Organic food and….

Well, of course, certain people were not going to take this finding lying down:

In the most comprehensive study ever to be carried out into the nutritional content of organic food compared to ordinary fare, scientists found no significant difference in vitamins and minerals.

Me, I am absolutely certain that at least some organic* meat tastes better: but that\’s to do with slower growth and their diet, not the \”organic\” part. I\’ also entirely happy to agree that certain organic fruits and vegetables taste better: but I tend to think that this is because they are different varieties rather than because they are organic.

The splutters about why this report must be wrong don\’t quite ring true though:

But celebrity chefs and organic farmers said the studies failed to take into account the health impact of the \”cocktail of chemicals\” left on conventional food and the environmental benefits of growing organic food on wildlife-friendly farms.

Environmental benefits? Meh….offset those against teh need for more land and not sure there are any. But anyway, that\’s not what this report was looking at. On the pesticides, well, there have been any number of reports into pesticide residues and the most important fact from all of them is that 99% of the pesticides found in the food you might eat are naturally occuring ones, created by the plants themselves to fight off predators. The 1% or less is simply trivial by comparison.

Lord Melchett, Policy Director of The Soil Association, argued that the small differences in minerals and vitamins found in the study do benefit health.

\”The FSA study does show generally that there are beneficial nutrients in organic than non-organic, but the researchers have concluded these are not important – for example, flavonoids and beta carotene. We think they are and more recent studies back these up. \”

We could do a nice little test there actually. What is the increase in these \”nutrients\” (what the rest of us would call chemicals actually)? 10%? 20%? And the price increase for organic is 50%? More? So you get more of them by buying the non-organic and eating a little more at a lower price.

One predicton: this will run and run…..


*Yes, yes, all food is organic but that\’s not what people mean here.

5 thoughts on “Organic food and….”

  1. Organic milk certianly tastes nicer, though whether that is due to their diet or a lack of (?) i’m not sure i know or really care.

  2. Appearance, taste, “I do not care if it costs more, it makes me feel better,” et al, seem to be some of the organic defenses being thrown up. Each secondary and superficial to the purpose of food: nutrition and sustinence.

    Can the same secondary and superficial thoughts be used in regards to automobile choices, energy choices, clothing, air-conditioning, et al?

    While it may be a coincidence, it does seem to be the pro organic types always nagging about conspicuous consumption of this that and the other thing based upon superficial and non-important reasons. The “buy out of need, not want” crowd.

    Or does superficiality only count when they do not like the choices of others?

  3. “I am absolutely certain that at least some organic* meat tastes better: but that’s to do with slower growth and their diet, not the “organic” part. I’ also entirely happy to agree that certain organic fruits and vegetables taste better: but I tend to think that this is because they are different varieties rather than because they are organic.”

    Some years ago, a cru classe producer in the Medoc was once asked about going organic. He asked what was involved and pointed out that he was doing nearly all of it already.

  4. “I am absolutely certain that at least some organic* meat tastes better: but that’s to do with slower growth and their diet, not the “organic” part. I’ also entirely happy to agree that certain organic fruits and vegetables taste better: but I tend to think that this is because they are different varieties rather than because they are organic.” …. indeed, indeed, indeed, my own thoughts exactly, in general organic stuff is better quality from the start, grown for more exacting customers.
    Sainsbury’s own brand organic milk is most excellent – i recommend that readers try it. M&S and Waitrose organic milk is not worth a premium, nor is Rachel’s and Yeo Valley is better but not brilliant, the Sainsbury’s organic milk really is a superiour product – go ahead and try it.

  5. I don’t take the organic food movement at face value: molecules are molecules to me, whether they’re artificial or not. My wife buys organic meat because apparently they’re kinder to the animals, which is fair enough if you care about that sort of thing.

    On the other hand, so far I don’t *think* the organic movement is trying to force its values on the rest of us. I worry that they might do so at some point, and they probably overlap somewhat with groups who would ban various substances from use. So perhaps they’re fair game…

    Still, I don’t particularly want a government agency telling us organic food isn’t more healthy any more than I want one telling us burgers aren’t healthy. The government should leave us *all* alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *