Organic Crops Do Not Really Offer More Health Benefits

Fruits and VegetablesHarvardThe believers in the organic religion had a heyday earlier this week when a bunch of organic farming researchers published an article in the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) that found, (gasp), that organic crops are more nutritious than conventional crops. Specifically, the researchers put together an meta-analysis of 343 studies that in some way related to the nutritional aspects of organically and conventionally produced crops. They found...

...organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd [cadmium] and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons.

Based on these results should you rush out to Whole Foods right now? Probably not.

This meta-analysis was doubtlessly undertaken to counter two earlier meta-analyses that found no signficant nutritional differences between organic and conventional crops. The first was published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which reported:

On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced food-stuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.

A larger study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012 found:

The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So did the new study find anything of consequence with regard to how consuming organic foods affects human health? Not really.

It is possible (probable even) to quibble with how any meta-analysis is put together. For example, the organic researchers in the new BJN study assert:

The main reason for the inability of previous studies to detect composition differences was probably the  highly limited number of studies/data sets available or included in analyses by these authors, which would have decreased the statistical power of the meta-analyses.

Well, maybe. Alan Dangour, a researcher associated with the earlier meta-analyses that found no signficant nutritional differences returns the favor of criticism:

The authors of this new systematic review that primarily aims to identify differences in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced foods have brought together a large number of studies published over a 20 year period.  The quality of the available data varies greatly and it is therefore very surprising that, in their analysis, the authors decided to include all the data that they found, irrespective of their quality.  In fact the study authors themselves note that there are significant concerns with the consistency and reliability of some of their findings.  Mixing good quality data with bad quality data in this way is highly problematic and significantly weakens confidence in the findings of the current analysis.  It is a shame that greater care was not taken in trying to ensure that the analyses were based only on reliable and scientifically robust data from satisfactory quality studies.

So it goes.

Interestingly, many head-to-head comparisons in which organic crops are grown next to conventional ones find no important differences in nutrition. For example, a 2009 study comparing many of the same anti-oxidant compounds in the BJN study between organic and conventional wheat found "no statistically significant differences between the two farming systems." A 2011 study on tomatoes reported that "organically grown tomato is no more nutritious than conventionally grown tomato when soil fertility is well managed." On the other hand, a same farm study in 2010 did find that "organic management and fertilization have a positive effect on the accumulation of certain beneficial minerals and phenolic compounds in eggplant."

Given these sorts of contradictory findings, it is possible to cherry-pick your way to the results you want. Not that anybody would ever do that.

But let's assume the results are real. Do they have any appreciable health consequences for people? Consider, for example, a 2014 prospective study comparing women who regularly eat organic foods with those who don't that concluded:

In this large prospective study there was little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, except possibly for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

A 2011 study of the risks posed by pesticide residues on conventional crops concluded that...

...(1) exposures to the most commonly detected pesticides ... pose negligible risks to consumers, (2) substitution of organic forms of the twelve commodities for conventional forms does not result in any appreciable reduction of consumer risks....

What about the higher levels of toxic cadmium in conventional crops? Those levels tend to depend on the soils in which crops are grown, not the method of cultivation. The study does not appear to have controlled for such variations. In any case, a 2007 Belgian study found that organic crops can contain higher levels of cadmium than conventional ones.

Finally, the findings on anti-oxidant levels were the chief reason the study got the attention of the media. Do they matter with regard to human health? Charles Benbrook, one of the researchers in the BJN study acknowledges:

Our team, and indeed all four reviews, acknowledges that many questions remain about the bioavailability of plant-based antioxidants, how necessary they are at different life stages, and how inadequate intakes shift the burden of disease. But our view is that the weight of evidence supports linkages between higher antioxidant intakes and improved health outcomes, despite inability to quantity such linkages or predict fully which factors drive them.

Actually, the weight of the evidence strongly indicates that eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day - either grown conventionally or organically - provides significant health benefits, including those associated with the consumption of plant-derived anti-oxidant compounds. Interestingly, the BJN study found...

...significantly higher concentrations of total carbohydrates and significantly lower concentrations of proteins, amino acids and fibre in organic crops/crop-based compound foods.

