Organic Foods Not More Nutritious Than Conventional Foods

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organic manure

But organic is certainly more expensive. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds:

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 foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.

The study was commissioned by Britain's Food Standards Agency. The BBC News reports:

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at all the evidence on nutrition and health benefits from the past 50 years.

Among the 55 of 162 studies that were included in the final analysis, there were a small number of differences in nutrition between organic and conventionally produced food but not large enough to be of any public health relevance, said study leader Dr Alan Dangour.

Gill Fine, FSA director of consumer choice and dietary health, said: "Ensuring people have accurate information is absolutely essential in allowing us all to make informed choices about the food we eat.

"This study does not mean that people should not eat organic food.

"What it shows is that there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food."…

[Dr Alan] Dangour, said: "Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

Whole BBC News article here. See also my article, "Organic Alchemy," on the alleged environmental benefits of organic agriculture cited in this Swiss study

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  1. What about pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals? Is organic significantly different on that score? Does that score even matter?

  2. Why must Reason keep pushing these types of articles.

    Most people don’t claim they are more nutritious. They claim that the absence of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers they are healthier.

    If I can get the same nutrition from a product that isn’t doused with chemicals for a premium, I think it’s worth it. Others may now. So be it. That’s how the fucking market works. Why is a libertarian magazine so against the market when it comes to organic foods.

    Get over it. People want them and are willing to pay for them.

  3. What about pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals? Is organic significantly different on that score? Does that score even matter?

    Not to Ron Bailey who has posted numerous articles that focus solely on the nutritional analysis. Unless he is going to claim that the lack of pesticids and chemicals makes it unsustainable.

    He won’t even acknowledge the fact that people happily pay more to have less chemicals in their food.

  4. This: If I can get the same nutrition from a product that isn’t doused with chemicals for a premium, I think it’s worth it. Others may now.

    Should read :
    f I can get the same nutrition from a product that isn’t doused with chemicals for a premium, I think it’s worth it. Others may not.

  5. Why is a libertarian magazine so against the market when it comes to organic foods.

    Criticizing products is not the same as being “against the market.” Wake me up when Reason advocates banning organic foods.

  6. In the vicinity of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine there are about 100 places that prominently claim greater nutritional value from organic foods. It’s an interesting meta-study.

  7. Looking for the part that says you shouldn’t be able to buy the organic version….

    Nope. Not there. That would be anti-market.

    Looking for the part that says you shouldn’t buy the organic version….

    Nope. Not there. That would be good advice, IMO.

    What was your free market versus Reason point again?

  8. He won’t even acknowledge the fact that people happily pay more to have less chemicals in their food.

    Less of certain chemicals, anyway. It’d be hard to make food chemical-free.

    We could also discuss the idea the most acceptable pesticide residues are in the low (under 30) PPM range. Or we could bring up the fact that around 1/3 of organic produce sold has pesticide residues. There’s all kind of ways to go on this besides your knee-jerk “organic is better” reaction.

  9. Chicago Tom has a valid point about the no pesticides/healthier dichotomy but is dead wrong to assert that others are NOT asserting organics are more nutritious. I hear that virtually every day.

  10. What was your free market versus Reason point again?

    The market is speaking. THey want Organics. Reason is spending quite a bit of time attacking those people who want it. Why?

    I don’t seem them bashing the morons who buy luxury cars every 2 years, or people who pay more for designer clothes.

    There are plenty of market segments that overpay for stuff that isn’t any better than the cheaper alternatives. Why is this segment of the market (organic purchasers) treated with such disdain?

    Makes one think there’s some hidden agenda

  11. but is dead wrong to assert that others are NOT asserting organics are more nutritious.

    I’m not asserting that no one is saying that. But I don’t see Organics in the US as being predominately marketed as more nutritious. Even at the Whole Paycheck –har har– they don’t market it as more nutritious. They are marketed as “healthier”. And I think that is true. Less pesticides/chemicals are healthier.

  12. ChicagoTom: I am not against people selling and buying organic food — I am against supporters of organic foods lying about conventional foods.

  13. We could also discuss the idea the most acceptable pesticide residues are in the low (under 30) PPM range. Or we could bring up the fact that around 1/3 of organic produce sold has pesticide residues. There’s all kind of ways to go on this besides your knee-jerk “organic is better” reaction.

    We could have that discussion and that would be infinitely better than the tripe that reason pumps out — knee jerk “organic is a scam” articles that ignore the pesticides and chemicals aspect.

    Why is it objectionable for me to believe organic is better but it isn’t objectionable for reason to believe its a huge scam? Even by your own facts, 2/3 don’t have pesticide resides. That is better, in my opinion.

  14. Lighten up, Tom. There are tons of organic sellers and advocates who claim greater nutritional value. Reason is pointing out that that seems to be deceptive, and in no way are advocating the banning of organic food, or even fucking regulations.

    Don’t be so touchy. It’s like you feel you might have gotten snowed by the organic food movement and it got under your skin.

    I worked in a health food store as a teenager in the 80s at the beginning of the real surge in organics, and I learned right away that the label “organic” doesn’t mean shit, because it varies state to state and can include pesticides and all kinds of other stuff. The very experienced owners of the store filled me in on all the scams that were used to fool people. From that point on, studies that showed no nutritional difference just cemented my belief that “organic” is a scam, and I decided not to fall for it.

  15. The market is speaking. THey want Organics.

    Perhaps some of the desire for organics is driven by the belief that organics are more nutritious?

    Perhaps there is nothing anti-market with making information available to consumers that may change their buying preferences?

    Perhaps many people don’t understand the distinction between “healthier” and “more nutritious”?

  16. In other shocking news, scientists report bottled water is no wetter than tap water.

  17. I almost entirely agree with you CT, but I think reason covers this because, using the car analogy, there aren’t people who want to ban cheap, non-luxury cars.

  18. “Organic” foods.

    Is the other kind silicon based?

  19. How apropos. I do believe this week’s Bullshit! is on organic food.

  20. ChicagoTom: I am not against people selling and buying organic food — I am against supporters of organic foods lying about conventional foods.

    Ron, you have been on a mission to attack the organic movement for quite some time.

    Why doesn’t reason attack designer clothing manufacturers who lie and talk about the superiority of their clothes? Or bottled water producers who pretend that their water is better than tap water?

    And who is lying? Maybe you should cite some of those lies rather than “most think” type reporting. Point/Link to specific inaccuracies and attack those.

  21. The market is speaking. THey want Organics.

    About 99% of the market wants cheap food, and does not want organics. It’s a boutique luxury good.

  22. I almost entirely agree with you CT, but I think reason covers this because, using the car analogy, there aren’t people who want to ban cheap, non-luxury cars.

    Who is trying to ban non-organic foods? Is that a mainstream movement?

    Seriously, the amount of ink Reason spends attacking the organic food movement is way out of proportion with the fringe groups that are trying to “ban” non-organic practices.

    No one is seriously talking about banning non-organics. But there is quite a powerful lobby out there trying to reduce standards for the “organic” label so that more conventional producers can market their stuff as such.

  23. TallDave – 99%?

    And about the bottled water – you obviously don’t live in L.A.

  24. They are marketed as “healthier”. And I think that is true. Less pesticides/chemicals are healthier.

    Well, I guess you could rinse off your veggies. You should be doing that anyway. I sincerely doubt that theres a significant difference in rinsed off conventional veggies and rinsed off organics.

    Even if there is a small difference, I doubt its worth the extra money, unless you’re pretty wealthy or really paranoid. But whatever floats your boat.

  25. “Why must Reason keep pushing these types of articles.”

    Because people still believe organic food is naturally healthier. Instead of realizing the amount of minerals (usually the big difference mentioned) you pull up from the soil will get pulled up no matter what farming method. Most fertilizers are fortified with different minerals, one country (norway I think) even fortifies with selenium, something even organic food here will barely have. The amounts of vitamins and minerals will even change depending on if you are harvesting early or late in the season.

    If you want less pesticides fine say that is the reason. But the problem is people still believe it’s healthier for the wrong reasons.

    This isn’t an article about organic vs inorganic, it’s about does organic food have more vitamins or minerals, and the answer is no.

  26. of course, if reason were doctrinaire libertarians, there would not be much to say about anything. The “organic” mindset is actually what is harmful to the health of humans here: witness, for example, the war waged against GM foods, despite the fact that they provide more food for less dollars. It is this reflexive “‘Natural good! Humans bad!” mindset that I find dangerous, market or no.

  27. About 99% of the market wants cheap food, and does not want organics. It’s a boutique luxury good.

    That 99% number comes straight out of your ass.

    It’s so boutique that that sector is booming right now. So much so that every conventional supermarket is offering their own brand of Organics or clearing shelf space to add Organic brands.

    I can find Organics everywhere thats how “boutique” it is.

  28. Because people still believe organic food is naturally healthier.

    And some people believe the moon landing was faked. But Reason doesn’t run an article it every couple of weeks.

  29. There still is a role for organic foods because, though they are indeed a con nutritionally, they do tend to have more flavor that other foods. A major source of business for organic foods nowadays is expensive restaurants. They of course pass the extra expense on to their comparatively wealthy customers.

  30. ChicagoTom – organic promoters certainly are not dispelling this false belief, either:

    Organic.org is even willing to pimp preliminary studies.

  31. It’s so boutique that that sector is booming right now. So much so that every conventional supermarket is offering their own brand of Organics or clearing shelf space to add Organic brands.

    Time will tell. Remember when every soda manufacturer had to have a ‘clear’ product?

  32. Organics cashed in, and continues to cash in, on the goofy green luddite types that are convinced everything people do is bad for people. No amount of “”evidence”” is ever going to convince them that eating organic doesn’t add twenty cancer free years to you life.

    But the environwackos are not what’s supporting the organic food market. People pay more for organic foods because they taste better. Not always true, but true enough.

  33. The linked explanation of the study says that they looked at 162 studies done from the 50s to the present. They found 55 of them to be of the quality necessary to meet their needs. The funding organisation had no part of the study. The funding organisation did however meet with the people doing the study 6 times for progress meetings. I am curious who funded the study and what parameters were used to discard the other 107 studies found of insufficient quality. Call me a birther if you like but it smacks of a lot of cherrypicking overseen by the funding folks.

  34. There still is a role for organic foods because, though they are indeed a con nutritionally, they do tend to have more flavor that other foods.

    Has anyone quantified this? Are people getting confused with ‘freshness’ as opposed to organic? If I grow a strawberry in my backyard using fertilizer and every non-organic technique known to man, will it be less flavorful? Or will it be more flavorful because I picked it from the stem and ate it 30 seconds later?

  35. That 99% number comes straight out of your ass.

    Really? What percentage of the world food market do YOU think organics have captured?

    It’s so boutique that that sector is booming right now. So much so that every conventional supermarket is offering their own brand of Organics or clearing shelf space to add Organic brands.

    Yes, those sections are the boutique. When most stores are 90% organic and have small sections devoted to non-organics, then we can say organics have conquered the market.

  36. ChicagoTom – organic promoters certainly are not dispelling this false belief, either:

    Here’s what your link says:

    Is organic food more nutritious than conventional food?

    At this time, there is no definitive research that makes this claim. It is extremely difficult to conduct studies that would control the many variables that might affect nutrients, such as seeds, soil type, climate, postharvest handling, and crop variety.

    However, some recently published studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown organic foods to have higher nutritional value. For example, researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently found that organic tomatoes had higher levels of phytochemicals and vitamin C than conventional tomatoes.

    What exactly is wrong with that? They outright say that at this point there is no evidence to make the claim that it is more nutritious but that a study conducted on tomatoes at UC Davis showed some nutritional benefit in those tomatoes.

    Is it dishonest? Are they lying? What is objectionable about that?

    Why is it bad to mention a study? Ron Bailey does it to support his position.

  37. I don’t know about healthier. I can say I grew up with about a 1/2 acre garden. I can shuck corn and snap peas at lightning speed. We killed all the Easter chickens as well. (I still chuckle about that, we would get the chicks that hatched in the mall during easter. Only to lop off their heads and hang them on a clothes line a short time later.) Our beef was chosen by walking onto our neighbors field and going I want that one, the black one with the one horn over by the fence. And the fruit and mulberries all came from crap around our farm.

    We used chemicals to kill the crap that was eating our garden and the cow got its shots to make sure they it was healthy. The chickens and turkeys just ate grain, and other chickens or turkeys as they were getting slaughtered, FUCKING CANNIBALS!

    All that said the food I ate growing up was infinitely better than anything I have been able to buy at any store.

    I only twitch every now and then and the third arm comes in handy sometimes.

  38. Here are the actual numbers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food

    As of April 2008, organic food accounts for 1-2% of food sales worldwide.

  39. “The market is speaking. THey want Organics. Reason is spending quite a bit of time attacking those people who want it.”

    Looking for the part that attacks the people who want the organic version….

    Nope. Not there. That would be funny as hell.

  40. Organic? meh.

    I’m waiting for orgasmic foods.

  41. nothing is wrong with it, but it certainly is a little bit more than your post comparing them to Moon-Landing Deniers. Like I said, they do not seem to have sufficient motivation to dispel the notion (of course!).

    Warren’s right – organic is luddite nonsense. America didn’t go from 90% farmers to 2% in 100 years by eschewing technologies and developments that give optimal yields.

  42. The linked explanation of the study says that they looked at 162 studies done from the 50s to the present. They found 55 of them to be of the quality necessary to meet their needs. The funding organisation had no part of the study. The funding organisation did however meet with the people doing the study 6 times for progress meetings. I am curious who funded the study and what parameters were used to discard the other 107 studies found of insufficient quality. Call me a birther if you like but it smacks of a lot of cherrypicking overseen by the funding folks.

    From the paper:

    From the Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit (ADD,
    SKD, AH, and RU) and the Medical Statistics Unit (EA), Department of
    Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical
    Medicine, London, United Kingdom, and the Health Services Research Unit,
    Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene &
    Tropical Medicine, London, UK (KL).

    The funding organization had no role in the study design, data collection,
    analysis, interpretation, or writing of the report. The review team held 6
    progress meetings with the funding organization.

    Supported by the UK Food Standards Agency (PAU221).

  43. I’m more interested in the health effects of the farmers/farming families that are conventional versus organic. I think the only real difference you would see would be in those homes, in regards to pesticide use/chemical.

  44. The market demands all sorts of boutique luxury goods that have little actual added value.

    Organic foods are just a luxury branding phenomenon, like Gucci or Louis Vuitton. People buy them as social signaling.

  45. dbcooper, does that say who funded the study?
    Excuse my ignorance of such things. (pubic school education)

  46. Oh, and big surprise, the organic.org people have something against GMO. Thanks for starving folks in Africa, guys!

  47. Yes, those sections are the boutique. When most stores are 90% organic and have small sections devoted to non-organics, then we can say organics have conquered the market.

    Talk about moving the goalposts.

    In your world is it either conquered the market else it’s boutique? Are those the only two choices?

    As of April 2008, organic food accounts for 1-2% of food sales worldwide.

    From your linked article.

    * Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the American food marketplace.

    * Organic food sales have grown by 17 to 20 percent a year for the past few years while sales of conventional food have grown at only about 2 to 3 percent a year.

    * In 2003 organic products were available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and 73% of conventional grocery stores

    I don’t consider that boutique. You may have a different definition. But if it’s found at target and Wal-Mart, it’s hardly boutique.

  48. I didn’t RTFA but did it compare meat/eggs/dairy as well as produce? No one can convince me that a cow allowed to roam around free and eat grass, like cows are supposed to, is not going to produce more nutritious beef and milk than a cow which is imprisoned in a giant feedlot and fed lots of cheap corn.

