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Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:37 PM

 

You remember that big anti-organic food study last week? Guess who funded it.

Cargill and others with ties to Big Ag, surprise, surprise.

"A study released last week by Stanford scientists, which claims organic foods are no more healthy than non-organic foods, was funded by corporate agriculture and biotechnology giants, according to a new report by the Cornucopia Institute.

"We were not one bit surprised to find that the agribusiness giant Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural business enterprise, and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which have deep ties to agricultural chemical and biotechnology corporations like Monsanto, have donated millions to Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, where some of the scientists who published this study are affiliates and fellows," said Charlotte Vallaeys, Food and Farm Policy Director at the Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit organic farm policy organization.

On September 3, Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, released the research, garnishing widespread press coverage from corporate news outlets such as the New York Times, Associated Press, and CBS News. As the New York Times reported, the study "concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive."
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/09/13-5

Academics for hire:
"Organic advocates also discovered that one of the study’s authors has a well-documented history of accepting research funding from the tobacco industry when a growing body of scientific literature in the 1970s pointed to serious health risks from smoking.

Dr. Ingram Olkin, a Professor Emeritus in statistics at Stanford and co-author of the organics study, accepted money from the tobacco industry’s Council for Tobacco Research, which has been described as using science for “perpetrating fraud on the public.”
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/09/12-8

No, not really all that surprising after all.

96 replies, 15841 views

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Reply You remember that big anti-organic food study last week? Guess who funded it. (Original post)
MadHound Sep 2012 OP
Confusious Sep 2012 #1
MadHound Sep 2012 #5
Confusious Sep 2012 #7
MadHound Sep 2012 #11
Confusious Sep 2012 #19
MNBrewer Sep 2012 #25
AllyCat Sep 2012 #58
Honeycombe8 Sep 2012 #90
fasttense Sep 2012 #44
xxqqqzme Sep 2012 #56
Angry Dragon Sep 2012 #2
gollygee Sep 2012 #3
Gormy Cuss Sep 2012 #12
pasto76 Sep 2012 #24
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #37
druidity33 Sep 2012 #41
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #42
druidity33 Sep 2012 #65
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #66
truedelphi Sep 2012 #64
Avalux Sep 2012 #4
ThoughtCriminal Sep 2012 #6
Confusious Sep 2012 #9
Blanks Sep 2012 #45
theinquisitivechad Sep 2012 #8
mathematic Sep 2012 #10
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #15
mathematic Sep 2012 #20
Confusious Sep 2012 #22
mathematic Sep 2012 #28
Iris Sep 2012 #86
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #23
Major Nikon Sep 2012 #72
drokhole Sep 2012 #13
jillan Sep 2012 #16
drokhole Sep 2012 #27
jillan Sep 2012 #33
Confusious Sep 2012 #63
Blanks Sep 2012 #47
truedelphi Sep 2012 #92
jillan Sep 2012 #14
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #17
Pisces Sep 2012 #18
laundry_queen Sep 2012 #21
Cha Sep 2012 #26
longship Sep 2012 #29
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #36
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #43
KurtNYC Sep 2012 #49
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #54
KurtNYC Sep 2012 #57
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #87
girl gone mad Sep 2012 #77
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #59
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #88
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #91
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #94
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #95
cyborg_jim Sep 2012 #96
longship Sep 2012 #46
tama Sep 2012 #69
burrowowl Sep 2012 #30
Bernardo de La Paz Sep 2012 #31
KurtNYC Sep 2012 #51
klook Sep 2012 #67
Warren Stupidity Sep 2012 #74
arikara Sep 2012 #32
girl gone mad Sep 2012 #78
Zookeeper Sep 2012 #34
Botany Sep 2012 #35
Warren DeMontague Sep 2012 #38
Blue_Tires Sep 2012 #71
arikara Sep 2012 #81
KansDem Sep 2012 #39
tama Sep 2012 #70
pecwae Sep 2012 #40
Blanks Sep 2012 #48
4th law of robotics Sep 2012 #50
haele Sep 2012 #52
nightscanner59 Sep 2012 #53
valerief Sep 2012 #55
triplepoint Sep 2012 #60
Scootaloo Sep 2012 #61
RepublicansRZombies Sep 2012 #62
arikara Sep 2012 #82
Warpy Sep 2012 #68
matt819 Sep 2012 #73
bananas Sep 2012 #75
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #76
CRH Sep 2012 #79
Odin2005 Sep 2012 #80
MadHound Sep 2012 #83
Iris Sep 2012 #84
stumblnrose Sep 2012 #85
Honeycombe8 Sep 2012 #89
former9thward Sep 2012 #93

