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Is organic food worth the extra cost?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
  3. Sometimes

    14 vote(s)
  4. canned carrots.

    1 vote(s)
  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I buy organic food when it is practical. I live walking distance from a very large farmer's marked where I can get organic produce at the same price or not much more than standard produce. It is not a boutique farmer's market so prices are not significantly higher.
    I can't say for sure one way or another that food minus pesticides and chemical fertilizers is healthier but if I can afford it I will go that way.
    There is some debate about whether organic tastes better. In my experience it usually does. That could be that the organic produce I get at the farmer's market is fresher than some of the produce I would get at a grocery store. Not sure about that either, just speculation.
    I think there are times when food grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers is probably a better choice. If you have a lot of mouths to feed and not much money would be one example. Another would be a country where there are a lot of poor people to feed and limited resources. I think going with crops that produce the greatest yield is the best choice.
    Here is an interesting article. I think the journalist tried to look at the pros and cons in a balanced way. She also talks about the affects of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the enviroment.

    I'm guessing we are going to have very different outlooks on this subject. Have fun but be cool.
  2. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I worry less about GMO food than I do about antibiotics in meat and poultry, but I do buy organic when I can afford it.
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    My wife is always on my keester to buy organic everything because I do most of the shopping & cooking. My policy is that if it has a soft skin (like tomatoes) I'll usually go organic. Avacados, watermelon, etc, not so much ... add it's harder for the pesticides to soak through to the inside. Taste wise, i have had some better flavor from fresher organics
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I get some produce delivered via FullCircle - it's "organic". Side-by-side, it tastes better than the stuff I get in the grocery stores here, though it is also noticably more fresh. I can't wait for the local farmer's markets to spin up to full tilt though for more direct A/B time. I'll keep buying from Full Circle, partly because it's easy and partly because I like it.
    Having said that, I grew up working on a small farm, so I'm not entirely sold on the "organic" or "anti-gmo" things.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I answered sometimes.

    The wife and I can definitively tell the difference between organic and non-organic produce we buy locally.

  6. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I'd have to say yes to a noticeable taste difference... I can't say if it is related to the organic aspect or maybe that it just isn't as "mass farmed".

    I don't always buy all the hype, but I do feel as though eliminating some of the chemicals has contributed to a pretty healthy body at my age.
  7. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I would love to hear about what you learned on the farm about the different ways of farming ane why you have doubts. All I can do is read about it but you have hands on experience.
  8. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    what does Organic even mean these days?!! :confused:
  9. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I can taste the difference between wild trout and farm-raised trout. It's not a huge difference but there is one.
  10. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Here is a quote from the article I linked:

    What is organic food?

    Organic food is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Crops are grown using natural fertilizers, like poop, instead of phosphorus. Technically, organic food is also not processed with radiation, "industrial solvents," or food additives.

    The production process for food to be labeled as organic is highly regulated. Producers need to attain special certification to label their food as organic. These certifications can get confusing, though, when companies use similar wording and the product doesn't fall under these regulations.

    Meat products can also be manufactured under organic conditions. That means farmed animals, like cows, are not given antibiotics (usually administered to kill or stop the growth of harmful bacteria) or hormones (to increase milk production and growth rate), and are fed organic feed.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/which-is-better-organic-or-traditional-food-2013-5#ixzz2wFxhF2CX
  11. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    That is an entirely different discussion we could have here.

    Farmed fish vs. wild caught.

    For years I though I didn't like salmon. The first time I tasted wild caught salmon I changed my mind. The trout I used to catch in the wilderness were a lot better tasting than the farmed trout, even the farmed trout that I caught after it was planted in a lake or river.
  12. Swerve


    Nov 22, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I try to buy most things organic, within reason of course. My first foray into organic food came when I got a job as a teen at a health food store. Before then, I had always just eaten whatever my parents had bought or cooked. Since I got a discount at the store I started buying a lot of what they had to offer. The first thing I noticed was that fruits, veggies, and even the "organic" sodas tasted much better than the standard fair my parents were buying at the supermarket.

