say, enjoy. While you can.

          1. Well stated. Especially about the kids.

            Every time I run into a young mother who announces that “They are not vaccinating”, like her kids have a vote, I always tell her that in that case, I am increasing my investment in companies that manufacture really small coffins.

            Nobody appreciates my sense of humor.

        3. Big Pharma. When you need those “Big medicines” I bet you won’t turn it down, right?

          And “Big Pharma” can’t put you in jail, force you to buy anything, seize your assets, charge you with a crime, take your house, etc. But Big Government can.

          Don’t fall for the bumper sticker language.

  15. And when you’re done believing in the whole idea of organic, I have this concept called Global Warming, Climate Change or Climate Disruption. It too will cost you extra money, but it’s really all about just good intentions.
    The real trick is to understand who ends up with that “extra money.”

    1. Let’s just selectively apply science.

      You also don’t pay more if you produce your own sustainable energy. You pay less and those Utilities who are used to getting our money can’t sleep because you are no longer forced to give them money every month, due to increased number of options. They lobby to make policies like charging people fees to use solar panels when in some cases those people can actually put energy back onto the grid (saving the utility company money). The fee is a deterrent from using an alternative source and has nothing to do with covering an associated cost. They have this policy in AZ, where sun is in the most abundance, that to me, is criminal to charge people extra for using a natural abundant source just because you have lost their electricity premiums. There is your extra money.

      If you want to make the argument that something should not be adopted because the cost is higher, then you never should have bought a smart phone or a laptop as those too were very price when first hitting the market. They too, are rendering their predecessor technologies obsolete. However, because those items didn’t have billions in tied up in making sure they stayed as-is, we have progressed in those areas, they have become mainstream, and the relative costs (that are still higher, but consumers don’t seem to care about that) have come down and most people can afford these items.

      It’s funny you mention the extra money. Using the extra money tied up in lobbying and being used to stop this shift could be better served towards finding better ways to administer natural energy for profit. Just like what happens with other new technologies when they enter the market…the price is high for the early adopters, but as it is continued to be consumed, invested in, and innovated upon, the market will follow suit and the costs will come down, profits will rise, like with everything else.

  16. Benzene is organic. I stay away from organic. Well, once in a while I eat liver but it has to be cooked properly.

  17. P.T. Barnum would make a killing selling “organic” vegetables to the chumps of today.

  18. I once experienced a dinner (didn’t “have dinner”—the family ate while I sat in the living room—I wasn’t invited to partake) with the family of one of the largest produce dealers in the Los Angeles area. The patriarch was laughing as he described how he provided all his bruised and “second” fruit to be labeled organic, and jacked up the price by 100% in doing so. The produce was NO DIFFERENT from what he sold normally, just the stuff that looked to downtrodden to be sold in the regular way. So not only was he passing off second-class regular produce as “organic,” he was charging MORE for it! I’ve never bought “organic” since.

    1. That’s technically illegal, as “organic” is a label regulated by the USDA, requiring certification through the USDA. That farmer could find himself in hot water some day…

  19. Common sense in everything. My grandpa told me in the 70s that one day they would figure out a way to sell water in a bottle and people would buy it. He was right. Everyone I knew drank from garden hoses and out of taps. No one died or even got sick.

    “Pure” or “organic” doesn’t mean it is “better.” It means someone in a real advertising agency somewhere came up with the idea to make you feel bad if you don’t pay extra for the products they pitch. It means . . . Money.

    And we NEED bacteria and microbes, etc. when we are young to build up our immune systems. Where you do think all these allergies are coming from? We have filters in nurseries, hermetically sealed houses, filters to clean our water and our car air, etc.

    Let your kids as little ones play in the dirt. Them them eat it. Let them put rocks and worms in their mouths. It’s ok. They will live.

    1. Well most people who eat organic likely use a tap and/or a filter. Plastic bottles are used for convenience, on the go, or if you are lazy and just don’t feel like doing dishes. http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/org_farm/orgfarm_principles.html
      That shows what organic farming is really about, it was not created at an agency. It has certainly been branded and sold though, I agree, and the industrialized organic farms don’t classify as organic in its true essence either. But I hope you know it wasn’t just like an advertising group had a team brainstorm and coin the term “organic” as the hot new term for healthy foods.

      1. So you’re saying “organic” is more about the kind of business entity that produces “organic” food than the agricultural practices used? And you don’t understand why people thing “organic” is a scam?

        1. I’m saying it is not black and white or as easy as “its all a marketing scam!” I agree there are organic producers that are likely scamming consumers by not following the above principles or cutting corners in other ways. That doesn’t mean it is all a scam, that doesn’t detract from farmers and suppliers who are trying to do things in a environmentally stable, humane, “natural” (or as close as we can get as that term is also, very grey), cost effective, sustainable, and communal way.