  49. Organic food is Bullshit!

    Or at least that’s what Penn & Teller will say this week on their show.

  50. They claim that the absence of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers they are healthier.

    To the first claim, the trace amopunts of pesticides in food have never been shown to be harmful. It is simply speculative that long-term consumption of trace levels of pesticide is unhealthy.

    As for the second, synthetic fertilizer doesn’t end up in the food. The claim is that it’s environmentally harmful. However, this hasn’t really been borne out in practice. It is entirely plausible, and probably MORE sustainable then pure organic for a farmer to manage his soil with a mixture of synthetic fertilizer and traditional ‘organic’ practices such as crop rotation.

    The sad truth is that ‘organic’ is really about aesthetics and status seeking. It’s an ‘elite’ product that can display superior wealth, as well as being aesthetically pleasing to think about quaint old-fashioned organic farms. That’s the real psychology underlying it.

  51. No one can convince me

    Then why should you care what the article has to say?

  52. nothing is wrong with it … Like I said, they do not seem to have sufficient motivation to dispel the notion (of course!).

    Then why did you point to it? It’s called marketing and everyone does it. In fact they go out of their way to promote it in that way.

    Do Beer sellers try to dispell the notion that certain beers will get you laid? Why should organic producers try to dispell other peoples notions.

    I seriously don’t understand why there is such animosity towards organic foods compared to so many other “useless” or “luxury boutique” products on the market.

  53. dbcooper, does that say who funded the study?

    Check the last bolded line Dude.

    From their website:

    http://www.food.gov.uk/

    The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public’s health and consumer interests in relation to food.

    Everything we do reflects our vision of Safe food and healthy eating for all.

    Under the Food Standards Act, the Food Standards Agency is charged with protecting consumer interests in relation to food safety and standards. Most importantly, the Agency is entitled to make public the advice that it gives to Government ministers. This means that the Agency can be seen to act openly and independently in looking after the interests of consumers.

  54. Paul,
    I don’t think it is possible to quantify taste, but there are some arguments to be made for better taste in organics. Though I think you may be right that it comes down more to freshness, ripeness and the care given to the whole process.

    If you overuse artificial fertilizers, the food will taste different and (to my taste and I imagine most people’s tastes) worse. Of course, it is perfectly possible to use non-organic fertilizers in appropriate amounts. Organic fertilizers are more forgiving this way (though it is quite possible to overuse them as well). Organic is great for small local farms catering to a specific market. It is all subjective, of course, but in my experience the local organic food is much better than local, fresh conventionally farmed food. The organic stuff you find in the supermarket is just as crap as all of the other produce you will find there.

  55. dbcooper, thanks.

  56. I hope everyone sees right through these non-sensical articles from Reason. Let’s pick on organic, because lefties like organic, and lefties like government, but Reason hates government (except what they like), therefore they have to hate lefties too.

    Reason is an arm of the Kochtopus. They exist only to perpetuate the right-left dialectic that channels people thinking. They want you to keep arguing with everyone in the room, getting your pockets picked, instead of seeing the open door.

  57. Why is this segment of the market (organic purchasers) treated with such disdain?

    Because a bunch of people want to believe it is better for themselves and the environment, so they can feel morally (and financially) superior, despite compelling evidence that it is neither.

    It’s not different from feeling distain for people who think they are morally superior for going to Church on sunday.

  58. Let’s pick on organic,

    Waaa. Those reason meanies are picking on us! How dare they point out that organic isn’t healthier!
    Meanies! Waaaaa!

  59. The sad truth is that ‘organic’ is really about aesthetics and status seeking. It’s an ‘elite’ product that can display superior wealth, as well as being aesthetically pleasing to think about quaint old-fashioned organic farms. That’s the real psychology underlying it.

    What garbage. Your whole conclusion is speculative and projecting what you believe onto the motivations of others.

    If I am given a choice of a food item that is sprayed with poison or one without, regardless of what lab tests have shown, I will choose the one without the poison.

    That isn’t because of status or whatever other garbage your ignorant little mind thinks. It’s because I would rather not have poison on my food — even trace amounts.

    My Organic food, once it’s made it’s way into my kitchen and served on my plate isn’t labeled as organic, nor do I brag about my ability to buy organic. It’s food. I want it with as little chemicals and poisons as possible and I have the means and I am willing to pay for it.

    Why is that objectionable?

  60. I don’t consider that boutique.

    Sorry, 1-2% is boutique. Numbers don’t care how you feel.

    Talk about moving the goalposts.

    I said 99% of the market did not want them. I think that’s a fair goalpost.

  61. Bug, does Lew Rockwell know you got out?

    Isn’t there some ballmauling you are neglecting over there?

  62. I was just thinking, “it’s been at least a week since Reason put out an article on how anyone who eats organic is a stupid sheep deserving of nothing but scorn from the enlightened libertarian intellectuals who read reason.”

    Coming up next week. How people who don’t like to smell tobacco smoke are Godwin’s wet dream, and smokers are really freedom fighters.

  63. Because a bunch of people want to believe it is better for themselves and the environment, so they can feel morally (and financially) superior, despite compelling evidence that it is neither.

    Do you dress down people who buy Armani and Gucci as well? People who Drive BMWs or Mercedes or Bentleys? Do you attack people who drink bottled water?

    Have you ever even talked to anyone who buys organic and asked them their motivation?

    Or do you simply think of everyone who doesn’t conform to your pathetic world view as morons?

  64. As of April 2008, organic food accounts for 1-2% of food sales worldwide.

    From your linked article.

    * Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the American food marketplace.

    That’s because it doubled from 1% to 2%. Small things are always “the fastest growing”.

    That’s why Summerlin South, NV and Katy, TX are the “fastest growing towns in America”.

  65. Lester, Organic foods do not have a taste advantage. Vegetable grown on small plots, harvested and consumed in short time frames are going to have better flavor profiles than mass produced vegetables, picked green, cold stored and shipped cross country. Organic foods grown on California mega farms and shipped to the East Coast are just as void in taste and texture as their conventional counterparts.

  66. Let’s pick on organic,

    Well, maybe if those vegetables had taken their pesticides like a man, they’d be able to stand up to a little bullying.

    *snatches nitrogen from an organic carrot, starts playing keepaway* What? Are you gonna cry, little carrot?

  67. Remember your Paracelsus, Tom. “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”

  68. Scary true story:

    I have worked in trees for a while. A friend owns a tree service. He no longer climbs and does the chemical applications or bidding. About 6 years ago I was at his farm property with him and his family enjoying a day of shooting crap, fishing, and swimming. It was late in the summer and he had been spraying trees with malathion all summer. (he was a few people short that year so he did almost all chemical applications) As we sat on the dock in the late afternoon he leaned over and says, “Hey look at this.” He was pointing to not one, but two mosquitoes on his forearm. I was said, “smash them?” He laughed and said, “They are already dead.” as he poked one with this finger tip and it didn’t move. He informed it happens a lot after spraying all summer. The things land on him, start sucking and die. That is freakin’ scary.

  69. If I am given a choice of a food item that is sprayed with poison or one without, regardless of what lab tests have shown, I will choose the one without the poison.

    I also refuse to drive a car, because it is made of poisons.

  70. Organic or not-organic has never been the important concern with regard to the harm of the highly processed, food-like-stuff, “Western Diet.” It’s the lack of whole foods–whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables–and over-eating red meats that have contributed to illness, especially diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as Michael Pollan argues in his great “In Defense of Food.” And the “eat locally” fad is the Greens trying to claim a reduction in carbon emissions from transport; or, at least I can’t figure how that has much to do with nutrition.

  71. I still remember when I told an activist at Rutgers that harmful things, like cyanide, occure naturally. She rolled her eyes and patiently explained that there is nothing harmful about organic cyanide.

  72. jtuf,

    Did you offer her some wild almonds?

  73. It’s curious to me that when someone comes in here and mentions something that is contrary to the local beliefs, they are met with “Cite Cite” or “Link?” or my personal fave, “explain yourself and show your work.”

    I am looking through the comments above that support traditional farming and pooh pooh organics and I see the phrases, “I guess, I doubt, I sincerely doubt, It is entirely plausible and probably more sustainable…”

    Why the double standard guys?

  74. I also refuse to drive a car, because it is made of poisons.

    Nice. Some jackass posting under my name. Real classy move.

  75. I was at his farm property with him and his family enjoying a day of shooting crap

    That’s illegal in 14 states.

  76. hmm-

    Yea, that’s more what I’m concerned about, the daily heavy dose exposure of those maintaining our crops. Although, I hate mosquitoes. Maybe a little malathion bath is just the ticket.

  77. Do you dress down people who buy Armani and Gucci as well? People who Drive BMWs or Mercedes or Bentleys? Do you attack people who drink bottled water?

    Yes, I do. It is moronic to waste money buying brand name or designer clothing, luxury cars, or bottled water.

    I especially hate bottled water. Another idiot trend started by left-wing trendies that does more harm than good.

    If I am given a choice of a food item that is sprayed with poison or one without, regardless of what lab tests have shown, I will choose the one without the poison.

    Emphasis added. You don’t care about the science. You don’t care if the science says “it’s not poisonous in this amount”. All you care about is the “Ewww! Icky! Unnatural!” aesthetic reaction. You’re just being driven around by animal instincts – disgust food reacions, and you don’t even know it.

    You’re really nop different from a person that goes “ick” at gay sex, and hate homosexuals as a result. You don’t care about the science, you just REACT. Poison! Ack! Unnatural!

  78. Remember your Paracelsus, Tom.

    As a white male, and thus an oppressor, he can and should be disregarded.

  79. ChicagoTom, in case you are missing it, it is because the organic “movement”, by and large, is full of Luddites and statists. Did you notice that the organic folks just could not resist taking a crack at GMOs? Did you notice that the reality is that pesticides on your food are safe? Yet you never cease in calling them “poison”. Sorry, but by that word use alone, you are implicitly advocating government intervention. Who realistically wants to let farmers keep poisoning us?

    Your parsimony aside, that is the true agenda of the cadre of Organic-Lovers.

  80. Why the double standard guys?

    There’s a section above the comments that cites a study.

  81. And the “eat locally” fad is the Greens trying to claim a reduction in carbon emissions from transport;

    Which it doesn’t which is one price input that contributes to its higher price.

  82. Don’t organic crops tend to use more manure? Wouldn’t that make them a higher E. coli risk? Also, doesn’t the USDA allow the term organic to be used in advertising if non-synthetic pesticides are employed?

    As for the net effect of organic food, it seems to me that it can never feed a very large percentage of the population. The boom in food production has everything to do with the use of pesticides and other “nonorganic” methods.

    There also seems to be tremendous confusion between “organic” and “farmers’ market” in the general discussion of organic foods. Grocery stores are getting products from great distances and have long been sacrificing taste and texture for appearance and durability. As a result, people have become increasingly interested in going to local markets. That’s not the green movement or organic hype; that’s just a practical search for better quality food.

  83. She rolled her eyes and patiently explained that there is nothing harmful about organic cyanide.

    I’ve heard many a doctor complain bitterly when some ‘alt-medicine’ guru is on TV claiming “it has no side effects, it’s natural”

  84. I do not understand what Reason has against organic food. If some people choose to pay more for a sort of product, and other people choose to provide that product, what’s the problem here? I think this is a case where cultural sympathies with the right trump ideological sympathies with libertarian ideology – aka, grrr hippies angry.

  85. If I can get the same nutrition from a product that isn’t doused with chemicals for a premium, I think it’s worth it. Others may now.

    IIRC from high school chemistry class, water (AKA dihydrogen monoxide) is a chemical (as is, frankly, anything made up of atoms). What kind of crops do you grow without dousing them with that chemical.

    No, I’m not being a wiseass. I’m pointing out the inherent fuzziness of using a term like “chemicals” to mean anything other than what scientists understand it to mean. Kinda like the fuzziness of using the term “organic” to mean something other than “contains carbon” or (to use the older meaning) “comes from (currently or formerly) living organisms.”

  86. Chicago Tom,

    Most people don’t claim they are more nutritious. They claim that the absence of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers they are healthier.

    Well, I think your first point is dubious if the organic supporters I know are at all representative, but they’re wrong in the second claim too.

    “What it shows is that there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food.”…

    Emphasis mine.

    Why must Reason keep pushing these types of articles.

    That’s why articles like this are relevant, to dispel the “healthier” myth that you and other supporters keep pushing.

  87. And the “eat locally” fad is the Greens trying to claim a reduction in carbon emissions from transport; or, at least I can’t figure how that has much to do with nutrition.”

    The reason to eat locally is because you can get better tasting food that is picked when it’s ripe as opposed to picking it before it ripens and then having to do shit to it to look normal.

    Like tomatoes. The reason you can’t get a great tasting tomato at the supermarket is because they pick them before they are ripe and spray them with Ethylene gas to get them to change to their nice red color. It looks ripe, but it isn’t actually ripe and doesn’t taste as good as it would if it were picked later.

  88. If I am given a choice of a food item that is sprayed with poison or one without, regardless of what lab tests have shown, I will choose the one without the poison.

    Wenn Sie denken, das ist besser f?r Sie, Sie sind dumm. Bitte notieren Sie ihn.


  89. I don’t consider that boutique. You may have a different definition. But if it’s found at target and Wal-Mart, it’s hardly boutique.

    Craft Beer is found at Wal-mart. It is about 6% of the beer market. It is still boutique, IMO. Although, its probably about the point where it stops being so.

    So, once organics TRIPLE+ in sales from the current point, come back and we will reconsider.

  90. If some people choose to pay more for a sort of product, and other people choose to provide that product, what’s the problem here?

    I will expect to hear you and ChicagoTom banging this “market” drum the next time private-employer drug testing comes up.

    Or, even better, antidiscrimination laws.

  91. No, I’m not being a wiseass. I’m pointing out the inherent fuzziness of using a term like “chemicals” to mean anything other than what scientists understand it to mean

    Upthread I specifically mention pesticides.

    I also don’t like my beef or dairy cows injected with preventative doses of antibiotics or growth hormones.

    Chemicals is a short hand. Get it now?

  92. If confronted by a comment that read “I don’t care what the science says, I feel like global warming is just a myth,” would ChicagoTom:

    a) sympathize with his luddite brother and damn that rascal science
    b) rail about the sanctity of science and consensus, condemning the commenter

  93. ChicagoTom,

    I will take New Zealand lamb over local lamb any day.

    Sometimes local makes sense…like tomatoes and peaches if Im driving thru Georgia. Othertimes, actually, that just proves my point, I would rather take a Georgia peach that has been shipped over a local one.

  94. ChiTom:
    Why are tyou so emotionally defensive about organic food?

    Maybe it is because you KNOW that it’s not healthier or better for the environment. On some level, that rational part of your brain is going “yeah this is bullshit, but it makes me LOOK good, and it gets me LAID!”

    People always get ultra-defensive when someone identifies that they are engaged in status seeking behavior.

  95. I have just discovered my body is full of chemicals. I will return when it has been cleansed.

  96. That’s why articles like this are relevant, to dispel the “healthier” myth that you and other supporters keep pushing.

    I was unaware Reason was so concerned with overbroad claims made about certain business products. Very well. I eagerly await Reason’s multipart takedown of the idea that driving a Scion will in any way enhance my dancing ability.

  97. I do not understand what Reason has against organic food. If some people choose to pay more for a sort of product, and other people choose to provide that product, what’s the problem here?

