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  • ComfortablyNumb
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 3192
    • Northeast Washington
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    #61
    More links:

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...l-agriculture/

    https://risk-monger.com/2016/04/13/t...ganic-farming/

    Comment


    • grantgallagher
      grantgallagher commented
      Editing a comment
      Liked the scientifc american article. I knew joe rosen from my time at rutgers before he retired. It is sad that organic, like pretty much anything that has an ever evolving regulated definition, is such crap. Short of buying local and knowing your growers, there really isnt much you can do.
      Last edited by grantgallagher; March 22, 2019, 09:18 PM.

    • Willy
      Willy commented
      Editing a comment
      That SA article is killer. I'll get to the other one tomorrow. Beddy bye time.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      grantgallagher I had to re-read for the Rosen reference. Clicked on the rebuttal link, just as informative. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...ythsrevisited/
  • Murdy
    Club Member
    • May 2018
    • 460
    • North-Central Illinois

    #62
    The stricter oversight comment was more a question than a proposal. It seems to me that you are suggesting that we simply should throw up our hands and accept the Big Ag status quo. Organic is flawed (a proposition with which I agree) and the only safe alternative is impractical (limiting all purchases to a local farmer you know and trust). Whether it be stricter oversight or some other changes, I would not be willing to abandon the organic movement at this early stage.

    I read Pollan's book too, and the part I think relevant is big ag lobbying over the food pyramid and (I believe it was in Pollan's book) the lobbying around the Generally Recognized as Safe designation to food additives. There's a lot of industry interference in attempts to ensure what we consume is safe taken in the name of profit, and those folks don't have our best interests at heart. There's plenty wrong with the conventional food chain. It is efficient and cheap, both important values, but not the only ones. I think it important to try to develop a real alternative.

    As the Scientific American article points out in the beginning, criticism of how organic is regulated is not the same thing as criticizing organic itself.
    Last edited by Murdy; March 23, 2019, 06:46 AM.

    Comment

    • ComfortablyNumb
      Club Member
      • May 2017
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      #63
      Murdy Well, if I were to suggest anything, it would be to throw up our hands and accept we live in a broken system, one broken by mankind and unsolvable by mankind. All we can do is to muddle through it as best we can until the day we die. The only hope for a solution would depend on your point of view, if it is Intelligent Design, the Creator will step in and fix it, if it is Evolution, hope the next step in the process will be capable of fixing it.

      Personally, the key points from the SA article was first praising organic methods such as avoiding monocropping and crop rotations (although not totally true, I have neighbours who grow only organic garlic and have on the same plot of ground for over 15 years) and soil building. However that was tempered at the end with the criticism of it 'all or nothing'. The proposal 'the ideal future will merge conventional and organic methods' might be a step in the right direction.

      However, it is NOT impractical to grow your own food or purchase from a local farmer. Actually, it was the only way for centuries. This probably comes as a surprise to many young people today, but we didn't always have a Walmart in every town, or an internet that could deliver food from all over the world, not to mention the trucks, airplanes, and refrigeration needed to accomplish that. People ate fresh, local food in season, then preserved for the rest of the year. Sure there were some staples that were traded, but their main diet was local. Now it may UNDESIRABLE, especially if you live in North America and want bananas, or Ethiopian food without traveling to Ethiopia, but not impractical.

      In Utopia we would focus on the best farming practices and not let politics and greed be influential. We'd dispatch the 'us versus them' mentality and work in harmony, not just among each other, but with the environment as a whole. But we live on Earth.

      Comment

      • Red Man
        Club Member
        • May 2018
        • 1004
        • Western Washington

        #64
        This has been a very interesting discussion. I’m no expert and have read few studies on the subject...mostly because I don’t really trust the studies so I don’t bother wasting my time. I like the reference ComfortablyNumb made to soylent green. I feel that we can’t just blindly accept that food enhanced in a lab will be good for us. Maybe our bodies won’t be able to process the nutrients in them, even if they have no long term health risks. I know the term natural on labeling is completely unregulated, but I would prefer that the majority of what I eat has not been “enhanced” in a lab.

        I don’t really agree with the comments Meathead made about refusing to buy products labeled as natural or organic or cage free. I buy Costco maple syrup. It’s not fantastic, but it’s reasonably priced and it’s pure maple syrup. It’s labeled as organic. I like other syrup more, and buy it occasionally, but it’s way more expensive. I buy chicken that’s labeled free range because it’s also air chilled and raised without antibiotics. My other option is labeled as “southern chicken”. It’s cheap and doesn’t taste good.

        I do refrigeration work and work on many farms and food processing plants. I buy my bacon, hams, sausage, etc from a local company whose refrigeration I work on. I’ve been in the plant. I’ve seen how they produce the food. It’s a high quality product and I trust them. Same for a lot of fruits and vegetables. I like to support local farms when possible and the product is superior. Most produce is better when local because it was picked when ripe, not picked early to ripen in transit. I do buy bananas year round. No bananas are grown any where near me. They taste fine. I’ve had bananas in the Caribbean where they were picked ripe and can hardly be compared to the bananas I get here.

