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Organic foods - Hoax or are there true benefits?

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by Biker, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    If I had scientific evidence I'd post it here. What happened happened and I have no explanation for it. All I do know is when I switched to organic, I can chug a gallon with no issues whatever. Take that as a hoax, placebo, I care not. I am just happy I don't blow up like blowfish excited.

    EDIT: I just googled this and it seems that SOME people have had the same experience as me while others are opposite, they are more lactose intolerant with organic milk than with conventional. So go figure.
  2. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I don't doubt your experience at all; what happened is what happened. But we all know there's cause and effect, and sometimes it's easy to confuse the mechanisms that result in a particular effect. (The organic tomato tastes better not because of fewer "toxins " but because of the variety, vine-ripened, etc.)
  3. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    You're missing where I'm saying "in most instances". In isolated instances, there can be positives to products that are actually organic. And I believe I talked about fish as one such example. I do not like farm raised fish; it's too fatty, and tastes like shit. I've eaten free range eggs, and yes, they are good. But - I'd bet anything eating one side by side with a mass produced egg, that most people could not tell the difference.

    When I'm talking about organics being a hoax and a bunch of bullshit, I'm generally talking about produce, as in vegetables.

    You can go on and on about toxins all you want, but until I die from not washing an apple, I have NOT eaten any toxins at all. Toxins are only toxins when they reach a specific toxicity. We ALL are exposed to chemicals that are potentially toxic every. single. day. "OMG, our water has chlorine, it's a TOXIN!!!" Well, no, because it's not a dose that is toxic. When pesticides are such low dose that they're a thousand times less than toxic, they're not toxic.

    And in many instances, because the vegetable produced the conventional way is better treated, the plant thrives more and produces a better product. Larger, juicier, etc.

    Talk to an ag major. Don't take my word for it.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That's fine, but you do understand that farm is more than just veggies. I am glad you have finally clarified about the other products though.

    You can live to a 100 eating conventional food that has been sprayed with pesticides. You can also smoke like a chimney and achieve the same thing. We are talking about en masse averages. Here's some good points here, Copz--emphasis in bold by me:

    We assessed organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure from diet by biological monitoring among Seattle, Washington, preschool children. Parents kept food diaries for 3 days before urine collection, and they distinguished organic and conventional foods based on label information. Children were then classified as having consumed either organic or conventional diets based on analysis of the diary data. Residential pesticide use was also recorded for each home. We collected 24-hr urine samples from 18 children with organic diets and 21 children with conventional diets and analyzed them for five OP pesticide metabolites. We found significantly higher median concentrations of total dimethyl alkylphosphate metabolites than total diethyl alkylphosphate metabolites (0.06 and 0.02 micro mol/L, respectively; p = 0.0001). The median total dimethyl metabolite concentration was approximately six times higher for children with conventional diets than for children with organic diets (0.17 and 0.03 micro mol/L; p = 0.0003); mean concentrations differed by a factor of nine (0.34 and 0.04 micro mol/L). We calculated dose estimates from urinary dimethyl metabolites and from agricultural pesticide use data, assuming that all exposure came from a single pesticide. The dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic fruits, vegetables, and juice can reduce children's exposure levels from above to below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's current guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a range of negligible risk.

    Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides.
    The above is an abstract from NIH. I hope you realize that this source is solid, has nothing to gain from the results (quite the opposite, actually) and has numerous citations and references.

    It's not screaming with evidence that people will die or suffer, but it does offer something more than just "it's the same thing". It's obviously not.
  5. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Well, thanks for finally putting up something from a source that isn't www.hippy.org. You're right, NIH is a solid source. Reading it over, I'd put their findings as inconclusive, because presence of metabolites doesn't exactly measure the toxicity. And again, toxins aren't until they reach their toxic level. And produce doesn't even come close to that toxic level.

    I'd be interested in seeing a study by NIH on the levels of copper - an approved organic pesticide - which is also a toxic chemical. This NIH study seems fairly narrow in its focus.