    Objection: Asked and answered. Of course if you bothered to read the comments you’d have seen Ron Bailey’s response:

    I am not against people selling and buying organic food — I am against supporters of organic foods lying about conventional foods.

  98. I will expect to hear you and ChicagoTom banging this “market” drum the next time private-employer drug testing comes up.

    What does one have to do with the other?

    I am asking a simple question…why does a libertarian magazine have such animosity towards consumers willing to pay more for a good they consider a premium?

    Reason doesn’t rail against luxury car makers, or high end clothing or handbag markets, or the bottled water market. Why shoudl the “free minds free markets” people post every month an article attacking the organic market?

  99. I will expect to hear you and ChicagoTom banging this “market” drum the next time private-employer drug testing comes up.

    ??

    What opinion am I supposed to have about private-employer drug testing?

  100. Maybe somebody already said this…

    Isn’t runoff and contamination of the water supply the main problem with pesticides and antibiotic/growth hormone use?

    I’ll rinse my fruits and veggies regardless of where they came from, and only an idiot thinks that cooked meats contain antibiotics or growth hormones.

    It’s the fact that the pesticides have a negative impact on the environment (bees, birds, water, us) that should bother people. The antibiotics and hormones also wind up in runoff and, thus, in our water supply. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are rising among those who live and work amongst the treated animals, or those who consume downstream water supplies.

    That’s why I would prefer organic over conventionally grown produce and meats.

    It’s not the foods that are healthier, it’s the process.

  101. Don’t organic crops tend to use more manure?

    And where is all that manure going to come from when the organic crowd’s PETA buddies get rid of most of the livestock?

  102. Very well. I eagerly await Reason’s multipart takedown of the idea that driving a Scion will in any way enhance my dancing ability.

    Good. with such a silly response it makes it easier to know that your comments are not worth taking seriously.

  103. ChicagoTom—

    I rail against organic food for a few reasons. One, I live in a college town and organic is pretty much a prerequisite for hipster-status. That’s not a big deal, really, though.

    The big deal to me is that these people hate on genetically modified food. They often want simpler, less chemical-y foods for everyone and want to end research on GM food. GM food saves peoples’ lives and needs to continue.

    I conflate organic folk and anti GM folk. Around these parts that venn diagram has a big football in the middle.

  104. I am not against people selling and buying organic food — I am against supporters of organic foods lying about conventional foods.

    So this entire series of articles is versus “some say.” Got it.

    Damn hippies.

  105. The reason to eat locally is because you can get better tasting food that is picked when it’s ripe as opposed to picking it before it ripens and then having to do shit to it to look normal.

    You may say that, and I may say that… but they don’t say that.

  106. Objection: Asked and answered. Of course if you bothered to read the comments you’d have seen Ron Bailey’s response:

    I did. And if you would have bothered to read, I responded to it.

    And I call bullshit on the answer he provided. If he really just wants to dispell myths, maybe he should actually link to some of those mythes or to people making those claims rather than the speculative “some people” type arguments he makes.

    I was unaware Reason was so concerned with overbroad claims made about certain business products. Very well. I eagerly await Reason’s multipart takedown of the idea that driving a Scion will in any way enhance my dancing ability.

    Or that my choice of beer will lead to better odds of getting laid.

  107. typically speaking, liberals such as yourself decry private-employer drug testing. And hey, so does reason. “But, but, there is a market for that!”

    Yeah, well, there is also a market for adultery; that does not mean that, as a libertarian, I have to reflexively approve.

    And, anyway, I have said about four times that it is the organic mindset we all have a problem with. Sorry, but if you are going to call pesticides “poisons”, then you must, ipso facto, be in favor of banning them. How could you not be?

  108. Soylent Green Brand Manure? is peo-ple. . .poop!

  109. And is the non-organic agribusiness industry now supposed to be some sort of hero of the libertarian ideal? Really? Way to stand up for the biggest pork recipients in America.

    Let me guess, with these articles combined with the steady railing against the “some say” crowd besmirching the honor of corn syrup, I can only assume the Reason Foundation got a new sponsor.

  110. It’s the fact that the pesticides have a negative impact on the environment (bees, birds, water, us) that should bother people.

    Then why the hate for Bt (GMO) crops? “Organic” farmers use Bt as a “natural” pesticide. But when someone engineers it into the plant, it’s “unnatural”, supposedly.

    Because it’s a threat to their market segment, really…. can’t have all those corporate farms cutting into the “organic” market.

    Oops, now I’m making ChiTom cry again.

  111. Objectively: fresher produce tastes better. Local produce tends to be fresher (barring getting scammed by truck farmers). Frankly I would rather have conventionally-grown produce from a nearby farm than pesticide-free produce grown several days’ travel away (necessitating freezing and handling damage).

    That said, there was some Canadian special going into the taste difference between corn-fed and grass-fed/ranged beef: corn-fed tends to be fattier and more subtly-flavored, while grass-fed tends to be a bit tougher but have more flavor. IOW if you want the best filet mignon go with corn-fed, but better burgers would be grass-fed.

    And yeah, unless I was shopping in the silicon produce aisle, all the stuff I got at the stupormarkup comprises of collections of carbon-based molecules, therefore making them ‘organic’.

  112. Or that my choice of beer will lead to better odds of getting laid.

    It does. As you drink more beer, your standards drop. As your standards drop, your population of prospective dates increases.

    It’s just a simple matter of math.

  113. Or that my choice of beer will lead to better odds of getting laid.

    Because that’s the same as a substantive claim of health benefits. Come one Chicago Tom, that’s not a serious point and you should know it. If that’s your response then I guess we really don’t have to take you seriously either.

    I did. And if you would have bothered to read, I responded to it.

    And I call bullshit on the answer he provided. If he really just wants to dispell myths, maybe he should actually link to some of those mythes or to people making those claims rather than the speculative “some people” type arguments he makes.

    First, that wasn’t aimed at you, and second your calling bullshit is nonsense when you yourself claim that supporters claim it’s healthier in your very first post, which is not supported by any evidence.

  114. typically speaking, liberals such as yourself decry private-employer drug testing. And hey, so does reason. “But, but, there is a market for that!”

    Yeah, well, there is also a market for adultery; that does not mean that, as a libertarian, I have to reflexively approve.

    And, anyway, I have said about four times that it is the organic mindset we all have a problem with. Sorry, but if you are going to call pesticides “poisons”, then you must, ipso facto, be in favor of banning them. How could you not be?

    Perhaps inspired by the topic of agriculture, you are shoving a ridiculous amount of manure into my mouth here.

    I am not aware of what a liberal such as myself is. I am not against employers drug testing employees from a legal or ethical standpoint. I have never called pesticides “poisons” either here or elsewhere. I have never advocated banning pesticides either here or elsewhere. You are getting very angry at some sort of figment of your imagination.

  115. I am asking a simple question…why does a libertarian magazine have such animosity towards consumers willing to pay more for a good they consider a premium?

    Why do liberal have such animosity towards people who shop at Wal-Mart, or eat at McDonalds, or buy plastic crap from China?

    Because they think those people are being irrationally led around by advertising.

    Well, maybe you are being irrationally led around by a stupid trend when it comes to organics.

  116. typically speaking, liberals such as yourself decry private-employer drug testing. And hey, so does reason. “But, but, there is a market for that!”

    As a drug user, I hate it — so I don’t apply to places where they drug test. But what does that have to do with anything? I’m not calling for ban on it (but I don’t like the government incentivizing it either) — employers should be able to not hire drug addicts if they so choose.

    But I still don’t see what the point you are trying to make is.

    And, anyway, I have said about four times that it is the organic mindset we all have a problem with. Sorry, but if you are going to call pesticides “poisons”, then you must, ipso facto, be in favor of banning them. How could you not be?

    Are you being serious?

    Same reason I don’t want cigs or alcohol or drugs banned. They are poison/toxic as well.

    People should be able to choose to consume whatever they want poison or not.

    And pesticides are POISON. Their job is to kill insects.

  117. Why do liberal have such animosity towards people who shop at Wal-Mart, or eat at McDonalds, or buy plastic crap from China?

    Because they think those people are being irrationally led around by advertising.

    Our whole economy is a bunch of consumers being irrationally led around by advertising. And liberals are the nannies. Why is reason mimicking them on this issue?

    And what does what liberals do have to do with what libertarians do? Aren’t libertarians supposed to be better than liberals and conservatives?

  118. or buy plastic crap from China?

    Inara: Right. You’re a criminal mastermind. What was the last cargo we snuck past the Alliance to transport?
    Mal: That’s not-
    Inara: What was the cargo?
    Mal: They were dolls.
    Inara: They were little Geisha dolls with big heads that wobbled.
    Mal: Hey, people love those!

  119. alcohol is a poison/toxic now?

    Anyway, you don’t like employer drug-testing. I don’t like organic foods – typically because of the mindset of superiority and lurking statism that accompanies most of you. That has nothing to do with the market for either of those products, however.

    And is the non-organic agribusiness industry now supposed to be some sort of hero of the libertarian ideal? Really? Way to stand up for the biggest pork recipients in America.

    Oh, wow. It is incumbent on Congress not to give out pork. Blaming the farmers just because of the farm lobby is disingenuous. At the end of the day, it’s the Senator or Representative who votes “Yes”.

  120. And pesticides are POISON. Their job is to kill insects.

    Vitamin A is poison is taken in large enough amounts.

    There are lots of things that are poisonous is high doses and completely harmless in small ones.

    Lots of medicines are poison in large doses.

  121. And pesticides are POISON. Their job is to kill insects.

    And antibacterial soap kills bacteria.

    And penicillin kills infections.

    Do you call those poisons too?

  122. edinbr at 3:15pm, made almost the same comment i would have made if he hadn’t first.

    I especially get a chuckle in Whole Foods or the oganic sections of regular food stores forthat matter seeing the organic label on all kinds of processed goodies. To the extent any of those things taste good it’s due to good preparation. The growing method is definitely secondary.

  123. Why do liberal have such animosity towards people who shop at Wal-Mart, or eat at McDonalds, or buy plastic crap from China?

    Because they think those people are being irrationally led around by advertising.

    Leftists don’t have an ideology that holds businesses, customer choice and rights to advertising as being sacred. Libertarianism does. Bit of a difference.

    This is either being angry at hippies or shilling for agribusiness, and I don’t see anything libertarian about either.

  124. Anyway, you don’t like employer drug-testing. I don’t like organic foods – typically because of the mindset of superiority and lurking statism that accompanies most of you. That has nothing to do with the market for either of those products, however.

    Are you still talking to me, or to Chicago Tom? Because I already said I have nothing against employer drug testing. Chicago tom said the same. You seem very intent on having a certain argument – sorry not to be providing it, but I just don’t feel the way you really, really wish I felt about certain subjects I guess you have strong opinions about.

    Also, fuck you for not making any sort of retraction or apology for shoving words down my mouth.

  125. My take on all this is that even the term organic, which has a definition of sorts when used to advertise agricultural products, is too loose to have much meaning. And that’s the pinnacle–words like natural or green mean virtually nothing. I think organic foods are more of a marketing gimmick than anything real, which is why I don’t take it very seriously. And, of course, the various claims (implicit and explicit) made around organic foods are often laughable. However, being on the legal end of the product marketing/sale business, I confess that I’m particularly jaded.

    By the way, I ate a Kobe beef hamburger recently. De-licious.

  126. maybe he should actually link to some of those mythes or to people making those claims rather than the speculative “some people” type arguments he makes.

    It’s a common myth.

    Way to stand up for the biggest pork recipients in America.

    Organic farmers get subsidies too. And even if they didn’t, I’m not sure why we would support lying on their behalf.

  127. Everything has an LD50

    If you don’t want to eat food utilizing pesticides, and can afford not to, then go for it.

    But don’t lie to people and tell them that it’s better for their health, or scare them into thinking that those pesticides can cause any noticable harm to them. Quite simply, neither is proven.

    Lies distort markets, and Reason is about retaining free markets, correct? I think that’s the answer you’re looking for.

  128. max hats just cannot help but misrepresent the arguments here.

    – Science has borne no evidence that there is anything healthier or more nutritious about organics
    – Organic organizations also align themselves against GMOs
    – Organic methods are way more land- and labor-intensive

    There’s nothing about libertarianism involved here. There is something about rationality and reason. The organic mindset is Luddite nonsense.

  129. Because that’s the same as a substantive claim of health benefits. Come one Chicago Tom, that’s not a serious point and you should know it. If that’s your response then I guess we really don’t have to take you seriously either.

    You are trying to make a distinction without a difference. Misleading advertising is misleading advertising. But for some reason when its the Organic people that do it, it’s the end of the world to reason and people like yourself. And again, it isn’t invalid to believe that food made with less/no pesticides is healthier (even in the tiniest degree)

    First, that wasn’t aimed at you, and second your calling bullshit is nonsense when you yourself claim that supporters claim it’s healthier in your very first post, which is not supported by any evidence.

    My original post:

    Most people don’t claim they are more nutritious. They claim that the absence of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers they are healthier.

    And I stand by that. It is healthier to eat foods without posion on them.

  130. Leftists don’t have an ideology that holds businesses, customer choice and rights to advertisingliberty as being sacred. Libertarianism does. Bit of a difference.

    Fixed. Just as TAO said, organic advocates like you have an authoritarian streak a mile wide.

  131. Also, fuck you for not making any sort of retraction or apology for shoving words down my mouth.

    I was addressing multiple people. You assumed I was just talking to you. Whine somewhere else and unbunch your panties.

    So, max hats, any markets you have problems with? If so, why?

  132. And I stand by that. It is healthier to eat foods without posion on them.

    See, that’s what we call faith. You have a religious belief that dictates that, because the science hasn’t borne that notion out one whit.

  133. TAO,

    The nonsense part is to expect any consistency or logic from a partisan hack like max hats. I’ve never seen a issue we wasn’t firmly on the stupid side of.

  134. And liberals are the nannies.

    Sort of in the busy-body nanny way where they read ‘People’ and fill out the quizzes and then tell you to eat margarine because the quiz told them to.

    You guys are just as much led around by the nose as all those people you distain who shop at Wal-Mart and eat at McDonalds. You just get all mad and throw a temper tantrum when anyone points it out.

    At least the people that shop at Wal-Mart are ‘real’. They don’t give a crap if Wal-Mart is trendy or not. They just go for the convenience and low prices.

    You fucking pretentious organic food snobs want people to APPROVE of your conformist bullshit. That’s the difference.

  135. And antibacterial soap kills bacteria.

    And penicillin kills infections.

    Do you call those poisons too?

    This is the argument you are going with?

    Yes antibiotics are poisons they kill bacteria (good and bad bacteria) and I avoid them as often as possible.

    And many vitamins are also toxic/posinous in large doses.

    What’s your point? BEcause a pesticides main purpose is to kill a living organism. It is a poison.

  136. ChicagoTom

    Your concern about “pesticides” and chemical-ridden veggies is a fantasy. There is no discernible difference in the end product in the supermarket. Healthwise, no difference. It’s in your head.

    Meat and dairy however, you have a point.

    But your objections are silly and baseless. I’ve been making this point for years. This is not the first study or compendium of studies making this point. But too many people propagate a fictional reality about organic foods that is largely based on their own desires and misconceptions. Its something that needs to be dispelled.

    You are being a case in point.

  137. And antibacterial soap kills bacteria.

    And penicillin kills infections.

    Do you call those poisons too?

    Beste nicht seine Hand zu sch?tteln, denke ich!

    Und Gott Ihnen helfen, wenn er hustet auf Sie

  138. Organic farmers get subsidies too. And even if they didn’t, I’m not sure why we would support lying on their behalf.