Somewhat amusingly, the authors observe:

The nutritional significance/relevance of slightly lower protein and amino acid concentrations in organic crops to human health is likely to be low, as European and North American diets typically provide sufficient or even excessive amounts of proteins and essential amino acids.

Of course, exactly the same thing can be said with regard to plant anti-oxidants among those Europeans and North Americans who eat their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables however grown.

Let's conclude with some sage advice from Richard Mithen, research leader of the Food and Health Programme at the Institute of Food Research in Britain:

“The additional cost of organic vegetables to the consumer and the likely reduced consumption would easily offset any marginal increase in nutritional properties, even if they did occur, which I doubt.  To improve public health we need to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables, regardless of how they are produced.”

Big tip of the hat to Brad Plumer over at Vox whose links I shamelessly mined.

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    And...a news study from the Institute of Duh-uhhhh says that stepping on a crack doesn't actually break your mother's back.

  • ||

    The simplest and most obvious evidence that organic food has absolutely no benefits is the lack of its religious cultists' ability to find any evidence, and having to resort to shit like this. If there was even the slightest scientifically reproducible evidence of its superiority, its cultists would be screaming it from the rooftops 24/7.

    It's just another fucking religion/animist-fest. The magical "organic" totem food will make you live forever. Because it's magic! It has supernatural powers! And the bad, evil non-organic totem food will make you sick and unhealthy. Because it has supernatural powers!

    Animists are the stupidest motherfuckers out there. They're basically cavemen.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I heard the chi content of free range vegetables is higher and that it can cure adult onset diabetes.

  • ||

    Don't you know that the pesticides and fertilizer that they've been putting on the food for 30, 40 years or more and that has been feeding billions of people is making you sick? Can't you just feel it in your gut?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Starvation ain't so bad compared to the constant suspicion that KORPORASHUNs are trying to kill me with GMOs, now that you mention it.

  • MJGreen||

    And if not your gut, can't you feel it in your aura?

  • waffles||

  • ||

    Holy shit. I have not seen that before.

  • waffles||

  • Poppa Kilo||

    I heard the same thing about your mother.

  • ||

    Yes, but did they measure sha?

    Did these experts check whether the humours were unbalanced. Excess sanguinity from exposure to high chi content could lead to MANIA.

  • Sevo||

    "sha"?
    Is that like "Chi"?

  • ||

    Sha is the wind that takes away life and is the inverse of chi, the breath of life.

    Just don't build your house on the hungry ghosts side of the hill and put a Crassula Ovata in the wealth corner of your home and things should go swimmingly.

  • Sevo||

    jesse.in.mb|7.18.14 @ 3:35PM|#
    "Sha is the wind that takes away life and is the inverse of chi, the breath of life."

    Damn! And I do so try to keep up!

  • Brett L||

    Isn't a hungry ghost a tulpa? And we all know nobody wants Tulpa for a neighbor.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

  • ||

    Just a man with a bagua and a dream.

  • Ted S.||

    Feng shui: Chinese for "Big Scam".

  • ||

    There's a tale of a wandering Feng Shui master who is traveling on a hot day and dying of thirst. A farm woman gives him a glass of water but throws some chaff in the water so he must blow it out of the way before he sips. He's annoyed by this and gives her terrible advice to punish her.

    He returns years later and finds that her farm is prosperous even though she's built her home in the most toxic spot in the area. He freaks out a little bit and tells her about it. She explains that she'd done that so he'd be forced to drink slowly and not chug the water down and make himself sick.

    He tells her that her good intentions overrode the ill effects of sha and made her prosperous.

    SCIENCE BITCHES!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Only intentions matter. Nuff said

  • waffles||

    At least Feng Shui can't be disproven.

  • ||

    What do cryptographic hash functions have to do with food, jesse?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's an enigma.

  • Ted S.||

    Mmmm, hash.

  • ||

    "...the lack of its religious cultists' ability to find any evidence, and having to resort to shit like this."

    Yep.

    When I read 'meta-analysis' I thought "What? They couldn't find any organic tomatoes or conventionally grown tomatoes? They got locked out of the lab?".