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:46 PM

1. "To say that conventional foods are safe is like saying that cigarettes are safe"

Hyperbole like that doesn't really make me believe these folks.

conventional food is just as bad as tobacco.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/09/12-8

Besides which, the article also states that the study didn't take direct funds from any of those sources.

and the "The Cornucopia Institute" is a non-profit organization, not a research institute.

Seems the only people who don't like the study are advocates, with their own story to push.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:52 PM

5. Well, the main thrust of the story isn't about that quote,

 

But rather about who funded that Stanford study. Care to comment on that instead of one cherry picked quote?

As to the validity of that quote, yeah, it is probably a bit of hyperbole, but not by much. Given the amount of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals sprayed on our food, not to mention the bioengineering involved, well, it sure ain't good for you. Oh, and don't forget to take a look at your conventional meat. Pumped up on hormones, dosed with massive amounts of anti-biotics, hell, it has long been known that the hormones in cattle are lowering the age of human puberty. Again, probably not the best thing for the human race.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:02 PM

7. I just followed the link in your OP

Not sorry if you don't like it.

As far as the funding, I said something about it. You ignored it. So I don't think we'll be having any sort of debate.

Just you telling me why I'm stupid and wrong and organics are the second coming.

And you already got started.

(really, anyone telling me it's the second coming or a cure-all makes me think I'm being sold a line of bull)

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Response to Confusious (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:13 PM

11. No, you didn't just follow the link in my OP

 

You cherry picked a quote.

You also went back and edited your original post, twice, in order to say something about the funding, while I was writing my response to it. This is your original post, no edits:

"To say that conventional foods are safe is like saying that cigarettes are safe"
Hyperbole like that doesn't really make me believe you.

conventional food is just as bad as tobacco."

Nowhere in there did you say anything about funding. So stop being disingenuous about what you said when. The joy of DU3, your edits are transparent.

Oh, and speaking of hyperbole, I said nothing about organic food being the "second coming or a cure-all". I simply pointed out the scientifically prove harm caused by conventional food.

Another thing, point out anywhere in this thread where I told you that you're stupid. If I did say such a thing, you're free to alert, but as matters stand, you have nothing to alert on.

And one other thing, please stop sticking words in my mouth, thanks.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:28 PM

19. I had another thought I wanted to add, so I added it.

I don't have to ask permission from you.

I did pick a quote, but it came from the actual article that yours spent so much time referring to. It seemed to set the tone for the entire article. I'm not sorry you don't like it.

Nowhere in there did you say anything about funding. So stop being disingenuous about what you said when. The joy of DU3, your edits are transparent.


Why don't you look at the finished post instead of the edits. Seems a little petty to me to go back and bitch about edits.

and again, obviously you knew about it, but instead of responding, you again chose to ignore it.

Oh, and speaking of hyperbole, I said nothing about organic food being the "second coming or a cure-all".


Maybe you didn't, but I'm sure you'll get there in time. I've seen enough of the "foodies" around here to get to understand what they think about those who can't or won't do the organic thing. noses->down.

I simply pointed out the scientifically prove harm caused by conventional food.


That they're as bad as tobacco? You know what I said about that.

Edit: removed an apostrophe, added a space and a T. Would you like to complain?

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:46 PM

25. News reports I saw said the study showed that organic was "no more nutritious" than conventional

and I completely believe that claim. Now, whether organic is better for the planet... that's a very different topic.

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Response to MNBrewer (Reply #25)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:06 PM

58. That was my sense about it too when I saw it.

We eat mostly organic food (where we can). I don't believe it is necessarily more vitamin-packed or anything like that. But I have real concerns about pesticide and herbicide residues, poisoning of the groundwater, health of the workers, and GMOs.

The reports didn't say bung about that part.