    They definitely do. If the anger at organic farmers was related to the subsidies they get, I would both understand the outrage and agree. As it is, a lot of “libertarians” are being very angry that a certain product is being sold and that other people are buying it. But wait, maybe people are buying it because of advertising and word of mouth that is painting a deceptive picture! Oh, how dreadful.

    I think we can all agree individuals cannot be trusted to make rational economic decisions regarding their purchasing behavior. Right? Because that is what you all “libertarians” are saying.

    Really, this ties into the nature of libertarians. Libertarianism may be independent, but individual libertarians are overwhelmingly rightist. Cases like this bring it to the fore. Libertarian principles on one hand, being mad at yuppies and hippies on the other, and being mad at the hippies wins.

  139. I was addressing multiple people. You assumed I was just talking to you.

    It’s an easy mistake for me to make when you blockquote me and address me personally.

    Sorry I ruined your righteous anger at the internet, bro!

  140. And where is all that manure going to come from when the organic crowd’s PETA buddies get rid of most of the livestock?

    I could come over and shit in your garden!

    It seems beyond dispute the that the ubiquity of cheap large volumes of food has help to increase our longevity. If the issue with organics is pesticide runoff, how does that help me. I live in the desert. There is no runnoff so I don’t seem to incur any risk from runoff.
    I think organics is a lot like believing in god. There really isn’t all the much substance, but it makes you feel good about yourself.

  141. SugarFree | July 29, 2009, 3:33pm | #

    Don’t organic crops tend to use more manure?

    And where is all that manure going to come from when the organic crowd’s PETA buddies get rid of most of the livestock?

    Modern hippies are fond of human waste. Heard on the radio last week that 6 parts water 1 part urine is amazing for flowers. Apparently.

  142. Just as TAO said, organic advocates

    Where have I ever advocated anything organic?

    A lot of people here are unable to argue with anything but strawmen, I have noticed.

  143. Libertarian principles on one hand, being mad at yuppies and hippies on the other, and being mad at the hippies wins.

    You have no clue what you’re talking about. Produce one quote from this thread of a libertarian advocating banning organic foods. You can’t. Being mad at anyone, hippies included, is in no way inconsistent with libertarian principles.

  144. What principles are we violating, max hats? I didn’t see any calls for bans here. If decrying the organic movement as stupid is a violation of libertarian principles, I would expect to see you say the same thing if reason lovingly slobbered all over organics. But, I suspect you’d only have a problem with the former.

    But we’re the partisan ones. Mmmkay.

    Yes antibiotics are poisons they kill bacteria (good and bad bacteria) and I avoid them as often as possible.

    Wow, you really are a Luddite. Hope you never catch the clap, kiddo. Oh yeah, speaking of, do you only use lambskin condoms too?

  145. I have just discovered my body actually MAKES chemicals that kill bacteria. I will return when I have been cleansed of these poisons and poison-factories, which I suspect were put there by Halliburton.

  146. I especially hate bottled water. Another idiot trend started by left-wing trendies that does more harm than good.

    You might have a different story when you visit some third-world hell hole and the only safe water is bottled.

  147. p.s.

    There are also plenty of studies that demonstrate plenty of health risks to organic production – e-coli, bacterial infestation, wider and less predictable spoilage patterns, etc.

    Your fear of the “chemical” is baseless. The “chemicals” you are paranoid about are gone by the time you get to the product in the store.

    Your assertion that non-organic is laced with chemicals and therefore unhealthy is simply untrue.

    If your prime motivation was soil health or water table preservation or something, you might have a point, but your whole “my body the temple of purity” schtick is complete hogwash.

  148. I could come over and shit in your garden!

    “I’m JUST ONE MAN, Marge!”

  149. Being lectured on libertarian principles by a leftist dipshit is hilarious.

  150. – Science has borne no evidence that there is anything healthier or more nutritious about organics
    – Organic organizations also align themselves against GMOs
    – Organic methods are way more land- and labor-intensive

    Agree on all those points.

    Now do you agree that people still have a right to produce, market and consume organic goods? Do you agree successful industry is a net benefit for society? Do you agree that the organic food industry is successful?

  151. Your concern about “pesticides” and chemical-ridden veggies is a fantasy. There is no discernible difference in the end product in the supermarket. Healthwise, no difference. It’s in your head.

    Your fear of the “chemical” is baseless. The “chemicals” you are paranoid about are gone by the time you get to the product in the store.

    If you say so. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Look, if I have a choice, I’m going for the one without. Why are people obsessed with trying to tell me I am wrong?

    But your objections are silly and baseless. I’ve been making this point for years. This is not the first study or compendium of studies making this point. But too many people propagate a fictional reality about organic foods that is largely based on their own desires and misconceptions. Its something that needs to be dispelled.

    I don’t even know what you are talking about?

    I DONT WANT TO EAT FOOD THAT IS DOUSED WITH PESTICIDES. THAT IS MY FUCKING CHOICE AS A CONSUMER.

  152. Wow, you really are a Luddite. Hope you never catch the clap, kiddo. Oh yeah, speaking of, do you only use lambskin condoms too?

    Only when I’m doing your mom. She prefers the feeling of them.

  153. Why are people obsessed with trying to tell me I am wrong?

    Why are you so obsessed with keeping Reason from publishing articles lampooning the organic food movement? Are you secretly married to carrot?

  154. ‘Organic’ = a way to rip off liberals and stupid people.

    Sounds good to me.

  155. I have just discovered my body actually MAKES chemicals that kill bacteria. I will return when I have been cleansed of these poisons and poison-factories, which I suspect were put there by Halliburton.

    Knock it off asshole.

  156. Why are people obsessed with trying to tell me I am wrong?

    You said organic is “healthier” – that was a lie.

  157. Watching a group self proclaimed lovers of capitalism suck the dicks of each and every industry they see then suddenly get all mad at hollywood and organic farmers is also very funny.

  158. Now do you agree that people still have a right to produce, market and consume organic goods?

    People have a right to do all sorts of stupid things. I don’t think anyone wants to ban organics.

    Do you agree successful industry is a net benefit 8for society? Do you agree that the organic food industry is successful?

    This is a form of the broken windows fallacy. By this logic, if a new moon pill industry successfully convinces people that they need to take moon pills when the moon is full to avoid death from moon rays, they have benefitted society, when in fact they have just wasted resources because the benefit is built on a false premise.

    To the extent people are consuming organic food on the false premise they are healthier, this is a misallaocation of resources.

  159. I think the point people are making about pesticides, chemicals, etc. is valid. However, I have serious concerns about any conclusions being drawn from this article. The analytic approach is questionable. A meta-analysis should have been conducted to produce an overall effect size based on the literature and take into account variations in sample size. Their % difference analysis produced extremely high standard errors which, as the denominator, make it extremely difficult to detect a difference of any kind and indicate a lack of precision. This should have been a clue something was wrong. The softer issues (e.g., source bias analysis) should have been addressed more closely as well. Overall, this study provides a template for how not to approach the problem and certainly does not support the conclusions reached.

  160. You said organic is “healthier” – that was a lie.

    No it isnt. Prove that it’s a lie. Your or Gilmore’s say so isn’t enough.

    It is healthier to eat foods with less toxins on them than ones with more.

  161. “To the extent people are consuming organic food on the false premise they are healthier, this is a misallaocation of resources.”

    So tell me, how should I allocate MY resources?

  162. no, ChicagoTom, you are asserting the positive. you prove it’s true. Not that it matters because you pretty much said “science be damned – my faith will keep me warm”.

  163. I DONT WANT TO EAT FOOD THAT IS DOUSED WITH PESTICIDES. THAT IS MY FUCKING CHOICE AS A CONSUMER.

    You are also free to buy moon pills, it’s just not very smart.

    Reason is doing the public a service by explaining this common belief is a myth.

  164. I believe it should be noted that there is an important distinction between the consumers of BMWs and other such luxury items and those of organic foods. Many more people purchasing luxury goods explicitly branded as such, are purchasing them for their specific social function, i.e. “showing off.” On the other hand, when people purchase organic products, they seem much more apt to supplement their reasoning in their purchasing decisions with supposed, yet always fuzzy to define “health and nutritional benefits.”

    If you press an average BMW user only mildly, and perhaps not at all, they will readily admit, far more often than the purchasers of organic foods, that they bought the BMW for status alone. The extra status of the vehicle IS their added utility, and to them it justifies the price.

    Now if you ask the same question of the average organic foods consumer, will they readily admit that they are trading off a higher price for the added utility of status? Or will they necessarily posit a health and environmental component?

    THIS is the reason Reason Magazine does not attack other luxury items to the same extent as they do organic foods.

    And ChicagoTom, you noted that you would choose the food without ANY poison over another food with even a small amount. That is nice as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. The truly pertinent question is whether or not you are willing to PAY EXTRA (and particularily, HOW MUCH extra?) in order to have that poison-free food. All trade-offs, my friend, and definitely to be made in the market, as you yourself suggest.

  165. Libertarian principles on one hand, being mad at yuppies and hippies on the other, and being mad at the hippies wins.

    As it should. You’d know that, if you weren’t some sort of hippie sympathizer with your patchouli and your birkenstocks and your unwashed beard. Begone with you!

  166. So tell me, how should I allocate MY resources?

    Rationally.

  167. no, ChicagoTom, you are asserting the positive. you prove it’s true. Not that it matters because you pretty much said “science be damned – my faith will keep me warm”.

    My position is common sense. Taking two things and dousing one with a poison makes the one doused with poison less healthy and less good for you.

    If I have two apples, and I douse one with pesticide and I don’t the other, which are you gonna eat.

  168. I’ve got no particular beef with “organic”, I eat a lot of homegrown food and find it to be tastier, however I think most people have been snowed by the organic marketing scams. “Organic” farmers (depending on the certification type)are allowed to use pesticides, chemicals, fertilizer, etc…, it’s just that in most cases the chemicals are so old that the regulatory regime doesn’t even cover them. Or now we have “organic” pesticides. What does that even mean?

    The organic crowd also tends to be the ones who oppose GM crops, modern farming methods, etc… just on principle. Let the Africans starve, just make sure they farm “organic” crops.

    In short, the organic movement doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with science, it has more to do with marketing and politics. Kudos to Reason (they’re not called The Feelings Foundation) for poking holes in anybody’s BS balloon, whether it’s a corporation, government, or an individual.

  169. I DONT WANT TO EAT FOOD THAT IS DOUSED WITH PESTICIDES. THAT IS MY FUCKING CHOICE AS A CONSUMER.

    Sure it’s your choice. But that’s a choice that some would argue is not based on reason. Thus the articles discussing that choice.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Ron et. al. doesn’t believe that your choice is based on reason. It’s based primarily on fear and the precautionary principle. Why is it thus so shocking to see them write about it?

    Your only counter would have to be that it’s not based on fear. That’s it’s based on scientifically verified evidence that consumption of non-organic crops leads to health issues. That has not been shown to be true.

    Someone up-thread mentioned environmental consequences of non-organic farming. There may be some truth to that, but organic farming also has environmental consequences. I’d love to see a reasonable head-to-head comparison of the two from a land impact standpoint. If that was found to heavily favor organic style production, then that would certainly help the case for having organic foods be a reasoned choice.

    Unfortunately, ChicagoTom, you’re arguing from the Poison perspective, not the environmental perspective. That view is deserving of the criticism heaped upon it in this thread due to the lack of verifiable impact of said poison contact, in the amounts found on today’s non-organically farmed foods, on humans.

  170. two men walk out of the bathroom – one washes with antibacterial soap and the other washes with just water.

    Whose hand do you shake?

    your position is conventional wisdom, but it is also wrong.

  171. TallDave, good enough. I’ll use your rationality for food purchases if you use mine for health care.

  172. It is healthier to eat foods with less toxins on them than ones with more.

    Now that I’ve cleansed my body of an immune system that produces toxins, I’m healthier!

    YOU CAN’T PROVE I’M NOT! YOU CAN’T YOU CAN’T YOU —- errraargh…

  173. I think the sellers and consumers of organic feel that their foods are healthier in the sense of not having as much of certain chemicals they mistrust.

    Personally I’m no big fan of organic. For ethical reasons I tend to look for animal friendly products (like free rance eggs), but organic don’t mean that.

  174. Many more people purchasing luxury goods explicitly branded as such, are purchasing them for their specific social function, i.e. “showing off.” On the other hand, when people purchase organic products, they seem much more apt to supplement their reasoning in their purchasing decisions with supposed, yet always fuzzy to define “health and nutritional benefits.”

    Bull shit. Many people believe that their high end vehicle or expensive clothing purchase reflect some fuzzy quality benefit. When in reality the designer clothes aren’t any superior to less expensive clothing.

    Are you really asserting telling me that people don’t believe that Mercedes/BMW/etc is of a higher quality than Chrysler or Ford?

    And ChicagoTom, you noted that you would choose the food without ANY poison over another food with even a small amount. That is nice as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. The truly pertinent question is whether or not you are willing to PAY EXTRA (and particularily, HOW MUCH extra?) in order to have that poison-free food. All trade-offs, my friend, and definitely to be made in the market, as you yourself suggest.

    I am already paying extra for it. I buy it when I can get it. And I have stated so already.

  175. ChicagoTom,

    Having grown up and lived on a farm, and worked in supermarkets and local owned deli’s, (as did everyone in my family) I can tell you that everything is very thoroughly cleaned when it reaches it’s point of sale. You are not consuming food that HAS chemicals on them, you are consuming food that HAD chemicals on them. Just as you are consuming food that HAD shit on them, and hopefully, your food no longer has shit on it.

    Now, if you don’t want to eat it, that’s your choice. But what you are doing (whether you intend to or not) is drive valuable resources away from conventional grown (cheaper) food which has no more detrimental effects on anybodies health than the organic food you prefer. This in essence creates a net increase in all food costs (due to the enormous resources that organic food requires). That’s personally my problem with it.

    I could provide you data, but I spend enough time on this argument with my easily swayed vegetarian friends who I actually care about. Do a google search, pull out a few, and look at the statistics. One’s linked right above.

    That said, I grow organic food in my backyard, because I’m too lazy (and busy) to fertilize or spray. Do I need to disclaim that?

  176. A serious answer to your question, ChicagoTom, is that I would wash off the pesticide one and eat it. For all I know, yours is covered in E. Coli.

  177. “two men walk out of the bathroom – one washes with antibacterial soap and the other washes with just water.

    Whose hand do you shake?”

    Was Larry Craig in the bathroom?

  178. TallDave, good enough. I’ll use your rationality for food purchases if you use mine for health care.

    I try to allocate my health care resources rationally. I take measures to stay healthy, pay for only what I need, and I try to avoid subsidizing others’ more expensive care via socialized “insurance.” So far I’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars — the wages of rationality.

  179. two men walk out of the bathroom – one washes with antibacterial soap and the other washes with just water.

    Whose hand do you shake?

    your position is conventional wisdom, but it is also wrong.

    What?

    If you were comparing regular soap to anti-bacterial soap you might have the semblance of a point, but water isn’t an effective disinfectant. So I would shake the hand of the man who used soap at all.

  180. I just saw Food Inc and while it had the usual distrust of capitalism and things like genetically modified crops it had a lot I’m betting libertarians could like, for instance the crucial role of our farm subsidies in making our food industry look the way it does…

  181. I heard Gates was part eggplant and Crowley hates Eggplants.

    *trying to get this to 200

  182. All this self righteous ruckus over a freakin marketing tool.

  183. A serious answer to your question, ChicagoTom, is that I would wash off the pesticide one and eat it. For all I know, yours is covered in E. Coli.