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't think you understand what 'meta-analysis' means. It's a study of studies. A review. It's a good thing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd [cadmium] and a lower incidence of pesticide residues

    Even if I trust the data completely, the above statement does not move me. The differences could be either tiny. It's also possible that both methods are below the threshold on Cd levels and pesticide residue, in which case the difference does not matter. There is also no telling if the amount of anti-oxidant absorbed by the body varies linearly with the levels of anti-oxidant in the produce-there may be a saturation effect reached by the levels present in produce, but I am not sure.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You've got it all backwards, less is more in homeopathic remedies.

  • ||

    Don't mock homeopathy!

    It's literally sugar pill cures. If people want to take pure placebo and convince themselves that they've cured something that is likely a result of the nocebo effect anyway, more power to them.

    Oh man, I've got terrible wheat belly it must be glutins making angry war on me. I'll take this dollop of sugar that may once have been in the same room as something that was in the same room as deadly nightshade and my body will rout the glutins and my wheat belly will be cured!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And where do I find this magical cure? I must have it.

  • ||

    Just take megadoses of vitamins. Don't worry about the fat soluble ones. They can't hurt you.

  • Ted S.||

    I remember reading about the ill-fated Mawson and Mertz Antarctic expedition. The team got stranded and eventually ate their sled dogs to survive, which resulted in their probably getting serious cases of hypervitaminosis A.

  • ||

    Eating too much liver is a bad idea. And not just because liver is gross.

  • ||

    First I take sugar and press it into pill form and tell you I've resonated it with the essence of something that is toxic in high doses, such as American's comments, which imbues the sugar with special properties.

    Then I sell you the same sugar, which you can buy at bulk in Smart & Final for virtually nothing, at a much higher price.

    Your faith in my legitimacy makes it real, and you're cured of something you never had, or your body would fight off without interference anyway!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    He also sells tiger-repelling rocks.

  • ||

    See, this is exactly what I was saying. There are charlatans at every turn! Everyone knows tiger-repelling rocks aren't a thing!

    Tigers have a strong sense of smell and daubing yourself with my patented blend of aromatic oils collected from the mountains of Tibet are the only sure-fire way to repel tigers.

    Think of your misfortune if you'd trusted Auric! But you can trust me.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    that is toxic in high doses, such as American's comments

    I would prefer White Indian's please.

  • ||

    Good call. All that gamboling about imbues his comments with extra special specialness.

  • Ted S.||

    Don't mock homeopathy!

    Homeopathy

  • CE||

    Well, less pesticide residue could be a health benefit, for the consumer and for the environment. But too many anti-oxidants will kill you.

  • Sevo||

    CE|7.18.14 @ 3:23PM|#
    "Well, less pesticide residue could be a health benefit, for the consumer and for the environment."

    Well, first, organics are bred to produce their won pesticides.
    And then you'd have to show the pesticides used by non-organic growers have been shown to cause harm.

  • ||

    Something close to 10% of the dry weight of all plant material is made of natural pesticides.

    Sure maybe food producing plants might produce less pesticides on average (probably not) but even so that means every day plants are dumping megatons of pesticides into the environment.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It is possible that there is no benefit to cutting pesticides once you're beneath a certain threshold.

  • Sevo||

    Nor do they taste differently.
    Buying organic is simply signalling that you are among the 'smart set' who embrace post-Mosaic religion.

  • Overt||

    I was at a dinner yesterday with a bunch of rich people from our local Berkley Wannabe City. It was a farm to table dinner so naturally everyone was spouting nonsense about healthy organic food and lower carbon footprint and yadda yadda yadda.

    At one point during the night we got talking about the tragedy of prisons and how some people up on simple drug charges can end up completely alienated from society unable to get a job or vote or own a gun after getting out.

    Suddenly I was among a bunch of vindictive assholes. We've GOT to have laws on drugs- haven't you seen all those creepy homeless people on the river? Drugs cause that and somehow WoD will get that better. And why should people who can't obey our (arbitrary) laws be allowed to vote?

    It is amazing to see such people in the flesh. They are utterly convinced that they love mankind, but absolutely hate actual people.

  • ||

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that farm-fresh veggies taste a hell of a lot better than production-farmed ones.

    But that said, I'm sure the starving fuckers in sub-Saharan Africa are more concerned with cheap, easily grown produce than they are about differences in garden-grown Hampton tomatoes tasting a lot better than Mexican Romas.