          I forgot when it was bad to take that kind of holistic approach and offer consumers a different value proposition than competitors do through industrialized farming.

  20. ““We don’t buy that; organic is a scam.” I say it loudly, hoping other kids and parents around us will hear me.”

    We hear you, and we think you’re obnoxious.

    1. keep buying into the hoax…you know they can use alar on apples and still call them organic, right? stupid pretentious people you are…

      1. I was referring to her ‘saying it loudly’ in the grocery store. I make my own choices when shopping and don’t care to be lectured while I’m shopping by a complete stranger.

      2. organic is healthier u moron prove it and if itnisnt what did i waste and extra fxxxx dollar its cant be worse for u

    2. Bingo!
      I was thinking the same thing. If she wants to preach, go outside and get a soapbox.

      1. No, because she says it loudly, to complete strangers, instead of minding her own business.

    3. Organic is not a scam if you grow your own or know the organic farmer who grows your food. On the other hand, the USDA organic standards, in which I do not fully trust, might be.

          1. My original response was a comment on the author’s boast that she lectures other shoppers, and had nothing to do with the organic versus non-organic debate.

          2. Right, and although my response looks like it was directed at you, I was responding to what you were saying about what you were quoting from the article. A little misunderstanding, is all.

  21. Organic/ not organic not the issue really… it’s how soon you get the food out of the ground and what happens to it before it gets to you. I was in a CSA and it was a revelation of what food is supposed to taste and smell like. The gassed and waxed stuff in the grocery aisle is a pale shadow.

  22. its all abut virtue signaling …. as most things in public life are today … only “good” people buy organic, only”good” people drive a Prius, only “good” people support genderless bathrooms …

  23. The organic movement is a de facto out branch of the eugenics movement. After all, anyone who champions the elimination of pesticides and “CHEMICALS!” from the production of food stuffs is also calling for the culling of the World’s population. There would in fact be mass starvation as a result of the ‘virtuous’ reduction in overall food production.

    1. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e578bcea61&view=att&th=153e85e213201666&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1530808125796384768-local0&safe=1&zw

      Except that we throw away most of our food and the fact is that we could feed waaaay more people with our current output, so reducing that output by even 10-20% wouldn’t lead to mass starvation in this apocalyptic world you speak about. So, no, those who wan’t a little more care and a little less additives put into what they eat are not anti-human, selfish, or snobby, because we want these same benefits for everyone. Slowly moving away from excessive chemicals and industrialized farming isn’t going to lead to anymore people being hungry than there already are.

  24. But where do you live that you are not witnessing an epidemic of diagnosed autoimmune disease, digestive disorders and food sensitivities? It warrants a closer, scientific look at our new foods. Maybe organic isn’t the whole answer and the soil must be remineralized(?) When I am able to buy organic, grass-fed, and free-range, I believe I am only buying the ordinary foods my grandparents ate.

  25. People can’t live without an environment. So you can’t be for people but against the environment. There’s a moral imperative to maintain the health of both.

  26. I feel sorry for people who buy their food at a supermarket. The “organic” produce is probably no better than non-organic, there. There are many farmers who grow TRULY organic (they do not use pesticides that are harmful for people or the environment).. but good luck getting that at your local grocer’s.
    I am blessed in that I live in a tropical climate within a community of people who TRULY care about our health and the health of our environment. But while we have many grocers who do stock this produce… it’s difficult to tell the difference between them.
    Co-ops are best, IMO. We grow our own food & we each get a share of each other’s harvest. I still go to the store for some things.. but I’ve spent a lot of time researching products, brands, ect.
    The FDA does allow organic food to be sprayed with very harmful pesticides (some worse for our environment than synthetic pesticides). But it’s the large, mono-crop/factory farms that use these methods. The majority of farms here do not use these methods as the community is educated on these matters and will not stand for it.
    We vote with our wallets. Do your research. Organic is absolutely better than non- organic.. but there are many factors involved here. It’s silly to think they are the same & that it’s ok to feed your children glyphosate because the FDA allows farms to use organic pesticides. It doesn’t mean they do!
    A truly organic farm will not use any pesticide sprays at all. And THAT is the best food. Just as a healthy immune system = a healthy person… a healthy immune system in a plant = a healthy food. Healthy plants fight off pests just as healthy bodies do.
    It’s simple… If you do your research. But if you wanna keep reading confirmation bias & straw man articles & believe that this means you can feed your kids anything cuz it’s all the same… that’s fine with me. The people who use their brains & care about our bodies & the environment will be the ones who don’t die off. Fine with me.

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