    So could yours be.

    Having grown up and lived on a farm, and worked in supermarkets and local owned deli’s, (as did everyone in my family) I can tell you that everything is very thoroughly cleaned when it reaches it’s point of sale. You are not consuming food that HAS chemicals on them, you are consuming food that HAD chemicals on them. Just as you are consuming food that HAD shit on them, and hopefully, your food no longer has shit on it.

    So you are telling me that after repeated spraying during the growing season, none of those pesticides are absorbed ever and they all remain topical?

  184. ChicagoTom – sorry, but in your example, you gave me one disinfected apple and one not. That’s an apt comparison I just drew there.

  185. So you are telling me that after repeated spraying during the growing season, none of those pesticides are absorbed ever and they all remain topical?

    nope. Do you have any evidence at all that the minuscule amount you consume causes any harm whatsoever? I mean, other than your Green Jesus Faith, that is.

  186. ChicagoTom – sorry, but in your example, you gave me one disinfected apple and one not. That’s an apt comparison I just drew there.

    It’s not a false analogy! It’s apt! APT!

  187. I have just discovered my body actually MAKES chemicals that kill bacteria. I will return when I have been cleansed of these poisons and poison-factories, which I suspect were put there by Halliburton.

    LOL!

  188. I see Tom hasn’t even tried to disprove my assertion that he is married to a carrot.

    WHEN WILL CHICAGOTOM RELEASE HIS REAL MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?

  189. If it’s good. I’m eatin it. The only danger involved is if you get too close you might get forked or bitten.

  190. No, a few do. And if you look at the linked article. (or any number of numerous neutral studies regarding the topic) You will see that there is no noticeable detrimental effect to your health (using science and all). A majority of these chemicals actual break down in biological processes to become inert compounds.

    This is a major reason (along with the explosive potential) that these chemicals are so strictly controlled by Big Nanny Government.

    As I said, if you choose to think micrograms that can’t harm you are something you’d like to avoid, then do so. I’m certainly not going to stop you. I’ve already mentioned why I don’t care for it, but I’ll add a few more reasons:

    Requires larger footprint
    Increases deforestation
    Increased fertilizer run off destroying native aquatic populations

    The only real benefit to organic farming (other than your perceived one) is that the chemicals sprayed to kill insects remove vital nutrients from the soil. There are ways to avoid this, but it’s very difficult to bring them back.

    Also keep in mind the same will happen (albeit over a longer time) with organic farming due to plowing. To see how that works out, just google “Dust Bowl Depression”. This is why I’m a strong supporter of GM foods, as soon as we can see an impact study against them pollinating with naturally occurring plant life.

    I have a few more points, but I’m going home. Good Luck to you.

  191. Yes, ChicagoTom, many people beleive that their expensive luxury items are in fact of higher quality. Now, I won’t get into whether or not they in fact ARE of higher quality, but I will state this: MORE people who buy organic food use other reasons than luxury to justify their purchases, as in a higher percentage. That was my point. If you are not willing to reasonably concede this, then that is fine.

  192. Although I do not disbelieve people who say they like the taste of local food better, they often overlap strongly with people who eat Tofurkey. The taste argument is invalid coming from anyone who would eat a hunk of foamed vomit.

  193. ChicagoTom | July 29, 2009, 4:08pm | #

    No it isnt. Prove that it’s a lie. Your or Gilmore’s say so isn’t enough.

    It is healthier to eat foods with less toxins on them than ones with more.

    CT

    Dude… that *may* in fact be true. (not worth getting into the niggly details of how you define a ‘toxin’ or whether or not they have any impact on human health)

    But the point of these studies (linked above) and many others is that there is no measurable difference in the finished product. This is not “my say so” or some BS claim = its demonstrated by years of studies (many funded by organic proponents in desperation to prove the health benefits). I did research on this myself some years back. See the footnote to this paper here = http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/papers/Australia.html

    You say you want “less” toxins – but you are largely imagining their presence in your food. Also their significance. But eat whatever you want! Just dont expect everyone to humor your presumptions.

  194. Lots of medicines are poison in large doses.

    Coumadin (aka rat poison) was given to my father after his heart attack.

  195. http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/chlorpyr.htm

    I suck at linking. sorry

    this link is about dursban. It scientifically says that this chemical is very harmful in a variety of ways. It was used on fruit and vegetables grown for human consumption. If you read the whole thing, you will see that it is absorbed by some crops. This chemical was banned in the U.S. only after lawsuits were brought as a result of children born with massive birth defects. The manufacturer, while aware of dursbans effects, marketed it until it was outlawed.

  196. Now do you agree that people still have a right to produce, market and consume organic goods? Do you agree successful industry is a net benefit for society? Do you agree that the organic food industry is successful?

    Nobody is remotely suggesting you don’t have a ‘right’ to buy organic food. The issue here is more about you guys getting all pissy and upset because Reason published an article saying “Organic Isn’t Healthier”.

    You get mad because we don’t pat you on the head and tell you what good boys you are for going to Sunday School. That’s what this thread is about.

  197. One, I live in a college town and organic is pretty much a prerequisite for hipster-status

    This is one reason for Reason’s obsession with promoting the industrial status quo on foods: it’s the same old aggrieved white male culture pissing on a type of people they have contempt for.

    But another could be the same reason it promoted all the glorious benefits of corn syrup a while back.

  198. it’s the same old aggrieved white male culture pissing on a type of people they have contempt for.

    No word on whether the contempt might be justified or not …

  199. Hazel Meade. It is my opinion that the contempt is justified because libertarians are right about every goddamned thing in the fuckin universe. and beyond.

  200. Oh Hazel having read Atlas Shrugged I realize that contempt is the primary and most noble emotion of the libertarian.

  201. Tony, please, I have about even-odds that you’re a white male. And please stop spouting your college-sophomore bullshit everywhere.

  202. Actually, Tony, I think that Reason attacks organic food twice a week even when there is no absolutely no apparent link to any libertarian political issue because they are reasoning thusly:

    “If any person is allowed to prefer organic food, they might use the state to outlaw industrial agriculture.”

    Reason has turned into the equivalent of the gay marriage opposition on this issue. Just like the gay marriage opponents apparently think that if gays are allowed to marry, by some magical process all straight marriages will somehow be destroyed, the editors at Reason believe that if anyone buys organic products and likes them, kommisars will immediately blow up all chemical fertilizer plants and send all factory farmers to extermination camps.

  203. this link is about dursban. It scientifically says that this chemical is very harmful in a variety of ways.

    And? Your position is based on fear. Fear that there are more gremlins lurking out there after one was caught. A gremlin, BTW, which the manufacturer continues to defend as being safe.

  204. Oh Hazel having read Atlas Shrugged I realize that contempt is the primary and most noble emotion of the libertarian.

    No, Tony, the primary and most noble emotion extolled in Atlas Shrugged is spite.

    Spite was very underappreciated before Rand rehabilitated it and sang about its virtues. I for one know that I never looked at spite in quite the same way again after reading it.

  205. Bull shit. Many people believe that their high end vehicle or expensive clothing purchase reflect some fuzzy quality benefit. When in reality the designer clothes aren’t any superior to less expensive clothing.

    Yeah, people like to rationalize their status-seeking choices by confabulating some sort of quality enhancement.

    Just EXACTLY the way you insist on believing that organic foods have health benefits despite repeated scientific studies to the contrary.

    You are rationalizing a status-seeking behavior. That’s all it is. There is NO health benefit. You are just trying to make yourself feel better about conforming to a social trend that awards high-status to organic foods.

  206. it’s the same old aggrieved white male culture pissing on a type of people they have contempt for.

    No, sugar, you have to pay extra to get water sports. The contempt, however, is free.

  207. You will see that there is no noticeable detrimental effect to your health (using science and all). A majority of these chemicals actual break down in biological processes to become inert compounds.

    And your body breaking down those chemicals puts more pressure on your liver and kidneys. Thus increasing the risk of those organs failing.

    Just like I don’t think tylenol is inherently bad to take. But if you take tylenol every day for years it wreaks havoc on your kidney and liver and leads to a higher possibility of those organs to fail.

    I therefore try to avoid taking tylenol unless I feel I really need to.

    It’s not irrational to prefer foods that aren’t sprayed with toxins every other day during its growing period. I don’t want to ingest it if I don’t have to, regardless of how many studies say that its ok at certain levels.

    There have been many scientifically proven “safe” levels of toxins that over time the PPM that is considered safe gets lowered and lowered.

    Reason has turned into the equivalent of the gay marriage opposition on this issue. Just like the gay marriage opponents apparently think that if gays are allowed to marry, by some magical process all straight marriages will somehow be destroyed, the editors at Reason believe that if anyone buys organic products and likes them, kommisars will immediately blow up all chemical fertilizer plants and send all factory farmers to extermination camps.

    This is my belief as well. It’s the only rational explanation for the war on organics.

  208. Nobody is remotely suggesting you don’t have a ‘right’ to buy organic food. The issue here is more about you guys getting all pissy and upset because Reason published an article saying “Organic Isn’t Healthier”.

    Please point me to some other Reason exposes of businesses benefiting from false perceptions. This outrage is singularly directed and exceptional.

  209. You are rationalizing a status-seeking behavior. That’s all it is. There is NO health benefit. You are just trying to make yourself feel better about conforming to a social trend that awards high-status to organic foods.

    You’re an idiot.

    You keep harping on the status seeking bullshit. Everyone is a mindless status seeking drone. You’re worse than the liberals who believe advertising makes people lose their free will.

  210. What does Reason’s yammering about organic foods have in common with its yammering about global warming?

    Hint: not the virtues of science!

  211. And your body breaking down those chemicals puts more pressure on your liver and kidneys. Thus increasing the risk of those organs failing.

    Um, no. Again. The trace amounts of pesticides on your food are not straining your kidneys.

  212. Um, no. Again. The trace amounts of pesticides on your food are not straining your kidneys.

    Uhmm..yes they are. The pesticides that are on and IN my food do add more strain on my kidneys than if they were absent.

  213. Thus increasing the risk of those organs failing.

    Another unsubstantiated point.

  214. Prove it, ChicagoTom. Like Hazel said, your “invention” of ex post justifications does sound more and more like you trying to justify status-seeking behavior.

  215. Those trace amounts aren’t even processed or filtered by your kidneys. You likely urinate them out straightaway.

  216. What does Tony’s yammering on about libertarians have in common with reality?

    Hint: not a goodamned thing!

  217. You’re an idiot.
    You keep harping on the status seeking bullshit.

    As long as you keep saying “I don’t care what the science says, organic is better!” I’m going to have to believe that you are motivated by some irrational drive.
    Status seeking is obviously the most likely.

    “It’s better! I don’t care what you say!” ~= “My friends approve of it!”

  218. I love it. “Prove it, Chicago Tom.” followed by
    “You likely urinate them out straightaway.”

  219. Please point me to some other Reason exposes of businesses benefiting from false perceptions. This outrage is singularly directed and exceptional.

    I imagine that, long ago, Bailey started out by defending scientific agriculture, particularly GM foods and the chemical “green revolution”, from Luddites who opposed both.

    At some point, he observed that those Luddites themselves preferred so-called “organic” agriculture, so he began shooting down the incorrect public perceptions about organic agriculure, in the context of defending GM and chemicals from possible state controls.

    But at some point along the line, he lost track of his original point, and started attacking organic agriculture outside of the context of opposing possible state controls, and just as an end in itself. But as an end to itself it’s not really a libertarian cause any more.

  220. it’s the same old aggrieved white male culture pissing on a type of people they have contempt for

    Enter the Tony!

    I knew if this went long enough we would have an identity politics/ethnic studies BS argument here. Freakin’ awesome.

  221. Hazel,

    Irrationality can be based on fear. It does not need to be based on status.

  222. Remember guys, Tony thinks it’s OK to lie if it’s to the benefit of something he believes. What’s the point of arguing with an admitted liar?

  223. I mean, those shoes called crocs have to be 1000 times as stupid as organic tomatoes, and I don’t see Bailey writing articles about the voluminous scientific evidence that people who wear crocs are fucking morons.

    Come on, spread the “stupid product” hate around a little bit, dude.

  224. But as an end to itself it’s not really a libertarian cause any more.

    The magazine is called ‘Reason’ ‘Free Minds and Free Markets’. I think puncturing unscientific beliefs, such as religion and organic foods falls nicely under that, regardless of whether you consider atheism to be a ‘libertarian’ cause.

  225. and now, the Libertarian Echo Chamber Circle Jerk.

  226. But as an end to itself it’s not really a libertarian cause any more.

    Sometimes Reason is simply about reason. It’s not always about the relationship between an individual and the Government.

  227. the voluminous scientific evidence that people who wear crocs are fucking morons.

    Citation needed, fluffster.

  228. it’s the same old aggrieved white male culture pissing on a type of people they have contempt for

    Now, this I don’t agree with. I don’t think Reason is picking on organics because they hate hippies or something.

    Remember, you’re talking about a magazine that regularly spends time defending MARI-FUCKING-JUANA and PROG FUCKING MUSIC, which puts Reason squarely on the side of the hippies and the music geeks. And I bet there isn’t a single pot smoker out there listening to prog who doesn’t also have some organic food product in their fridge. You’re off base making this a lifestyle thing.

  229. the voluminous scientific evidence that people who wear crocs are fucking morons.

    Citation needed, fluffster.

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=croc+shoes&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g1

  230. and now, the Libertarian Echo Chamber Circle Jerk.

    And now, the jump to name-calling by those who realize their ability to make a reasoned argument has come to an end.

  231. Irrationality can be based on fear. It does not need to be based on status.

    Yeah, but I really don’t see people buying organic out of panic over the possibility of pesticides on food. Maybe that was the case 20 years ago during the initial phase of the organic movement.

    Nowadays it’s about upscale grocery stores and high-end gourmet products. Organic chocolates and the like. It’s really shifted from being a fear-based thing to being an elite symbolic display of (supposedly) superior taste and wealth.

  232. Calm down brotherben, you were the guy who claimed the study was biased and influenced by the funding body when you didn’t even know who the funding body was.

  233. Organic chocolates and the like. It’s really shifted from being a fear-based thing to being an elite symbolic display of (supposedly) superior taste and wealth.

    And the problem with that is?

    The difference between a Camry and a Lexus is $20,000 in pure elite symbolism. Where’s the “Free Mind and Free Market” critique of that?

  234. Anger as organic claims shot down

    Ron Bailey is a crank. Remember, he’s in favor of Cap and Trade. Need I say more!

  235. Yeah, but I really don’t see people buying organic out of panic over the possibility of pesticides on food.

    I’m not sure what your perception is based on. Every person I’ve ever talked to who buys Organics does it because of chemical fear. I suspect you may be write when it comes to the popularity of Whole Foods among the wealthy, but I don’t think that’s true for your average joe who decides to stretch their budget to fit an Organic lifestyle.

  236. And now an idiot links to a Metro article. Why don’t you just link to the Sun or Patrick Holford’s site.

  237. I’m not sure what your perception is based on.

    It’s based on his hate of anything as being perceived as part of the hippie or green movement. That’s basically it.

  238. The difference between a Camry and a Lexus is $20,000 in pure elite symbolism. Where’s the “Free Mind and Free Market” critique of that?

    Lexus drivers don’t demand moral approval of their car selection, or disapprove of those who don’t share it.