  • Sevo||

    sloopyinva (previously -inca)|7.18.14 @ 3:43PM|#
    "I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that farm-fresh veggies taste a hell of a lot better than production-farmed ones."

    I'm gonna stay close to the trunk and say I have NEVER seen a controlled study that showed anything of the sort, and there are a LOT of people who certainly have the incentive to do that study.

  • ||

    Tomatoes grown commercially are often harvested before they are ripe so they will ripen in shipment. I have no doubt that a tomato that ripens on the vine tastes better than one ripened in transit.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, I spent a good part of my yute on an orchard, and the memory of the fresh fruit is quite strong.
    But I've also had really good fruit off the produce table at Safeway, and my suspicion is, back-to-back, apple-to-apple, the difference is nil.

  • ||

    Like I said, I'm out on a limb here.

    My claim is purely anecdotal so,perhaps there's some form of a placebo effect going on. But I'm being honest when I say that garden-fresh maters are a fuckton better than store bought ones. Perhaps it's because they are much riper or less hearty but tastier varieties. Imdontmfuckingmknw but mid know they just taste better to me.

    As for apples, I'll be happy to take your word for it. I don't eat enough of them to form an opinion.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I've said this before, but as I grew up on a dairy farm which was conventional until I was 12 then switched to organic (higher selling price), don't get organic. The premium you are paying for is to have milk from sicker cows, and that's it.

  • ||

    I'll sometimes get organic hippie milk, but only because it's the only unhomogenized milk I can find. I like making yogurt with a layer of butter on top.

  • Tim||

    (Pictures Warty milking a hippie, shudders)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Just think of all those long lingering delicious cow infections that the farmer couldn't cure because 2 days of penicillin (while dumping the milk) would be the worst!

  • Tim||

    My neighbors had organic certified cows. Filthy and sickly.

  • ||

    As someone whose first job was in a health food store, and who had the owners show me how much of a scam "organic" food, and granola, etc., was even back then, I believe you.

  • ||

    A lot of people seem to confuse "organic" with "fresh". Yes, the tomatoes you grew in your backyard garden taste better than the tomatoes you buy in the grocery store and the eggs you get from your hippie neighbor's pet chicken taste better than the eggs from some big egg operation. That's not because it's organic, it's because the garden tomatoes are fresh and the pet chicken eats bugs and gets exercise.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The most expensive eggs in my grocery store are advertised as "vegetarian fed hens".

    I don't want that. I want eggs from a chicken that eats grubs all day.

  • Tim||

    A hungry hen will leave feed on the ground to chase a moth across the lawn, the prefer bugs and they are relentless:
    to a grasshopper a chicken is a T-Rex.

  • Harvard||

    Good eggs are mostly rooster cum and cowshit. "Free range" chickens are different, from the poor layers that live their entire life in cages, that is. A free range chicken gets to pick tomato bugs, scratch in the cowshit and scab grasshoppers and crickets.

    Having said all that, the secret to good eggs is....fresh eggs. Store bought eggs can be up to a month old and will sport those pale yellow yolks, as opposed to a fresh egg (of a few days) wherein the yolk is nearly orange and sticks up out of the bacon grease when you fry it, and is much tastier.

  • GILMORE||

    ,i""Warty|7.18.14 @ 3:26PM|#

    A lot of people seem to confuse "organic" with "fresh". ""

    Usually the opposite. Organic produce tends to spoil faster.

  • Almanian!||

    ^^this, as I also note below

    I WANT my produce to last. It's the miracle of the last 100 years! I can eat watermelon in the middle of winter, and a head of lettuce often lasts a week in the fridge now!

    I remember when you basically got a few REALLY expensive fruits/veggies in the winter, and NEVER watermelon (my favorite).

    And lettuce never lasted longer than a couple days. I just threw away what was left of a week-old head the other day....after slicing off enough of what was good for two sammiches.

    Long live preservatives, insecticides and (selective) herbacides!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've explained this before in my family. We get an organic share from some farmers' co-op, but the advantage isn't that it's organic; the advantage is that it's heavily skewed to locally grown produce. Locally grown, all of the politics of even that issue aside, is generally superior in taste for obvious reasons.