        I guess what I'm getting at is, I like to buy organic, natural, cage free, etc sometimes. I also like to buy things without those labels sometimes. I don’t like to buy things like Tyson chicken strips, farmed salmon, cheap pork, chicken, and beef sausages. I look for products that are made or produced with quality and care. Sometimes they have misleading labels and sometimes they don’t.

        Comment


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          I just finished watching the documentary 'Genetic Chile'. If you can I suggest giving it a view.
      • ComfortablyNumb
        Club Member
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        #65
        I just finished watching the documentary 'Farmageddon' on Amazon Prime. I encourage all to give it a view.

        Comment

        • Willard
          Club Member
          • Apr 2018
          • 878
          • Leesburg, Fl.

          #66
          Just read this. Something to chew on...
          https://www.npr.org/706004242

          Comment

          • Willy
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
            • 1801
            • High Desert of the Great Southwest

            #67
            Murdy I am most definitely not suggesting we just "throw up our hands". There are indeed issues with "Big Ag" and I mentioned some of them elsewhere herein. They include fertilizer run-off (water contamination), mono-cropping (leading to increased pesticide use), and antibiotic overuse among them I don't think there are issues with the food produced by Big Ag as regards nutrition or safety. Smart people, people in positions to make changes, are aware of and working on all of these issues, none of which have simple, economical answers. I want to emphasize the economic issue. Conventional agriculture has succeeded because it produces an economical product. Its excesses have become apparent and they are being addressed--GMOs are likely to be an important part of solving some of the problems.

            I will say that the controversy between conventional and organic agriculture isn't really an issue, imo, that is of any consequential concern. I think it's all but irrelevant. Both systems produce nutritious food that is safe to eat. As consumers, we can vote with our dollars if we do have concerns. That and growing some of own food are about the only important impacts individuals can make.

            The human condition is fraught with problems everywhere one turns--rather than provide a partial list, I'll leave up to people to think of their own issues. We must just keep doing what we've done for millennia--moving forward and solving problems as they arise--hopefully on a stomach full of tasty food.

            Comment

            • new2smoking
              Club Member
              • Aug 2018
              • 167
              • Seattle, WA

              #68
              Red Man, I agree with most of your observations. Re: farmed or wild salmon, however, my thoughts have evolved. Yes, nothing in the world tastes better than Alaskan line caught Chinook (King salmon). However, just like the world can't feed itself by hunting wild animals and foraging for wild grains and roots, so can't the world consume fish only by catching wild seafood. We'll completely strip the oceans (and have been close in many instances.) So, I have resigned myself to also enjoying farmed seafood, and hope that we can improve 'best practices' so as to avoid problems like the recent broken pens in WA. (Sorry for the delayed response, we were out of country for a while.)

              Comment


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                As an aside, I've had Scottish farmed salmon that rivals the wild catch. Worth trying if you get a chance.

              • Willard
                Willard commented
                Editing a comment
                Where did you get it?
            • ComfortablyNumb
              Club Member
              • May 2017
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              #69
              What separates conventional from organic?

              Click image for larger version

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              The driveway. Those are conventional apples on the left, organic on the right.

              Comment


              • Willy
                Willy commented
                Editing a comment
                Lol!
            • Ron Wilson
              Former Member
              • Jul 2019
              • 3
              • Knoxville TN

              #70
              Meathead, are you being paid by the industrial food lobby? Your defense of modern processed foods make it sound like you are. Look at science and reality. We humans are animals. We evolved eating food that was not adulterated with preservatives, flavor enhancers, and other unnatural additives. It is best to realize those facts and try to eat organic/natural foods whenever we can.

              Comment


              • Meathead
                Meathead commented
                Editing a comment
                That is an insult and I take it as a psersonal attack and as such it is a violation of the Pitmaster Club terms of Service. Argue against my statements but you have NO right to falsely accuse me. Anyone who spends any time on AmazingRibs.com should know that I am on nobody's payroll.

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                A good deal of science is not reality!
                Evolved huh?

              • new2smoking
                new2smoking commented
                Editing a comment
                We evolved eating raw meat, foraged uncooked roots and seeds, living till an average age of early 20s, dying if we got appendicitis, pneumonia, cellulitis, in childbirth, etc. Sounds great! (Oh, and I forgot to mention no running warm water, soap, and baby wipes. And no Toto toilettes!)
            • ComfortablyNumb
              Club Member
              • May 2017
              • 3192
              • Northeast Washington
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              #71
              Originally posted by Ron Wilson View Post
              Meathead, are you being paid by the industrial food lobby? Your defense of modern processed foods make it sound like you are. Look at science and reality. We humans are animals. We evolved eating food that was not adulterated with preservatives, flavor enhancers, and other unnatural additives. It is best to realize those facts and try to eat organic/natural foods whenever we can.
              Meathead seems to enjoy getting your attention by making seemingly outrageous statements. He's not defending or endorsing what you think of as "modern processed foods", rather all foods are processed in one way or another.