  239. “Organic organizations also align themselves against GMOs”

    I think the word “some” would fit well at the beginning of that sentence…

    I think Tom’s point is that equally Nutritious does not entail as safe. An apple covered in poison may be equally Nutritious as one not covered, but the former has some other problem perhaps.

  240. http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=croc+shoes&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g1

    That’s just evidence they’re fucking ugly shoes.

    And I say that as a guy who owns about a half-dozen of their flip-flops.

  241. I say this without rancor or snark: I think it’s absolutely great that we can argue over something, that, at worst, may have a detrimental effect on some people only after many decades of use. Beats the situation in the past, where we were being unsubtly poisoned. . .or starved.

    Drawing the line between real risks–even of the subtle, long-term variety–and risks that aren’t really risks is not easy, and you never know what some study is going to turn up. While I think that people who turn to organic foods are likely being irrationally risk adverse, I can understand the position. I take Excedrin pretty often to prevent migraines, but I worry about the amount of acetaminophen I’m consuming, even though it’s below the amounts considered dangerous.

    The processes for producing “organic” foods have their own set of risks, which may or may not be greater than those used in producing traditional agricultural products. Also, there are many loopholes that the USDA has allowed in organic farming (meaning that there are non-organic components in your organic food–for instance, dyes), which have diluted the meaning of the term. As a result, I don’t think there’s much safety in relying on advertisers who throw around words like organic or natural. If you’re concerned, the best bet is to grow your own food in a greenhouse or in a garden (the grid system allows you to grow a large variety of plants in a small space), where you’ll know exactly what went into your fruits and vegetables.

  242. As long as you keep saying “I don’t care what the science says, organic is better!” I’m going to have to believe that you are motivated by some irrational drive.
    Status seeking is obviously the most likely.

    Dude you haven’t shown any science. All you have done is project your small minded beliefs onto the actions of others. Most likely because you are a fucking moron with a superiority complex.

  243. Fluffy,

    I think contempt for hipsters is probably confined to individual libertarians. The more important reason for Reason’s fixation on organic foods (among other topics) is that it’s a mouthpiece for CATO, which is of course a mouthpiece for the corporate status quo.

  244. “But at some point along the line, he lost track of his original point, and started attacking organic agriculture outside of the context of opposing possible state controls, and just as an end in itself.”

    “I don’t think Reason is picking on organics because they hate hippies or something.”

    I dunno fluffy, let’s fact it Reason and libertarianism in general draws a lot of conservative types who just don’t like the kind of person who buys organic, drives a hybrid, drinks fair trade coffee, etc.. It’s a culture war thing.

  245. I’m not sure what your perception is based on. Every person I’ve ever talked to who buys Organics does it because of chemical fear.

    Personally, anecdotally, I’d break it down as about 20 percent fear of pesticides, 20 percent taste preference or perception thereof, and the rest elitism.

  246. Most likely because you are a fucking moron with a superiority complex.

    This coming from a guy who insists on believing that organic is superior, regardless of the science.

  247. “it’s a mouthpiece for CATO, which is of course a mouthpiece for the corporate status quo.”

    Tony, you should check out the film Food, Inc. It’s definitely got a leftist view point and is well made. Essentially though its amazing how much of what leftists hate about our food industry is the result of the kind of subsidization that groups like Cato have railed against with principle for decades.

  248. Lexus drivers don’t demand moral approval of their car selection, or disapprove of those who don’t share it.

    So with you at least, you admit this is purely about snobbery and your perception of some snub?

    If I came here talking about how much I hated those mercedes drivers and boy howdy do they think they’re better than me because they can afford a really expensive car, I would get dogpiled endlessly. Probably by a lot of the same people here getting angry about organic foods.

    This entire thing is pure culture war nonsense.

  249. Hazel Meade, I have to wonder why it is okay for libertarians here, on a daily basis to demand moral approval of their belief system selection, or dissaprove of those who don’t share it? it is about free minds isn’t it? Or is it only the minds that agree with the free minds here?

  250. Yes or no: was the organic food rude to the cop or not?
    Should the cop have arrested the organic food, or just walked away?

  251. I dunno fluffy, let’s fact it Reason and libertarianism in general draws a lot of conservative types who just don’t like the kind of person who buys organic, drives a hybrid, drinks fair trade coffee, etc.. It’s a culture war thing.

    I’d dispute that. It’s not cultural at all. It’s simply a function of reason. The reasoning behind the choice of buying fair trade coffee or buying organic is considered flawed. (I wouldn’t necessarily lump hybrids in with those other two.)

  252. This coming from a guy who insists on believing that organic is superior, regardless of the science.

    This coming from someone who pretends to have mind reading capabilities and knows the true motivations of people and their choices.

  253. MP, you get that other folks, through their own reason, (yup, you aren’t the only one capable) can arrive at different beliefs?

  254. It’s simply a function of reason. The reasoning behind the choice of buying fair trade coffee or buying organic is considered flawed. (I wouldn’t necessarily lump hybrids in with those other two.)

    You really believe that?

    I don’t think you would ever see Reason attacking people for buying designer clothing, or overpriced cars based on the flawed belief that the more expensive stuff is of a higher quality.

    I think their choice of targets implies that there is a culture war aspect to it.

  255. It is “about snobbery”, in the sense that I find it offensive for organic food eaters to look down their noses at people that don’t eat organic, when they are the ones who are conforming to a scientifically baseless fad.

    If reason wrote an article about how Mercedes are actually pieces of crap – despite popular perceptions otherwise, and a bunch of Mercedes drivers butted in and got all hoity toity and offended and tried everything to justify why they owned one anyway, I’d probably be tearing them a new asshole along with everyone else.

    I mean, you could probably try this with Saturn fans. Demonstrate that Saturns are just as crappy on average as other cars in the same price range, and have fun watching the ‘Saturn Family’ cry and gnash their teeth in dismay.

  256. If reason wrote an article about how Mercedes are actually pieces of crap – despite popular perceptions otherwise, and a bunch of Mercedes drivers butted in and got all hoity toity and offended and tried everything to justify why they owned one anyway, I’d probably be tearing them a new asshole along with everyone else.

    You know, and I know, that Reason will never write an article about how Mercedes are bad cars.

  257. It is “about snobbery”, in the sense that I find it offensive for organic food eaters to look down their noses at people that don’t eat organic, when they are the ones who are conforming to a scientifically baseless fad.

    You poor persecuted baby. Who are all those people looking down at you?

    Is wittle Hazel Meade getting his wittle feewings hurt?

  258. You know, and I know, that Reason will never write an article about how Mercedes are bad cars.

    And even if they did ,they wouldn’t run esentially the same article every 2 weeks or so.

  259. Hazel,

    That’s simply a matter of etiquette. As an avid gorger on fast food I don’t like outspoken food snobs either. But it is pretty rich to have libertarians complaining about other types of people and their moral condemnations of different ways of thinking.

  260. Actually, upon reflection, my previous post was a bit off since mercedes actually are good cars.

    How about this: Hummers are bad cars. People only buy them for pure luxury purposes. They are inefficient, stupid looking, not particularly reliable, and most importantly (for you) their owners can be snobs. Do you expect an anti-hummer article on Reason, Hazel? I sure don’t. I’d be shocked. And I will eat my hat (my maximum hat) if there was a series of articles on how bad hummers are in Reason. There are only two successful industries self-described libertarians love to hate: entertainment, and organic food. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not a love for free markets or a desire for smaller government. It’s just red state blue state Sarah Palin / Susan Sarandon garbage.

  261. I bet this study was paid for by Monsanto.

  262. The way I look at it, there’s no strong reason for preferring organically farmed agricultural products to other varieties, and I do think the marketing message associated with “organic” has a lot more to do with people buying organic products than any scientific or medical reasons. That said, I have no problem with people buying the stuff, even if it’s really just another way of distinguishing the affluent from hoi polloi or the “caring” from the Gaea-hating brutes. It’s a niche market, and it may end up reviving a small-scale “small business” in farming. Anything to create more competition, even if it does prove to merely support a fallacious belief system.

    Here in Tampa, I know of at least one hydroponic farm that allows consumers to buy a share of the total produce. The gimmick is first local, fresher foods, of course, but they also trade in the no-pesticides market.

  263. You know what annoys me? People who buy a Hummer or a Porsche and get a license plate that says “Hummer1” or “Porsche” on it. Yeah, I was having a hard time realizing what you were driving until I saw your plate, doofus.

  264. I don’t think you would ever see Reason attacking people for buying designer clothing, or overpriced cars based on the flawed belief that the more expensive stuff is of a higher quality.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see an article like that, in either the columnist pieces in the front or the smaller articles in the back.

    brotherben said:

    MP, you get that other folks, through their own reason, (yup, you aren’t the only one capable) can arrive at different beliefs?

    And somehow that should prevent me from attacking their reasoning as flawed?

  265. Tony, that would be scientifically baseless different ways of thinking. This is no different, as I said way upthread, then feeling distain for people who think they are superior for going to church on Sunday.

    Liberals and progressives such as yourself are very fond of looking down on those who adhere to beliefs that you consider stupid or unjustified.

    The double whammy is that in the case of organic food, not only do you yourselves believe in something stupid and unjustified, you ironically consider those who eat conventional foods to be the ignorant and the uninformed.

  266. Among the 55 of 162 studies that were included in the final analysis, there were a small number of differences in nutrition between organic and conventionally produced food but not large enough to be of any public health relevance, said study leader Dr Alan Dangour.

    The claim the study makes is that DESPITE there being more nutrients, the effect is not large enough to have PUBLIC HEALTH consequences.

    This study did not even address the issue of whether it was a healthier choice for an individual.

    Also, see Durk’s comment up thread.

  267. ChicagoTom said:

    And even if they did ,they wouldn’t run esentially the same article every 2 weeks or so.

    The example you keep bringing up (luxury goods) doesn’t apply here, because that’s a sociological example. Reason’s science editor shouldn’t be dealing with sociological issues. They should be dealing with science. Many see that certain social movements are based on false or non-existent science. The Organic movement is one of those where the science flies in the face of the true believers.

    I think it’s a perfect issue for Reason to latch onto. It’s a classic reason vs. faith issue. And because it’s science based, it’s right up Ron’s alley.

    I don’t get your beef at all.

  268. Do you expect an anti-hummer article on Reason, Hazel?

    Read it and weep, max hats:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/133861.html

  269. The double whammy is that in the case of organic food, not only do you yourselves believe in something stupid and unjustified, you ironically consider those who eat conventional foods to be the ignorant and the uninformed.

    The irony of someone saying this on a libertarian site. As if libertarianism itself isn’t full of snobs who think their world view is the best and anyone who doesn’t think so is ignorant.

  270. waiting on that kidney assertion to get backed up, ChicagoTom.

  271. I don’t get your beef at all.

    My beef is simple. Ron Bailey and Reason are obsessed with this topic, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

    And instead of linking to and refuting specific claims made by groups, they use the “some say” form of argument to attack.

    ANd the fact that these types of articles appear as often as they do lead me to believe there is something more at play than just science aspect.

  272. https://www.reason.com/blog/show/133861.html

    That is an “anti-hummer article” to the same extent that posting a south park clip is anti kanye west.

    Actually, not even that.

    I was hoping Hummer would be one of the brands that didn’t survive, not because I object to the gas-guzzling but because I object to the deterioration of language the nearly two-decade brand represents.

    uh, okay. You got me there. Man, Reason is positively trashing hummers. This is exactly like their disgust at the organic food market.

  273. But it is pretty rich to have libertarians complaining about other types of people and their moral condemnations of different ways of thinking.

    Why? What is it about adhering to a small government philosophy that is inconsistent with having opinions about the other people in society, and sharing them?

    As a deep libertarian, in fact, I think that it is essential to a functioning civil society that people have strong opinions and share them.

    I’m with those who have no problem with organic foods and people who buy them, in principle. I do look for opportunities to mock those who cop an attitude about being all organic ‘n’ shit, though.

  274. Ron Bailey and Reason are obsessed with this topic, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

    I just told you why. It’s a major social trend based on pseudo-science and/or fear of the unknown, where there’s scientific evidence that’s contrary to the beliefs on which the trend is based. How is this not a perfect candidate for Reason?

  275. As if libertarianism itself isn’t full of snobs who think their world view is the best and anyone who doesn’t think so is ignorant.

    The difference is, we’re right.

  276. As if libertarianism itself isn’t full of snobs who think their world view is the best and anyone who doesn’t think so is ignorant.

    We have rational arguments to back up our believes. We believe in REASON, not faith.

    You have “I don’t care what the scientific studies say! I’m entitled to think it’s better for me if I feel like it.”

    Well, okay, you have the right to think organic is better for you if you feel like it. Just please quit it with the morally superior bullshit. Because when you have zero scientific evidence to justify your claims of superiority, you should maybe be a little humbler around those that don’t believe them.

  277. So,

    The basics: this somewhat poorly conducted study says there would be no public health benefit gained from requiring/encouraging everyone to eat only organic when that benefit is measured at the level of the group and the category of behavior being encouraged is as broad as “eat organic.”

    If there are people suggesting that government funds be spent on the idea of encouraging organic consumption or (worse) on the banning of non-organic methods, then I could see why this is worthy of discussion on H&R.

    But if this is about science reporting, the posting might have taken the time to discuss whether this study answered an important question in the area. Given that most serious advocates of organic farmer advocate it due to its smaller environmental footprint (see Brownwyn above), this study somewhat misses the more relevant public policy issue.

    There is a fair amount of research looking at this more central issue.

  278. The difference is, we’re right.

    We have rational arguments to back up our believes. We believe in REASON, not faith.

    No you aren’t and no you don’t.

    You have dogmatic beliefs, but since your preferred system of government has never once been shown to have been successfully adopted, you have faith. And that’s all you got.

  279. Kideny article, ChicgoTom?

  280. CT,

    About Ron’s motivations, I agree that they’re likely centered on the claims being made by organic proponents. The science is weak at this juncture. Whether you’re correct in exercising the precautionary principle at this point is another issue, but as things stand right now, there is an argument for dismissing much of the organic marketing as unsubstantiated. Even as an organic food consumer, I imagine you, too, are dubious of some of the claims being made. If not, you should be, only because all product marketing has to be taken with a grain of salt.

  281. It’s a major social trend based on pseudo-science and/or fear of the unknown, where there’s scientific evidence that’s contrary to the beliefs on which the trend is based. How is this not a perfect candidate for Reason?

    Every two weeks? The same article, essentially.

    You may think that’s appropriate, to me it seems obsessive. And the articles are always very one sided and pretend like the only claims about organic are the “nutritional value” claims.

  282. If I am given a choice of a food item that is sprayed with poison or one without, regardless of what lab tests have shown, I will choose the one without the poison.

    And you call libertarians the ones with faith? Oh ho, how rich.

  283. I was just up in North Carolina and brought back some peaches I got in a Cary farmers’ market. Awesome goodness. Can’t get a decent peach in Tampa, except for a very narrow window of time.

    Apropos of nothing–I must be hungry.

  284. The science is weak at this juncture. Whether you’re correct in exercising the precautionary principle at this point is another issue, but as things stand right now, there is an argument for dismissing much of the organic marketing as unsubstantiated Even as an organic food consumer, I imagine you, too, are dubious of some of the claims being made.

    ProLib,

    I am dubious of some of the claims being made. Just like I am dubious of all marketing claims. They are all propaganda meant to sell you something. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take exception to the way and the amount of time Reason dedicates to covering the issue.

  285. Well, okay, you have the right to think organic is better for you if you feel like it. Just please quit it with the morally superior bullshit.