    However, you have backed up your reasoning as to why you choose to buy organic. I still think it's wasted, but you have articulated your choice.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The jury will be out!!! ;)
  7. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I didn't say there wasn't any difference. But price IS an issue. Who would prefer a chicken raised under mercury vapor lights in a little area barely large enough for the chicken to turn around? Obviously everybody would buy free range EXCEPT for the price.

    And if you put any strong sauce on your chicken or eggs I doubt you could tell the difference.
  8. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Free-range chicken is a complete and total joke the vast majority of the time anyway, at any price.
  9. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I agree. The really serious debate should be whole foods vs. processed foods. IMO there's far more to be gained there than by buying organic vs. conventionally rasied/grown foods.

    And I too wish to encourage people to shift more of their diet to fruit and vegetables. I've been experimenting with that the last several months and I'm very convinced that it's helping me.
  10. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I agree with Mike. Leon if you switched from standard milk to organic milk and your lactose intolerance disappeared then you had some other condition, perhaps an allergy. Organic lactose and regular lactose are the same thing: lactose.
  11. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I don't disbelieve your statement about your experience, only your attributing the condition to lactose intolerance. And I'm pleased that you're doing better. I very much enjoy dairy products myself and feel sorry for those who cannot enjoy them too.
  12. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Vine ripening and freshness in my opinion. Supermarket tomatoes are picked before they are ripe and then shipped across the country or to/from different continents. I understand that they are infused with a gas that ripens them during transit. When they get to the supermarket they look ripe but they're not, or they're fake/plastic ripe and the fragrance and taste are reduced or gone.

    Nobody who has ever smelled a real tomato can doubt that the ones they sell in supermarkets are disgusting flavorless imitations. In fact if somebody wanted to try their hand in gardening and just try one thing, tomatoes would be it. (Unless you don't like tomatoes of course, but maybe you like tomatoes but not supermarket tomatoes.)

    By the way, this has nothing to do with organic vs. conventional tomatoes. It's a freshness and vine ripening issue, not anything to do with pesticide.
  13. Greg

    Greg Full Member

  14. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I think he means that just because NOW there's no scientific proof that chemical A is harmful in the long run, doesn't mean it isn't. Correct me if I am wrong, Greg.
  16. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I meant that this is one of those situations where you cannot prove a negative. Let's say you have a whole bunch of medical problems. How are you going to prove that this toxin or that toxin caused it? Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Or maybe like you said Leon maybe in the present we do not have sufficient science to prove without a doubt that X problem was caused by Y toxin. In many cases all we know is that somebody's health is really messed up.

    What are toxins anyway? Mostly we know they are substances that are capable of harming body tissues on some level. Is that harm significant? In many cases we don't know. In some cases we can see disruption of cellular processes and show that it's caused by some toxin. Is that disruption dangerous? I doubt we can always tell. However, we can probably assume that not having the cellular processes disrupted is better than having them disrupted.

    What I'm saying is that you can't just consume toxins and presume you are not ingesting an unhealthful level based upon what the government has told us, and based upon what science tells us and tells the government. You can't say "I'm eating only a safe level of these toxins."
  17. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Am I the only one who thinks this is all great in theory but makes no difference to me personally because organic products are priced out of my being able to afford them? And how much benefit is there if you consume one or two organic products but the bulk of most of your food is plain ordinary "not organic" food?

    Is "not organic" food really that bad for us or is this like arguing the Democrat vs. Republican idea of what's best for our country? Are these just organic enthusiasts saying "My food is better than yours" or if there is serious risk to all these antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides etc. then why don't we ban them?
  19. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Personally? I thought it was an excellent debate by all. Whether I agreed or disagreed with people, I still learned alot.
  20. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I look at the empirical evidence. Hundreds of millions of people have been eating "non-organic" food for decades, centuries, and there isn't any evidence that it's harmful.

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