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Response to MNBrewer (Reply #25)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:29 AM

90. I've never heard that organic is more nutritious, to begin with.

I've always heard it's because organic contains no or less harmful pesticides, so are better for you. They also supposedly taste better and are fresher. Never heard they are more nutritious.

It's common sense, really. Of course foods without chemical would be better for your body. I don't need a study to tell me that, and I wouldn't believe one that told me any different.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:04 AM

44. Actually after reading the original study, I think organic food is much better than I thought

It was obvious that the research was done to discourage the purchasing of organic or Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) foods and to push conventionally grown, pesticide laden, corporate foods. With that in mind, the study still said (or at least the articles about the study) organic food tasted better, had a whole lot less pesticides in the blood systems of subjects who ate organic foods, and prevented antibiotic resistant diseases.

So if you consider the fact that the scientists were accepting money from Cargill and company yet still the study let slip out some seriously positive attributes of organic and CNG foods, what other long term benefits might organic and CNG foods actually have?

It was a hot topic at the Farmer's Market last week and most people pretty well knew that the study was done by corporate paid scientists.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:48 PM

56. The organic vs chemically raised

foods has been going on for years. When we had our organic farm in the mid 70s, there was such a 'study' published. I dare anyone to taste an organically grown tomato, ear of corn, a melon, a cucumber and tell me it tastes the same, or even has the same texture, as one chemically raised. They are either lying or their taste buds are shot.

This 'study' gets recycled and language renewed every few years and the same results are always published.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:48 PM

2. However GM crops will kill you and modify your DNA

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:49 PM

3. This is why studies should always be taken with a grain of salt

Everyone has an agenda. Sometimes common sense is the best thing. Fewer pesticides, fewer genetic experiements, maybe the food is better.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:16 PM

12. Or more to the point, if you don't have the tools to assess the validity of the results

don't put too much weight on them. I can usually sniff out the bad ones because of my professional background but sometimes I just can't tell.
The red flag for me was that it was a meta-analysis and I saw no links to the actual paper written, just to the press release and principal investigator interviews. Without a link to the study documentation it's impossible to replicate the study to test the results. It's also impossible to tell if there were fundamental flaws in the analysis plan. Sleazy studies hide or downplay such documentation.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:45 PM

24. a real scientific researcher does not have an agenda. Real research is to determine fact

wouldnt be so easy to lure in researchers with grant and foundation monies if our education realm wasnt so messed up

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #24)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:26 AM

37. wtf? our education realm has nothing to do with how corruptible our scientific establishment is,

 

or how money rules *everything*.

the causality is from the money down.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #37)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 06:29 AM

41. i beg to differ

When colleges allow a Department to be "endowed" by some asshat with an agenda and then don't dispute the results of a biased study or product of that agenda, it's a failure of our Education system. Numerous people had come up to me in the past week and said, "Did you hear about that new Stanford study about Organics?" I work in a Co-op so this was big news...



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Response to druidity33 (Reply #41)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 07:07 AM

42. The causality is from the money men on down; including the money men defunding government

 

at all levels via tax cuts/tax exemptions/bubble economies (& consequently making universities & colleges, and any research they do, increasingly dependent on rich asshats).

However, Stanford is not quite in that boat; Stanford is an elite university & basically turns in whichever direction its rich donors will.

The causality is from the increasing control of the 1%: education does not exist or operate in a protected bubble.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #42)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:54 PM

65. that doesn't sound like disagreement to me...

I'd agree that our system of education is fucked up because of the "money men", but that's not to say that our system of education isn't fucked up.



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Response to druidity33 (Reply #65)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 04:03 PM

66. however, educators aren't *driving* that fucked-upness. they're reacting, and in many cases

 

they're reacting because they can't see other ways to survive.

When you structure machine to create widgets, widgets is what you'll get.