    "Organic" is primarily about marketing, not quality. Most people who insist on buying organic products do so for status reasons, not anything rational (since there's no science at all supporting organic being superior in any way).

  • MJGreen||

    It's already been said, and in a more artful way, but:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh

    So an organic blueberry provides more antioxidants than others. I'll eat 1 extra blueberry to make up the deficit, and enjoy the $3 in savings.

    Man, the blueberries have been good this summer.

  • Sevo||

    Wish I could say the same for 'maters. Damn; they've been tough, grainy and tasteless, no matter where we've gotten them.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I had some great ones last week. They were Uglis.

  • Sevo||

    I don't care how ugly they are!

  • ||

    "Wish I could say the same for 'maters. Damn; they've been tough, grainy and tasteless, no matter where we've gotten them."

    WTF is that? All the ones I have bought were no good, and my garden is producing truckloads, all bad. I called my brother over in Texas and he is having the same problem.

  • ||

    I just bought a bunch of Rainier cherries from some guy on the side of the road (Oh noes! Unregulated! But...organic?). Rainier cherry pie here I come!

  • Tim||

    Without a government label how do you know they're not grapes? HUH?

  • Sevo||

    If those are tart, make up some custard and float a lot of those suckers in there for a pie that can't be beat!

  • Terr||

    My favorite thing about visiting Seattle was the abundance of cheap Rainier cherries. I get them here in DFW only after the price has been cut a few times and they're still more expensive.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I've bought seafood on the cheap from that guy that used to sell it from the back of a delivery truck on Highway 9.

  • ||

    You bought Ranier cherries and made it home with some?

    I scarf those fuckers down on the way home leaving a trail of pits and stems from the store to the house. They never make it to a pie shell.

  • Tim||

    Vermont is full of liberal idiots with organic farms, now they're getting federal subsidies too.

    WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 17, 2014) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced $13 million in funding to help farmers working to earn their organic certifications. Leahy – considered the “father” of the national organic standards and labeling program – fought to include the organic certification assistance program in the 2014 Farm Bill, enacted earlier this year.

    http://www.leahy.senate.gov/pr.....tion-costs

  • Sevo||

    Posted earlier, but deserving of a repeat:

    "Feeney: Do you believe that food should cost more?
    Waters: I do feel like food should cost more, because we aren’t paying farmers a living wage. It has to cost more."
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-t.....dren/4507/

    Alice Waters won't stop until the poor are starved to death!

  • Tim||

    Regulate it: subsidize it: exploit it for political gain. Repeat.

  • MJGreen||

    Jesus Christ.

    Fuck you, lady.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Alice Waters: "Fuck the poor."

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Actually, I'm certain Alice fully supports SNAP and WIC and stamps and every other type of food assistance. Because she's kind and benevolent and cares about the downtrodden.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    A little research shows that I am only partially correct. She wants the poor people to have gourmet food. Her proposed solution is more subsidy driven for the organic farmers than consumer assistance.

  • Sevo||

    Yep, she's more than willing to spend your money for her fantasy.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This would almost apply to my father, if it had just happened a few years ago. That said, fuck this thing.

  • bassjoe||

    No idea what "organic" means or is supposed to mean but, I'm sure once the FDA became involved, it became a scam industry.

  • Jordan||

    But non-organic foods are loaded with, like, chemicals and shit, yo. Whereas organic food is made from... uh.. not chemicals and shit, yo.

    CHEMICALS!!1

  • MJGreen||

    But they are made of... carbon!

    Neither food should be eaten!

  • Ted S.||

    Who wants to eat a dihydrogen monoxoide melon?

  • GILMORE||

    I wrote a research report about the Organic Food industry around 1997-1998; I asked the head of the Organic Trade Association at the time, what the scientific consensus was regarding the health benefits of Organic Foods, 'writ-large' (i.e. as a 'process' and not simply 'are *some* organic products shown to be slightly higher in X or Y, but with no significant health advantage...)

    [there were already dozens of studies showing differences in nutrient content in certain fruits/veg - particularly things like Grapes and Tomatoes, things already rich in antioxidants or other nutrients etc., but which you could find just as much nutritional variation amongst groups of 'conventionally grown' as organic strains]

    ...the answer, after preparatory hemming and hawing, was (paraphrase) "Look = no. There's no magic bullet and likely never will be. You're talking about an entire universe of food items, and the specific benefits to any single thing may have zero applicability to something else. From a nutritional, dietary POV, the issue is ultimately negligible."