    You, like most of this thread, are arguing not against real people here, but against liberal caricatures that exist mostly in your imagination. Who’s looking down on you hazel? What the fuck are you talking about?

  286. ChiTom: So, let me get this straight. You’ve given up on actually trying to defend the notion that organic foods are healthier, and have degenerated into saying “You’re just as bad as us! You haven’t got scientific evidence to prove that libertarianism is correct either!”

    Aside from the fact that there is plenty of empirical data on economic policies available, the question of whether organic foods are healthier or not is a question of fact that is amenable to scientific analysis. It’s not a philosophical theory about the rights of man.

  287. And you call libertarians the ones with faith? Oh ho, how rich.

    Dude, urine is safe to drink as well (assuming you aren’t dehydrated), but I wont drink it if I don’t have to. That’s not an issue of faith that’s an issue of preference.

    Pesticides might be safe in the long term. But I still prefer to avoid them, you know just in case the science changes. Like it did with margarine and many other things.

    Lots of things were shown to be safe by lab tests at one time, that turned out not to be.

    What is your fucking point? Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. So what?

  288. not only that, but there is plenty of real-world data to point out that capitalism is better than communism.

  289. You, like most of this thread, are arguing not against real people here, but against liberal caricatures that exist mostly in your imagination. Who’s looking down on you hazel? What the fuck are you talking about?

    Are you, like, completely cut off from urban hipster culture or something?

    “OMG! This whole organic fad is all in your head! Nobody thinks it’s superior! You’re just imagining it!”

  290. What is your fucking point? Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. So what?

    Fine, ChiTom. If it’s a “so what”…well, then so what are you going on and on about?

  291. You’ve given up on actually trying to defend the notion that organic foods are healthier, and have degenerated into saying

    I haven’t given up on anything.

    I do believe they are better for you than conventionally produced foods.

    You haven’t provided any science about the long term effects of pesticides in food. The science isn’t that strong, and I am erring on the side of caution when I can. Yet somehow that is the most objectionable thing some people have ever read

    Simple enough?

  292. Are you, like, completely cut off from urban hipster culture or something?

    “OMG! This whole organic fad is all in your head! Nobody thinks it’s superior! You’re just imagining it!”

    I guess I just missed out on all the people looking down on me for buying the wrong type of lettuce. I lead a charmed life, so free of the brutal oppression you clearly struggle with.

  293. Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. So what?

    Calm down, Tom. Nobody is telling you you have to stop eating organic. Just stop getting so upset whenever someone tells you that organic isn’t really any safer or healthier or better for the environment.

  294. Well one thing about Reason is that they write for their contributors. Take immigration for example. They run endless articles on the benefit of mass unskilled very poor immigration. Whereas even Milton Friedman saw it for what it is, the Viagra of the state. It just grows government. Who benefits. The cheap labor lobby and they kick in lots of cash to Reason and CATO. Are big agribusinesses donating to Reason and CATO?? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Well big Agribusiness has been at war with organics ever since it started taking off. And what’s CATO’s connection to Monsanto?? What’s Ron Bailey connection to Monsanto??

  295. “I don’t get your beef at all.”

    Of course, because it is my beef. What entitles you to my beef? Or my pork? What kind of communism is this?

  296. I guess I just missed out on all the people looking down on me for buying the wrong type of lettuce.

    Go live in Portland for a few months. Hang out with some hippies, then reveal the shameful secret of your lettuce purchase. Then get back to me.

  297. not only that, but there is plenty of real-world data to point out that capitalism is better than communism.

    What that has to do with the lunacy of the proposed libertopia I have no idea. Libertarianism != capitalism. Capitalism can exist without libertarianism (and does everywhere where capitalism exists since there are no libertarian governments in the real world)

    Fine, ChiTom. If it’s a “so what”…well, then so what are you going on and on about?

    Im not going on an on. I am defending myself against attacks from people like you. (Attacks that spill into other threads as well)

    I am not going to let your bullshit attacks go unanswered.

  298. TAO
    I thought the same thing Tom said. If lab tests demonstrated that an apple that has been pissed on is no less healthy than one that has not I’m afraid it’s not crazy to prefer the latter…

  299. Go live in Portland for a few months. Hang out with some hippies, then reveal the shameful secret of your lettuce purchase. Then get back to me.

    So in response you choose to look down at people who choose to eat organic. Way to not be the better person.

    Hazel Meade, graduate of the two wrongs make a right university

  300. heh, if you want to embrace the lifestyle of a caveman, be irrational all you like. Just do not expect to get lauded for it. I would similarly make fun of a “lifestyle choice virgin” or a Jesus-freak for the same reasons.

  301. Did anyone answer my question above, does saying non-organic food has the same nutritional value as organic food mean the same thing as saying that non-organic food is just as safe as eating organic foods? I really think the latter is what organic consumers are into.

  302. You may think that’s appropriate, to me it seems obsessive.

    I suggest that your perception is based on the fact that it’s an issue you feel strongly about. If you were strongly pro-law enforcement, against marijuana as medicine, pro-AGW, etc. you’d also feel that Reason’s coverage was overly skewed towards your particular issue of interest.

    I disagree with your perception in this case. I think what you need right now is a nice Peak Ale.

  303. I live in Seattle and spent years in Olympia (which is the epitome of modern hippiedom) and am quite sure you, like most culture warriors, are completely crazy on this and many other issues. You are fighting a war against people who live only in your head. I have cooked meals with nonorganic foods in the same room as the most die hard organic fanatics as there could possibly be, and it was not an issue. People are people, caricatures are caricatures, and it is important not to confuse the two.

  304. Are big agribusinesses donating to Reason and CATO?? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Well big Agribusiness has been at war with organics ever since it started taking off. And what’s CATO’s connection to Monsanto?? What’s Ron Bailey connection to Monsanto??

    OMG! It must be those evil corporations behind Reason reporting on a study done by an independent scientific body.

    The gall of them, to report on someone else’s findings!

  305. I thought the same thing Tom said. If lab tests demonstrated that an apple that has been pissed on is no less healthy than one that has not I’m afraid it’s not crazy to prefer the latter…

    Apparently that is a faith based irrational preference around these parts.

    And then people wonder why no one takes libertarians seriously. Maybe because they’re the biggest hypocrites on the planet. ON the one hand their marketing slogan is “free minds free markets” but their actions are to mock incessantly anything that doesn’t conform to their world view.

  306. Yeah Hazel, did you just go from “I hate people who look down on other lifestyle groups” to “Go to Portland hippie-man?”

  307. I note that even though you have libertarian defenders on here, you’re quick to stereotype us, little Tom. Looking for an excuse to broadly condemn the whole movement, are we?

  308. Did anyone answer my question above, does saying non-organic food has the same nutritional value as organic food mean the same thing as saying that non-organic food is just as safe as eating organic foods? I really think the latter is what organic consumers are into.

    I happen to agree. I don’t think that the non-existence of a nutritional difference is really that big a deal. Consumers are seeking perceived safety and flavor improvement, not more nutrition. “Healthy” in terms of Organics equates to “less toxic” not “better nutritional value”.

  309. heh, if you want to embrace the lifestyle of a caveman, be irrational all you like. Just do not expect to get lauded for it.

    Who expected to be lauded for it? I fully expected to be attacked for daring to question the usefulness of this article.

    Last I checked, despite Hazel Meade’s assertions, I dont go around showing off my affluence and ability to buy the more expensive organic food

  310. The study’s abstract, FYI.

    ABSTRACT

    Background: Despite growing consumer demand for organically produced foods, information based on a systematic review of their nutritional quality is lacking.

    Objective: We sought to quantitatively assess the differences in reported nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.

    Design: We systematically searched PubMed, Web of Science, and CAB Abstracts for a period of 50 y from 1 January 1958 to 29 February 2008, contacted subject experts, and hand-searched bibliographies. We included peer-reviewed articles with English abstracts in the analysis if they reported nutrient content comparisons between organic and conventional foodstuffs. Two reviewers extracted study characteristics, quality, and data. The analyses were restricted to the most commonly reported nutrients.

    Results: From a total of 52,471 articles, we identified 162 studies (137 crops and 25 livestock products); 55 were of satisfactory quality. In an analysis that included only satisfactory quality studies, conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen, and organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity. No evidence of a difference was detected for the remaining 8 of 11 crop nutrient categories analyzed. Analysis of the more limited database on livestock products found no evidence of a difference in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced livestock products.

    Conclusions: 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 foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.

    Some pertinent material from the paper:

    Most of the studies contained no information on sample size or variability around central estimates. The analysis presented is therefore a pragmatic choice that permitted the available data to be used to its fullest extent.

    External review

    An independent expert review panel was constituted to oversee
    and advise on the conduct of the review. The panel comprised
    a subject expert (Julie Lovegrove, University of Reading, United
    Kingdom) and an expert in public health nutrition with systematic
    review experience (MartinWiseman, University of Southampton,
    United Kingdom, and World Cancer Research Fund International,
    United Kingdom). The expert independent review
    panel provided feedback on the review protocol, which was
    incorporated into the final protocol posted online on 18 April
    2008 at http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/nphiru/research/organic/. Relevant
    subject experts and external bodies were informed about the
    availability of the review protocol. Comments from the expert
    panel were incorporated into the final report, which was also sent
    by the funder for external peer review by 5 subject experts.
    Relevant peer review comments were incorporated into this
    report.

    DISCUSSION

    The analysis presented suggests that organically and conventionally
    produced foods are comparable in their nutrient
    content. For 10 of 13 nutrient categories analyzed, there were no
    significant differences between production methods. Differences
    that were detected in crops were biologically plausible and were
    most likely due to differences in fertilizer use (nitrogen and
    phosphorus) (3) and ripeness at harvest (titratable acidity) (16). It
    is unlikely that consumption of these nutrients at the levels
    reported in organic foods in this study provide any health benefit.

    An important corollary is that organically produced foods are not
    inferior to conventionally produced foods with respect to their
    nutrient content.

    An additional analysis including all 162 studies
    identified, irrespective of quality, similarly concluded that there
    was no evidence of important differences in nutrient content
    between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs
    (data not shown).

    This review had several strengths, such as its systematic and
    exhaustive nature, its broad inclusion criteria, and its methodologic
    rigor. However, because of the limitations of the extracted data,
    no formal meta-analysis was possible.
    To make best use of the
    available data, we elected to combine results from different study
    designs and calculated standardized differences across foods by nutrient category. This will have resulted in the loss of the more
    nuanced findings from individual studies on specific foods but
    was chosen to be the most effective method for including and
    reporting all available data in a standardized form.

  311. Like I said, Cato has consistently been against the subsidization that Big Agribusiness, etc., use to dominate the food industry…

  312. I’ve lived all over the country max hats, and the majority of my social acquaintances fall in the hippie category, and I assure you, these people are NOT in my head.

    Also, I’ve heard the ‘these people are imaginary, they don’t really exist’ crap from progressives before. They do exist, and you know it. Try a new tack.

  313. What’s ironic about the “urinated upon apple” example is that it is the organic apple that is way more likely to have actual shit on it than the nonorganic one.

  314. Okay, sure, I have no doubt that somewhere, there is a small group of people who disapprove of your lifestyle, Hazel.

    So what?

  315. A couple of points more related to the article.

    The article specifically excludes questions related to pesticides.

    The article specifically excludes questions related to the environment.

    The article lumps together such a large array of foodstuffs and nutrients that it is hard to even say what question it is asking.

    The article notes that the organic products do have more nutrients, but speculate that the difference is not great enough to make a difference at the level of public health.

    They do not demonstrate anything about public health, because they did not test effects on public health.

    Again, look to durk’s comment…read the actual research and be a bit more skeptical.

  316. If lab tests demonstrated that an apple that has been pissed on is no less healthy than one that has not I’m afraid it’s not crazy to prefer the latter.

    Actually, yes it yes. The yuckiness factor is not rational.

  317. I think MP nailed it.

    This study is really kind of relevant to just about nothing. I mean, were organic proponents really claiming their carrots had more vitamin A than non-organic? It always seems to me what they are claiming is either 1. product is safer 2. some romantic bullshit about small farms vs. big soul-less companies

  318. Oh, and there’s this global warming reducing the carbon footprint angle I hear a lot too (local products not shipped as much or something)

  319. I fully expected to be attacked for daring to question the usefulness of this article.

    Just as Ron Bailey fully expects to be attacked for daring to question the superiority of Organic foods.

    Which of you has a better scientific foundation?

  320. I note that even though you have libertarian defenders on here, you’re quick to stereotype us, little Tom. Looking for an excuse to broadly condemn the whole movement, are we?

    Not really TAO. Just looking to get some of your ilk to tone it the fuck down.

    You see the reason I come around these parts is because I too have libertarian leanings, and I actually advocate libertarian positions to my friends and family.

    And I don’t think stereotype is a good word for it, when 90% of the commenters are actually engaging in what I am accusing them of, that’s called an observation not a stereotype.

    And those libertarian defenders are the same commenters that you “hardcore libertarians” attack as liberals and statists quite often, so spare me your indignation. Most of you guys are as predictable and dogmatic as the NRO and daily kos commenters.

  321. Actually, yes it yes. The yuckiness factor is not rational.

    It isn’t eh? So it isn’t rational to not drink piss when water is available, since the yuk factor isn’t rational and they are both safe to drink.

  322. “The yuckiness factor is not rational.”

    I guess technically, but rationality is pretty poor indeed if doesn’t take certain basic human reactions as givens.

    For example in grad school we read this article arguing that adultery laws should not be made because one basis for the law, that people will get enraged and hurt others if they catch their partner in adultery, was irrational. But surely a rational legislature will take that kind of reaction as a very human thing…

  323. What’s ironic about the “urinated upon apple” example is that it is the organic apple that is way more likely to have actual shit on it than the nonorganic one.

    Citation?

  324. Hazel Meade | July 29, 2009, 6:30pm

    I’ve got news for ya!! CATO and the Reason Foundation wouldn’t be around unless they got big donations from various interest groups. Corporations. Just a quick search on google turns up lots of pro Monsanto articles written by CATO people!!

    Why wouldn’t they want to write one article after another that their donors support! This isn’t rocket science.

  325. Just as Ron Bailey fully expects to be attacked for daring to question the superiority of Organic foods.

    But that isn’t why I commented in the first place. It’s they way he questions it. He doesn’t actually cite/refute any specific claims. He merely attacks what he thinks people are saying (like you have been this whole thread)

    I don’t think Oraganics is a third rail topic, but I have a problem with the disingenuous way the topic is covered. I dont recall seeing any article on Reason that discusses the pesticides aspect of Organics — just the nutritional differences aspect. That to me is dishonest.

  326. highnumber!!!

    How was your birthday dude?! Did you have an opportunity to get shit-faced??

  327. NM: what you say may be true, but remember: sandal wearing Starbucks sipping hybrid driving hippies like organic food!

  328. Okay, I think I get it. You feel compelled to adopt the social norm on organics, because otherwise your family would dismiss you as a right wing hack, and stop listening to your libertarian arguments on more important issues.

    Did I come close to the mark?

  329. The myth of Reason’s libertarianism

    Nick Gillespie, Editor, Reason.com and Reason.tv: thinks liquidity injections are “necessary and proper.”
    Matt Welch, Editor in Chief, Reason magazine: supported US invasion of Serbia, Justin Raimondo has an entire article on Welch here.
    Katherine Mangu-Ward, Associate Editor – supported Iraq war.
    Michael C. Moynihan, Associate Editor – supported Iraq war.
    David Weigel, Associate Editor – supported Iraq war.
    Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent – vocal advocate of a carbon tax.
    Michael Young, Contributing Editor – still supports Iraq invasion.