I'm rather senstive to posts that appear to be blaming 'education' for manifold social ills these days. The rot starts at the top, always.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #24)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:51 PM

64. Unfortunately, students in colleges are now taught about the safety

oF pesticides and GM seed. The Big Industries are the ones funding the colleges and universities. If you get out of a four year school, or a six year master's degree program, with massive debt, and you need work as a researcher, what will you do? Unless your last name is Kennedy, you don't have the money to set up your own lab. So you are forced to work for the laboratories funded by Cargill, Novartis and Monsanto.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:50 PM

4. No surprise at all. Dr. Ingram Olkin should be ashamed. n/t

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:55 PM

6. I don't think the debate is about "Nutrition"

It's like when climate skeptics say "Carbon dioxide is not toxic". Sure, but that's not the problem.


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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:05 PM

9. No, it's not

It's about how organics are the second coming, and if you're not a believer then you're a heretic.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:31 AM

45. Organics are important for reasons beyond the health benefits.

Organics provide fertilizer from a lot of sources that are currently land-filled, or in the case of feed lots; polluting the environment.

Converting to a more organic farming system would create a lot of local jobs in every community and play a role in reducing fuel consumption (due to the reduced need to transport the chemicals).

If a person spends a few moments researching the history of niacin (vitamin B3) they would know that even a small modification to farming methods can produce disastrous health results that are difficult to track.

Spraying chemicals that are known to kill insects onto food that humans will later consume should raise concerns for everyone. Especially when there is a good body of information indicating which insects eat other insects, and insect breeding is another industry that would spring up if there was more awareness of the hazards of pesticides.

The chemical industry is the primary industry that benefits from the kind of farming that we do now; they also happen to make a lot of money 'poisoning' us.

Why would anyone (not being compensated by the industry) be so vocally in support of current farming methods?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:05 PM

8. Of course, of course.

Follow the money per usual. I just hope folks have enough sense to understand that simply-produced foods that mirror natural production is what's best for them. I'm still hopeful the message will get through.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:09 PM

10. Science is great.

Unless it contradicts my worldview. Then it was obviously funded by my ideological enemies. But thanks, I've enjoyed reading about how The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University are engaged in a conspiracy to promote poisonous for-profit food that will surely not meet the nutritional needs of any human, domestic animal, or pet rock. Not to mention all the spiritual damage this so-called food does.

Again, it's nice to know that the study that says there is no nutritional difference between organics and non-organics is wrong, even though nobody promoting organics has ever said that there is a difference. I've definitely never seen that claim from any organic consumer associations or anything.

I'm also shocked that a retired statistics professor accepted money from the Council for Tobacco Research to conduct fraudulent research. He's almost certainly a horrible human being and probably incompetent. I'm only sorry there was no way to look up his career achievements and personal accomplishments on the internet or even find the fraudulent research paper he published.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:22 PM

15. So did they take money from vested interests or did they not?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:31 PM

20. They did not.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that there's confusion on this issue as the whole point of the Cornucopia's Institute's press release was to confuse people.

No external funding was used for the research. The researches got all their money from their employer, one of the world's finest research institutions, Stanford University.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:33 PM

22. I don't agree or disagree with you

I would like a link or quote where they said that.

No external funding was used for the research. The researches got all their money from their employer, one of the world's finest research institutions, Stanford University.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:54 PM

28. It was in the press release

I think the AP even got a quote out of one of the researchers about it. Something about doing it that way to help avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. So much for that.

Though I wonder what other research conducted by people associated with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies can be discredited by using this broad "internal funding" criticism.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:48 PM

86. It's also on the report itself which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine

I am an academic librarian and have access to the journal. You can look it up, too, by going to a state university library. Your tax dollars fund the university system in your state and you at entitled to use the resources.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:39 PM

23. 'No external funding'. Do they accept funding from vested interests

internally and would that funding be jeopardized if they were to conduct a study that in any way damaged the interests of those funders.

It doesn't matter whether the funding is external, by which I presume you mean it was a special fund set aside for this study, or whether the funding is ongoing. The fact is that money is an issue here.

So, does the fact that they do receive funding from these vested interests in any way influence studies that might adversely affect the funders IF the findings were not to their advantage.

There is no confusion really.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 05:50 PM

72. Actually the organic trade association has been claiming organic foods are more nutritious for years

But what really makes the OP article hilarious is that "big ag" actually owns most of the organic market. So even if the article had any validity whatsoever, why on earth would "big ag" fund a study that effectively puts a damper on one of their biggest growth markets? I guess people who write and read these articles don't think about that much.