              "The issue isn’t processed or not, but how is it processed? What has the processing done for the food? The idea that eating processed foods is bad for us is absurd unless you specify what the process is and what part of the process is bad for us."

              So that organic fruit you purchase in the store was picked, washed, packed in cases, stored in a refrigerated environment (to preserve it) and shipped to the store, where it was unpacked and displayed. All are processes. Now none of us would think of organic fruit as a processed food, but technically it has gone through some processing. And even if you picked it off the tree yourself, it has gone through some processing. How?

              Let's focus a bit on the word 'natural'. By definition 'natural' is 'from nature, not made or caused by humankind'. If you want truly natural vegetation, you have to go into a wilderness and forage for it. If you want natural milk, you have to suck it out of the cow's teat. If you want natural meat, you have to catch the animal and eat it without cooking or seasoning. Nature does not cultivate fields, it does not enhance the soil with imported inputs, it does not deliver unseasonal irrigation, it does not remove competing vegetation, it does not apply external protection from pests. All those processes are performed by man. So the bottom line is, anything you purchase is a store that was raised on a farm is not 'natural'.

              Now, let's talk 'organic'. It's already been discussed at length in the thread (you did read the entire thread, didn't you?) Organic means the farmer paid money to a certifying agency who verifies that the farmer has followed their rules by checking his required records and a farm inspection, however no testing of the product. It means that all inputs, such as fertilisers and PESTICIDES must be from their approved list. Anybody who does not get certified is called conventional. A large marketing campaign is waged against conventional produce, one that vilifies it as unsafe and unnatural all to frighten the consumer into purchasing organic.

              Those are the facts. Once you realise them maybe you'll actually begin to question what went into the production of your food and think for yourself, not blindly follow what the marketers want you to..

              Comment

              • Meathead
                Administrator
                • May 2014
                • 1323
                • Chicago area
                • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
                  Meathead

                #72
                ComfortablyNumb Thank you for explaining to Ron Wilson what I thought I explained. He would do himself a favor by re-reading my post more carefully and with an open mind, as well as the comments by you and other members who have come to understand that natural has no legal meaning. "Natural" products include poop and arsenic. Organic is another misleading term. Its legal definition has strayed so far from the mission of the founding fathers that it now allows pesticides in some cases. These are marketing words. Meaningless when it comes to health or quality. Sad.

                Comment


                • FireMan
                  FireMan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Don’t forget that not only hasn’t he fully read all of yours and anybody else’s material, he hasn’t been around long enough to know that you aren’t bought just as the rest of us are not.
                  It’s called being a rookie.
                  Last edited by FireMan; August 3, 2019, 08:03 PM.
              • mountainsmoker
                Banned Former Member
                • Jun 2019
                • 1851
                • Bryson City, NC

                #73
                I totally agree. What is natural, eating what you catch in the wild or forage for. Farmers have for centuries going back o the Incas and the Mesopotamian's have been creating better breeds of stock and better grains. Would you call that GMO why not that was the beginning of it. They just didn't do it in test tubes. They would have if they had the technology. They had a very advanced society.

                Ron Wilson you owe Meathead an apology. You can keep your opinions but to attack another person is not ok. What qualifications do you have. So far there are no proven facts that show that an organic diet is any better than any other. Show me an article from a UMass medical journal showing it that it is better and I will believe it.
                Last edited by mountainsmoker; August 3, 2019, 07:24 PM.

                Comment


                • FireMan
                  FireMan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It matters not of the qualifications! What is accomplished by attacking anyone here in the Pit?
              • Meathead
                Administrator
                • May 2014
                • 1323
                • Chicago area
                • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
                  Meathead

                #74
                "Natural" is shooting an animal, and eating it. What is natural about taking an animal shot in the wild, carving it up, salting it, adding spices, and subjecting it to fire? Fire/heat completely alters the chemistry. It is a PROCESS. You are processing the food. The issue at hand is how much processing you are comfortable with? How about marinating? Adding nitrite? Smoking? Preservatives that kill pathogens? Which of these processes crosses YOUR line?

                Natural is picking a grape and eating it. Squashing it, adding SO2, pouring it into a refrigerated tank, adding yeast, pouring it into a wooden barrel, aging it, bottling it. Is wine a natural product as all the books say?

                Comment


                • ofelles
                  ofelles commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ComfortablyNumb It's an organic/natural twinkle right?

                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ofelles Absolutely! They grow wild here in the Okanogan, nestled in the shade of the sage. Normally we don't get to harvest, but since we haven't had any fires yet the Twinkies are in full bloom.

                • Meathead
                  Meathead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Fry it!
              • new2smoking
                Club Member
                • Aug 2018
                • 167
                • Seattle, WA

                #75
                Would anyone like to ‘enjoy’ this Sunday-farmers-market non-GMO fat free, gluten free, sugar free cookie 🍪?
                😒
                Last edited by new2smoking; August 7, 2019, 09:56 AM.

                Comment


                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Doubt I'd eat it even if it was free...

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