    Second, and this was a selling point for me, was that I pooped more often when I ate organic food. My guess is that my body has an easier time digesting it because it wasn't filled with preservatives or other additives. That's anecdotal of course but there must be some truth to it.

    These days I try to buy most things either locally grown or organic, but if I don't or its not available I don't sweat over it.
  13. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
  14. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I think so, yeah. It's a shame it's become one of those words that people (including me) make fun of... (weave your own organic hummous etc).

    "free range" meat is certainly worth it i think.
  15. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I would be looking at the guy in the polo shirt with the mousthache. But then he probably thinks I'm funny looking too. :p
  16. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    Penn and Tellers BS episode on organic food. Definitely worth watching.

    My favorite part is when they do a taste test for organic shoppers and ask which banana is organic and which isn't. They all pick one of the two options and describe it as fresher and better for you. Turns out both samples are from the same banana. They make it clear that it's not a proper scientific test, but it's interesting.
  17. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009

    phosphorus IS organic. my problem with the "organic" designation is lately it's thrown around as a sales pitch by people who also use chems. :( if you grow your own veggies, make your own ferts & pesticides,... it's easy and very educational.
  18. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Organic is arguably beneficial in terms of flavor and health directly, but we often purchase it for the sustainability aspect.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I grew up on a small family farm in the '70s and '80's.

    We used herbicides including atrazine.

    I've always had this weird twitch in my left eye but it only happens when I'm thinking about killing people.

    :D kidding........just kidding.

    We did use some pesticides, although were not a "wholly dependent chemical farm" or whatever you'd call it. There wasn't much of an "organic craze" back then....I don't think anybody even used that word. There also wasn't such a big presence of GMO's or jacking livestock full of weird stuff. DNA hadn't been figured out yet. There was plenty of variety of seed from big companies, but still, mostly anyway, different strains of stuff bred the old fashiined way, not injecting some animal DNA into a plant or whatever. Some of the seed was coated with some stuff, probably fertilizer, possibly mixed with some herbicide so the crops would spring up and not get choked out by weeds, who knows.

    At the time, applying herbicides or pesticides helped, but it wasn't at the level it is today. One of our main fertilizers was known as a "manure spreader" and was quite effective.

    Our main grain crops were corn, oats and soybeans. Also a field of alfalpha for hay for the cows. In the '70's it was a black angus beef cattle and hog farm, with a few ducks, in addition to the grains and in the '80's my Dad switched it to a dairy farm. All this on 169 acres in central minnesota.

    Our beef and pork that we raised ourselves always tasted great. I'd also eat raw grain out of the field to no ill effect.

    The late '80's saw the death of the family farm and the rise of corporate farming operations. In came more "industrialized" farming. More pesticides and fertilizers, "warehousing" of animals, and eventually GMO's, DNA manipulation, antibiotic injection of animals, etc. When people got wind of that is when we first heard about "organics".

    I grew up and left home by '90 and the folks sold the farm and moved to town shortly after. I'm glad to have grown up on the farm during that time.

    So.....after talking about myself for quite a while, :) , I'll say that pesticides have their place and can be helpful, but I don't like where it's gone from there. I will buy organics from time to time, but it is too expensive a lot of the time, at least with stuff labeled "organic" in a supermarket. Local farmers markets or growing in your own backyard is where to get your organics these days.

    I must say, the difference in flavor and "richness" is very apparent to me. Mass produced stuff is geared towards yield, not nutritional content or flavor. I do use some pesticides nowdays to keep the fleas and bugs down, but don't spray it on the compost pile at all and don't spray it on any garden plants within 30 days of harvest.
  20. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I buy mostly organic. I only buy gmo's when I'm constrained by time, which isn't usually. I can definitely tell the difference in quality between the organic and the gmo's and I think it's better for my health to eat organic produce, so that's what I do. I think it's a good idea for people to "vote" for organic with their dollars, but ultimately whatever melts yer gmo-or-organic-butter is fine by me. It's your body, your choice.