  330. Why wouldn’t they want to write one article after another that their donors support! This isn’t rocket science.

    And Ron has even dropped his typical disclosure statement…

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but the absence of a disclaimer is the same as a claim

    Or something ;^)

  331. “I dont recall seeing any article on Reason that discusses the pesticides aspect of Organics — just the nutritional differences aspect. That to me is dishonest.”

    At least its pretty irrelevant I should think.

    On the other hand: hippies!

  332. Okay, I think I get it. You feel compelled to adopt the social norm on organics, because otherwise your family would dismiss you as a right wing hack, and stop listening to your libertarian arguments on more important issues.

    Did I come close to the mark?

    What social norm? The social norm is to look down on organics as a waste. I don’t what reality you live in, but most people I know (even the raging lefties that I associate with) have their doubts about the benefits.

    or are you really trying to pretend that being anti-organic is cutting edge and non-conformist? Is that why you hate them so much? Cuz you think everyone else likes them?

  333. It isn’t eh? So it isn’t rational to not drink piss when water is available, since the yuk factor isn’t rational and they are both safe to drink.

    Try again. Piss tastes horrible. If pissing on an Apple changed its flavor profile, then there would be a rational reason to seek to avoid it. That, however, was not the claim being made. It was simply about being in contact with piss vs. not, not about how piss substantively changed the characteristics of the apple.

    But surely a rational legislature will take that kind of reaction as a very human thing.

    A rational choice can based on an understanding of human irrationalities.

  334. I just told you why. It’s a major social trend based on pseudo-science and/or fear of the unknown, where there’s scientific evidence that’s contrary to the beliefs on which the trend is based. How is this not a perfect candidate for Reason?

    Bulllllllllllllllllllll-shit.

    Bailey isn’t interested in it because it’s a “major social trend”.

    He’s interested in it because he wants to pre-emptively attack anything that might be used to justify government restrictions on industrial farming methods.

    I oppose such government restrictions, too, but I’m going to oppose the government restrictions, and not the consumer preferences of participants in a niche market.

    Basically this is the equivalent of repetitively publishing articles claiming that people who aren’t fat suck and that fat people are the balls, because you’re afraid that some nanny state people might enact stupid laws to fight obesity and you want to pre-empt that.

  335. Suggested headline for this posting.

    New systematic review shows that scientific evidence for claims about differences in nutrient content of organic foods is still lacking do to poor quality of available research.

    Or the catchier:

    We still don’t know.
    Science has provided us with no evidence one way or another.

    Or

    Damn hippies.

  336. The myth of Reason’s libertarianism

    The only myth is the concept of the one true libertarian.

  337. What social norm? The social norm is to look down on organics as a waste. I don’t what reality you live in, but most people I know (even the raging lefties that I associate with) have their doubts about the benefits.

    Not where I live. You must live in a small town in Kansas or something. I would have trouble locating anyone in my acquaintance that doesn’t take it as a given that organics are healthier. And say so with a vaguely snooty attitude, too.

  338. I think fluffy’s comments are on point, I’d bet many people see pro-organic folks as being quite likely to go from “people should create consumer demand for organics” to “government should fight non-organic methods.” Hell, they’re probably right…

  339. Thanks, Tom! No, no shit-facedness for me. Had dinner at home with the family eating Trader Joe’s Indian food. (which is more fun than it sounds)

  340. Organics don’t have the clout you attribute to them Hazel, I mean just note how small of the market they are. That should tell you they don’t have much value to most folks…

  341. Hazel,

    So, if I am interpreting you correctly, your claim is that your faith-based belief that there is no important difference is more correct than the faith-based belief of those whom you disagree with. Is that about accurate.

    Or are you gonna cite this review as evidence that you are being more rational?

  342. When it’s all said and done, Ron Bailey is just a Pimp for big Agribusiness. That’s fine!! I have no problem with that. But no one has been more at war with organic farming, family farming and buying local than big agribusiness.

    Google Monsanto and Ronald Bailey and you turn up lots of fun stuff. :>)

  343. So, if I am interpreting you correctly, your claim is that your faith-based belief that there is no important difference is more correct than the faith-based belief of those whom you disagree with. Is that about accurate.

    This is like saying that atheism is just as “faith-based” as theism.

    FTR, I am an atheist, and yeah I can’t prove Gods don’t exist, and yes my belief that there is no God is more correct than the belief that there is.

  344. Hazel,

    This is like saying that atheism is just as “faith-based” as theism.

    Except that the question at hand is one that “is a question of fact that is amenable to scientific analysis.”

    So, no, it’s not like that.

    If you are being skeptical and saying “You don’t know that to be true” then you are correct, the science is still out.

    But you seem to be making a stronger claim more along the lines of “the science says you are wrong.”

    If I attributed too strong a position to you, my mistake.

    But come on. Don’t pretend that you have a more rational argument against the belief than Chicago Tom has for the belief.

    Yours is no more or less faith-based.

  345. This is like saying that atheism is just as “faith-based” as theism.

    Hard atheism is just as faith-based as macro-theism (my term for the God of creation, not the God of making me hit a home run). It’s a belief in randomness vs. construction.

    FWIW, I’m a hard atheist.

  346. William R., I just took up your invitation and in a 30 second effort, I found some paydirt.

  347. Basically this is the equivalent of repetitively publishing articles claiming that people who aren’t fat suck and that fat people are the balls, because you’re afraid that some nanny state people might enact stupid laws to fight obesity and you want to pre-empt that.

    And I’d argue that some libertarians are afraid to contradict popular beliefs about organics because it is becoming socially unacceptable in some circles to do so.

    You know what busts up the formation of stupid social norms? Repeated and relentless puncturing of the false beliefs that underly them. No matter how much the “bien-pensant’s” howl and scream about it and try to suppress criticism.

    Ron Bailey is doing exactly the right thing. People need to have their sacred cows punctured and organic foods is becoming a sacred cow.

  348. MNG-

    Not me. I do not buy Bailey’s “science” any more than I buy the CDC’s obesity “statistics.”

  349. You know what busts up the formation of stupid social norms? Repeated and relentless puncturing of the false beliefs that underly them.

    So, you ARE making the stronger claim. You are not claiming that those who believe in organics have no evidence for their belief. You are claiming that they are making false claims…claims that go against the facts…claims that go against the truth.

    But the truth is not known, so there are no false beliefs to puncture or pillory.

  350. Hazel Meade-

    Oraganics ARE BETTER!

    You need not worry that I would ever support any state imposed consumption of organics. You would be free to down all of the HFCS your heart desired.

  351. max hats | July 29, 2009, 5:33pm | #

    …people here getting angry about organic foods.

    I never read any “anger” anywhere except from the pro-organic crew, infuriated that anyone would dare puncture their cherished myths… the vituperation ensued after that, naturally.

    ChicagoTom | July 29, 2009, 4:58pm | #

    It’s the only rational explanation for the war on organics.

    LOL

    Like the “War on Christmas”… har.

    No one is “attacking” organic foods. It is simply injecting *facts* into a myth-filled topic that some people take WAY too personally.

    Tom, Chicago. Ben, Brother.

    The immediate devolution of the discussion into “its political! Its class war!” shows how ridiculously defensive people are about this. Its never about the actual *merits*. Its about identity and politics and blah blah blah. For some that might be the case but they are the minority. Most just want facts. (raises hand)

    I recently saw a “Organic Dry Cleaning” shop in Park Slope Brooklyn. Now *thats* a sweet scam!

  352. But the truth is not known, so there are no false beliefs to puncture or pillory.

    Agreed. I definitely fall on the skeptical side. It’s not that I think ChicagoTom et. al. is flat out wrong in their basis for buying Organics. It’s that there’s no science that shows me that it’s worth spending extra coin on it. Without that, I’m going to save my nickels for my blu-ray collection.

  353. Dear god folks get a grip. It’s just fucking fruits and vegetables.

  354. Poor Fluffy likes organic carrots up the ass and gets pissed when anyone criticizes organic carrots.

    Just too funny. Again, I’m in favor of organic garbage because I think it’s a service to humanity to rip stupid people off.

  355. William R., I just took up your invitation and in a 30 second effort, I found some paydirt.

    So does Monsanto suck? Does Ron Bailey suck?

  356. Neu Mejican:
    But the truth is not known, so there are no false beliefs to puncture or pillory.

    The best you can say for the organic movement, is that we can’t PROVE there aren’t any health benefits?

    Really?

    And this is a reason NOT to make fun of them?

  357. MP, I’m not sure about the rationality thing. I think Hume was right, that reason essentially serves a utilitarian function, in other words its about means to ends. The ends are usually incapable of rational defense or derivation. For example you say that not wanting to drink the pee soaked apple is irrational if the pee is not harmful, but that presupposes that reason establishes that “we should not avoid acts that are harmless.” What lies behind this is an end, namely a preference for long life and health, that probably cannot be justified via reason alone.

    So if one has as an end goal to not eat things which have urinated upon, given that this end goal cannot be justified by reason alone, it would be reasonable or rational to act by rules that minimized your chances of eating urine-soaked items.

  358. Hazel
    I think if you combine two quite normal and natural conclusions, namely 1. that it has not been proven that organic foods are not safer than non-organic foods and 2. that ingesting chemicals that kill life should be avoided in life, then one can certainly rationally decide to play it safe by going organic.

  359. Neu, you made this claim twice:

    The article notes that the organic products do have more nutrients, but speculate that the difference is not great enough to make a difference at the level of public health.

    Is there anything in the actual paper that leads you to the conclusion of more nutrients in organic foods? I note that the article mentions:

    …there were a small number of differences in nutrition between organic and conventionally produced food…

    and, more specifically:

    …conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen, and organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity.

    From the article alone, it seems misleading to state that organic foods have more nutrition since they also have less as well.

  360. My organic cucumber can kick the snot out of your pesticide dependent cucumber.

    euphemism intended

  361. The subhead is Free minds and free markets. Telling the truth about the sham that is organic farming and the anti-GM movement certainly falls under the former.

  362. Note, among the long list of things the study didn’t control for, that it didn’t control for ripeness of produce. An “organic” producer (i.e. a greenwashed corporate agribusiness operation) is likely to machine-pick its produce green in California and then gas-ripen it for sale cross-country. An organic local market gardener is likely to sell vine-ripened produce. A study that conflates the organic/conventional distinction with the large-mechanized/conventional distinction, without controlling for the latter, is likely to be worthless.

    But I think we’ve already established that Bailey grasps at any straw that serves his agenda.

    More cheerleading.

  363. Look in the mirror first, Mr. Carson. It is you who conflates organic with ripeness. Since the organic labeling does not specify vine-ripeness, why are you bringing it up? Would it matter if a conventional local producer sell vine-ripened produce versus an organic producer?

  364. That the leftists and the Rockwellites flooded this topic is a good sign you are onto something. Keep up the good work, Ron.

  365. No Name,

    From the article alone, it seems misleading to state that organic foods have more nutrition since they also have less as well.

    Indeed.

    So, given that there was a difference in three measured nutrients, one with an advantage going to conventional, and two with an advantage going to organic, why is the headline what it is?

    I hope you noticed that I don’t think the study really does much to move us towards an answer on the question, but any of its speculative claims need to be placed in the context of the mild advantage in nutrient levels for organics that it found, imho.

    Hazel,
    The best you can say for the organic movement, is that we can’t PROVE there aren’t any health benefits?

    I wasn’t talking about the organic movement. I was talking the large blinders you seem to be wearing in the discussion. You are defending someone who has presented speculation as fact in order to make points in a socio-cultural food fight. And you are doing it by claiming the speculations on one side are fact and those on the other are delusions.

    Anyone willing to point to this study as myth dispelling evidence has not read the study (or has not understood what it says).

  366. So the question in my mind is this…

    Does the piss-poor state of science reporting in the popular press help entrench existing beliefs and exacerbate the partisan divides in our culture?

    H&R threads on this issue and global warming seem to indicate that they do. Since there are poorly done studies on both sides of the issue, and since the reporting typically cherry picks based on a provocative conclusion rather than the quality of the study, people from both sides of the issue can point to “science” “myths” “facts” and the like to bolster their gut-instinct on the issue and feel assured that they are talking from authority.

  367. Neu,

    Actually, I do not think, given the information in the abstract, that we can characterize the differences in the nutrient levels found between conventional and organic produce as advantages or disadvantages. At least, I am not qualified to make such a claim even if I read the actual paper, but I note that the article quotes the author asserting that no advantages were merited given the difference found

    Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.

    Is this mere speculation on Dr. Dangour’s part, or rather his judgment on the comparative advantages of the differences in nutrient levels found? So, does “nutritious” refer to quantifiable nutrient levels or qualitative (comparative advantages) nutrient levels?

  368. I think the argument for organic is less about nutritional value an more about sustainability and the lack of chemical additives.

    I wonder who actually paid for this study? I haven’t found anything about that.

  369. Noname,

    The article does a meta-analysis of chemical nutrient levels. It does not measure health effects in any way.

    So, when the doctor says there is “no evidence” he is referring to nutrient levels (absence of evidence is, of course, not evidence of absence, particularly in this case).

    Where the article gets speculative is in the conclusions drawn from there results. They go from nutrient level to public health consequences and back pretty readily in their discussion. It doesn’t seem warranted from their results, imho.

    To be fair to the researchers…they spend a good deal of time talking about how poorly done the majority of research that they looked at is, and how that makes it hard to answer their research question. They admit that they were not able to do their planned meta-analysis and that they had to come up with a better-than-nothing analysis. But the hedges about data get lost as soon as they start talking about the implications of their findings.

  370. I do not think, given the information in the abstract, that we can characterize the differences in the nutrient levels found between conventional and organic produce as advantages or disadvantages.

    My use of the term advantage is meant to be interpreted strictly as “has a statistically significant numerical value.”

    The researchers (correctly, I think) dismiss these as unlikely to have important public consequences…but it is very important to be clear that they have no evidence to claim this. All there study says is that there are small differences on 3 nutrients. They didn’t measure the effects on health these difference might have.

  371. Neu,

    Gotcha, I concur, though generally, I intuitively agree with the paper’s author’s conclusion.

    I have only read the BBC article and the abstract. There is no reference to research regarding health for nutrient levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the paper? Does the paper discuss the forms in which these nutrients are found, like for example, percentages in amino acid or salt?

  372. No name,

    The analysis presented suggests that organically and conventionally produced foods are comparable in their nutrient content. For 10 of 13 nutrient categories analyzed, there were no significant differences between production methods. Differences that were detected in crops were biologically plausible and were most likely due to differences in fertilizer use (nitrogen and phosphorus) (3) and ripeness at harvest (titratable acidity) (16). It is unlikely that consumption of these nutrients at the levels reported in organic foods in this study provide any health benefit. An important corollary is that organically produced foods are not inferior to conventionally produced foods with respect to their nutrient content.

    There is no reference to research regarding health for nutrient levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the paper?

    See above. There are several similar statements, never a citation.

    Does the paper discuss the forms in which these nutrients are found, like for example, percentages in amino acid or salt?

    Nope. They seem to have accepted pretty much anything that could be construed as a nutrient in any form in their search for enough data to analyze. The note in their discussion that they used lax quality criteria, and still could get enough data to do their planned meta-analysis.

  373. I agree that the London study did not address the pesticides and chemicals on and in conventional foods. Some apples are sprayed up to 16 times with up to 30 different chemicals and waxes. The price difference is not that much when you think of the LONG TERM effects of the chemicals, another issue that was not mentioned in the study–incomplete and biased study!

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