Why eat Organic Food?

22 Oct

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/07/why-should-i-eat-organic-google

just came across the above article in The Guardian. What I find quite baffling is the following:

” . . .   Of the “conventional” non-organic food we eat, 46% contains residues of one or more pesticide, and levels are going up dramatically, not down: in 2003 the equivalent figure was just 25%. Consumers are assured that farmers and growers take human health protection very seriously, but the truth of the matter is that the National Farmers Union and chemical companies militantly defend their pesticide armoury in the face of any government attempt to restrict it . . . .”

” .  .  .  Can you afford organic? The annoying thing is that because the true environmental and health costs of chemical agriculture (pollution, soil erosion, ill health, animal suffering and more) are “externalised” , that is, not accounted for up front in calculations of the “efficiency” of our existing food system, organic food generally costs more. But choosing organic whenever you can nevertheless makes good sense. . .  .  ”

 

I ask myself: Can I afford organic? Peter and I buy food on a weekly basis with a certain amount of money. If we cannot increase this amount, I guess we just have to eat a bit less of everything to make the money last to buy only organic food! Some products in supermarkets are labelled ‘organic’. I have to check, how these products compare in price. How much more do organic products actually cost? 

I found this in http://www.pan-uk.org/files/pesticides_on_a_plate_2013_final.pdf

“A COMMON-SENSE APPROACH
Over recent years levels of pesticide residues in our food have been steadily
increasing, and as much as 40% of the food we eat contains them. Residues found
in several fruit categories exceeded Government limits. A number of the most widely
used are highly toxic and have been linked with developmental defects, cancers
and other disorders. . . . “

8 Responses to “Why eat Organic Food?”

  1. rangewriter October 23, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    I try to buy organic when I can. Like you say, it costs more, but I need to eat less anyway, so there should be a trade off. In the US, you have to read labels carefully though, because sometimes products appear to be “organically” grown, but they aren’t really. I admit though, when I eat out, I’m not a freak about where the food came from. I try to support local business that source local products, but that sometimes fall by the wayside.

    • auntyuta October 23, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      This reminds me of so called ‘free range eggs’, Linda. We have bought them for years and years, even though they have always been a bit more expensive. It turned out now, that ‘free range’ does not really have to mean free range at all! 🙂

  2. stuartbramhall October 23, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    I agree with rangewriter – a lot of products claim to be organic when they’re not. Obviously it’s best to grow your own (it’s not as hard as you think) or get fruits and veggies from farmers markets and natural health stores that specialize in organic produce.

    One way to make organic more affordable is to buy pulses (beans and lentils) in bulk and substitute a few meat meals with vegetable protein. You can get a 6 months supply of black beans for about $30. You can also save a lot by bulk purchasing rice.

    • auntyuta October 23, 2015 at 9:39 am #

      To buy pulses in bulk seems to be a good option, Stuart. This is what Matthew and our daughter Caroline often do.

  3. Aunt Beulah October 23, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    The pesticide/organic argument is perplexing to me for all the reasons you mention, Uta. Like you and your other readers, I try to frequent our local farmer’s market, buy some organic products, and wash the rest the best I can. Then I try not to worry about it — but I do!

    • auntyuta October 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Thanks for commenting, Janet. It says in that article of The Guardian:
      “. . . until the 1950s, all the food we ate was organically produced . . . ”
      and that this was the ‘normal’.

      Now, more and more people seem to be willing to make an effort to grow their own vegetables. Still, there may be billions of people who have no opportunity whatsoever to grow their own vegetables,

      I wonder, if all of a sudden we could go back to have only organically produced products, would there be sufficient food available for everyone on this earth?

      It seems to me all of this is a great health and supply issue.

      So far, despite all the poisons, we seem to be healthier than generations before us. But who knows what the future will hold for mankind – – –

  4. gerard oosterman October 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Australia is one of the world’s highest users of insecticides, pesticides and fungicides. The real problem is that the things ( plants/animals) that get sprayed, doused or injected change genetically and learn to cope with poisons and even overcome men’s obsession with trying to dominate nature. Chemical companies then try even stronger chemicals. It is a race to the end.
    Monsanto is one of the worst offenders in chemically poisoning our environment. Of course, Australia should be far stricter in prohibiting some of those chemicals like thy try and do in many other countries. The same goes for over the counter medications. Too easily available in Australia.
    It is called ‘freedom’!

    • auntyuta October 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      It is great to hear from you, Gerard. I agree with everything you say here. In a way it is great that you can voice your opinion like this. This means we still do have some kind of freedom. We can say all these things. You say, it is a race to the end. Too right. Business wont give up. They got to do what is profitable. Millions of people want food. Starvation has to be prevented! But most people have to eat what the companies are willing to provide for them. If some chemicals and poisons come with it, this is just too bad, isn’t it? You have the freedom to become your own grower of healthy foods or buy only organic products if you can afford it. Total freedom! Yes, it is called ‘freedom’.

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