    She made the point that she didn't want the industry to 'die fighting on that hill', trying to ultimately prove only a tiny margin of benefit.

    My conclusion at the time was that they were doing their damnedest to at least *encourage that belief* in any way they could, because they were highly aware that what consumers believed was more important than any single 'study'

  • Sevo||

    "My conclusion at the time was that they were doing their damnedest to at least *encourage that belief* in any way they could, because they were highly aware that what consumers believed was more important than any single 'study'"

    This is the same sort of dishonesty that allows the whackos to claim that 'the government hasn't said (cell phones - vaccinations - salt - wine - etc) is safe!'
    I think the term is 'pandering'.

  • GILMORE||

    as a footnote to the above =

    in the conversations i had with Organic industry trade reps, there were a very common caveat when anyone started talking about "Organic Food"; in their minds, it was at least 3 things (if not more)

    1 - produce = fruit and veg
    2 - dairy and meats
    3 - processed foods

    They never talked about "Organic" as a single whole, as the issues across each group were entirely different. When the issue of 'health benefits' came up, many took the position that =

    1 - in some cases, maybe there are some isolated examples

    2 - yes, there are definite benefits

    3 - no, its a crock of shit that the Processed Food industry loves because making "low-fat" and "low-salt" and "high-fibre!" stuff is actually *hard* from a technical POV, whereas this Organic thing is something they can just slap a label on and get the same price-premium they were charging before for 'healthy' items.

    They loved to talk about the superiority of Organic Milk, avoid the topic of how expensive organic meat was, and wax about new studies of high 'anti-oxidant' grapes and strawberries... foods which are already bursting with 'anti-oxidants'. But now with 10%!!!more!!

  • Almanian!||

    The grapes, watermelon and berries have been ASTOUNDINGLY good this spring.

    My wife hates grapes, so I get to eat them all.

    I gloat that she'll die earlier cause = fewer antioxidants.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! PWND!

  • Ted S.||

    She's still going to nag you to death.

    This is why there are no female libertarians....

  • Ted S.||

    When I want anti-oxidants, I just take a little Rust-Oleum.

  • ||

    Epi, how are the wildfires impacting the organic farming up your way? How about the farmers market stuff?

    I'm curious to see if the hippies put their money where there mouth is and pay $7.00/lb for tomatoes and corn or if they end up running to Kroger or whatever you have up there.

  • ||

    There are wildfires? We're not far enough into the summer for that.

    Food is already expensive in Seattle. But even QFC has organic options. And I stopped going to farmer's markets when I realized I could get garlic spears at Uwajimaya and that the rest of the offerings at every farmer's market I went to sucked. U District, Georgetown, Ballard, all their farmer's markets sucked. I'll just go to Uwajimaya and get anything and everything produce-wise at some of the best prices in the city.

  • Almanian!||

    My wife's going full retard on GMO and organic right now. Yeah, we have our own garden, and fresh is best - but I refuse to spend money at the store for something that rots faster and doesn't taste any different.

    Screw organics - I'll take the regular apples, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc. etc. when I have to buy them, and spend the savings on sweet, sweet hookers and blow.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Accusing ones wife of 'going full retard' might make those hookers more necessary.

  • ||

    Maybe she is retarded. And now you're shaming A! For having a retarded wife.

    Real classy, Bo.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Retarded people need love too I guess.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    When you've been married for a long while, you'd be surprised what you can say to each other and get away with.

  • Almanian!||

    Ahhh - a fellow 25+ years of marriage fellow traveler, I take it.

    We laugh our asses off after pointing out whatever stupid thing the other does. Cause we've been married 29 years, so no one's going anywhere, and fuck you if you can't take a joke.

    Good times... we laugh a lot...cause we do lots of stupid shit.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Haven't hit 25 yet, but we got married later, so we don't take offense to much anymore.

    "Honey, you're spread out on the bed like a cheap Mexican whore. Please make some room."

  • Almanian!||

    *the following is sung to 'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You'*

    "Have I told you lately
    that you
    suck?"

    Followed by UPROARIOUS laughter!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I want to drink with you and your wife. It sounds like fun.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, Bo! What sloopy s...heeeeey, wait a minute!

  • GILMORE||

    The best way to de-program anyone who's gone full-retard on the GMO/Organic issue....?

    Go spend a day on different farms. Talk to the operators.

    You will realize that 'Farming' of food is more or less the same no matter what the end product is labeled. All of it involves fertilizer and pesticides, all of it involves labor and machines, and all of it involves people making sure their product is the best they can make it.

    also, there are Mexicans involved.

    It dissolves the Whole-Foods marketing-effect pretty quick.

  • Sevo||

    "also, there are Mexicans involved."

    And it doesn't take long to realize that both Juan and Jose know damn well what they are doing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You need to yell at her. The organic is bad enough but the anti-GMO stuff makes me angry.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I can not recall having 'foodies' I know that buy organic ever tell me that the food they bought was better in terms of nutrients, but rather the 'selling point' was organics had less chemicals/pesticides they found suspect because 1. might be harmful to humans and 2. might be harmful to the environment.

  • GILMORE||

    ", but rather the 'selling point' was organics had less chemicals/pesticides"

    No. *Different* chemicals/pesticides. Sadly, organic produce does not magically repel fruit flies.

    And 99.999% of everything is washed off before it gets to the plate, so that part is pretty much even more bullshit than the "food content" claims.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Some of the pesticides/herbicides predate the USDA/FDA regulatory regimes and are therefore classified "organic". Doesn't mean they're good for you.

  • Gene||

    No shit Sherlock.

  • ||

    OT: I called Tiger shitting the bed today. Too bad he made the cut. Now I will have to suffer through endless recaps of a backmarker's round while missing the leaders rounds.

    He's officially done. Put a fork in him, he's never catching Jack.

  • Almanian!||

    I believe you are correct. Not a golfer, don't care about golf....so sad to see the demise of El Tigre, cause he's the only person who made me care enough to watch golf.

    Although that kid who wears all the bright colors and is a skateboarder or something? He might pique my interest...

  • ||

    Organic food is a big fat lie! They use absurd amounts of dihydrogen monoxide to grow it. That stuff can kill you!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am always surprised that the whole organic thing is so much more popular with liberals than it is with conservatives. You would think some pitch about 'returning to the ways and methods of our forefathers' would be appealing to more conservatives and less so for the left.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Who said it isn't? I'm very familiar with a lot of home schooling religious folks who are into the organic scene.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Just speaking from my experience, I stand corrected if it's not generalizable.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Google Ezekiel bread and the Hallelujah Diet

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've seen some of that, too, but it does tend to skew left. You know, the Reality-Based Community of Science™. Self-aware, they ain't.

  • ||

    Lefties are more prone to buying organics because they're more afraid of GMOs than righties are. I suspect they're evenly split on buying organics for other reasons.

  • Harvard||

    Nonsense! The liberals have the organic disease 10 to one worse than normal people. I live near a college town and chuckle to get more for "grass fed" beef than I do for finished beef.

    WTF, if they want venison, I'll sell 'em venison.

    Some, however, you just have to verbally abuse and turn away, like when they demand beef that hasn't had antibiotics or inoculations. Sure shitbird, Ill risk the whole herd and the neighbors just to see that you get what you think you want.

  • ||

    have higher concentrations of antioxidants

    which in turn cause cancer...

  • ||

    ...to go unchecked.

    Current thought is that they help prevent free radical damage, but also prevent one of the simplest ways that the body kills off mutated cells, which allows them to spread and grow faster. More of an enabler than a cause, but the end result is the same.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No they don't.

  • ||

    No they don't.

    Free radicals can cause damage to DNA...which in turn can cause cancer.

    Yes they do.

  • ||

    Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, also known as oxidative stress.

    The problem is they also prevent cancer cells from oxidizing. Your assessment is essentially correct, antioxidants may be harmful wrt to cancer outcomes, but Cytotoxic is correct that they don't "cause" cancer. (James Watson on current cancer research including antioxidants).

  • Cytotoxic||

    In every Organic Section I've seen in the grocery store I once worked at and those that I shopped at, the produce looked like hammered shit. Expensive hammered shit.

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