Over the past decade, since federal organic standards have come to the fore, giant agri-food corporations like these and others -- Coca-Cola, Cargill, ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft, and M&M Mars among them -- have gobbled up most of the nation's organic food industry. Pure, locally produced ingredients from small family farms? Not so much anymore.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2012/07/15/Big-Food-gobbling-organic-market-as-demand-increases.html

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:17 PM

13. Not at all surprising. There was plenty wrong with the "conclusions" to begin with.

First off, it's disgusting how deep Monsanto/Big Agra's tentacles reach into academia:

Monsanto’s college strangehold
http://www.salon.com/2012/05/14/monsantos_college_strangehold/singleton/

Secondly, the authors of the "meta-analysis" themselves themselves even admitted that they were basing their findings on selective data (and even being selective within that selective data). The authors also admitted to looking "specifically" at vitamins A, C and E. Last I checked, there was a whole freaking host of vitamins and minerals in foods, guess they're just not important. That's not to mention micronutrients, or anti-inflammatory properties, or anti-oxidants, or phytocompounds, or a whole host of other shit that we probably haven't measured, compared, or even thought of yet.

And they conveniently ignored the studies referenced here:

Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

In addition, Mother Earth News collected samples from 14 pastured flocks across the country (some from farmer Joel Salatin) and had them tested at an accredited laboratory. The results were compared to official US Department of Agriculture data for commercial eggs. Results showed the pastured eggs contained:

1/3 less cholesterol than commercial eggs
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
7 times more beta carotene

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/Tests-Reveal-Healthier-Eggs.aspx
http://www.polyfaceyum.com//index.php?main_page=index&cPath=67&zenid=bdebfvjhaqe7eukelvnc56rtn0

Guess that didn't make the cut! Not "scientific" enough, I suppose. Oh, I remember them off-the-cuff mentioning how pastured eggs might have a little more omega-3, but that's all, really. Great due diligence!

Not at all to mention the fact that "conventional" farming - including heavy pesticide use - destroys soil. In the United States alone, it's at a pace of 10x more the replenishing rate:

'Slow, insidious' soil erosion threatens human health
http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/March06/soil.erosion.threat.ssl.html

And all those synthetic pollutants in the atmosphere, in the soil, and being washed into the waterways does affect our health and make us sicker. So, yes, "organic" foods (though that word covers a broad spectrum of "methods"...the best among them locally-sourced and actively building/growing the soil) do have more health benefits - especially when you look at the greater picture.

Meanwhile, more pesticide resistant superworms and superweeds!

‘Mounting Evidence’ of Bug-Resistant Corn Seen by EPA
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/-mounting-evidence-of-bug-resistant-corn-seen-by-epa.html

It's a flawed meta-study (with, apparently, unscrupulous ties to the biotech industry) based on other flawed and selective studies:

5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/five-ways-stanford-study-underestimates-organic-food

Initial Reflections on the Annals of Internal Medicine Paper 'Are Organic Foods Safer and Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?' A Systematic Review
http://www.organicconsumers.org/benbrook_annals_response2012.pdf
(really goes into the misleading statistical "analysis" of pesticide content comparison)

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Response to drokhole (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:24 PM

16. Thank you for that!!! As someone that has to watch their cholesterol, I am going to have to read

more about eggs. Bookmarked your link.

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Response to jillan (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:52 PM

27. My pleasure! Pastured eggs, purchased directly from a local farm...

...are absolutely the most delicious I've ever tasted. And the yolks are a deep, beautiful, sunset orange. The farm I go to practices a specific form of grazing called management-intensive grazing, popularized by Joel Salatin, whom I mentioned in my previous post and is featured here:



He also has some great TEDTalks available online (particularly his TEDMED one).

When it comes to cholesterol levels, you may also want to look into wheat consumption and the benefits of grain avoidance. This is a pretty good, comprehensive book on the topic (it's worth looking through some of the reviews of the book as well, as a good deal double as testimonials). Also, if you ever have the time (roughly an hour), this is a great lecture:

How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic

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Response to drokhole (Reply #27)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:11 AM

33. Thanks once again :)

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Response to jillan (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:01 PM

63. If you have problems with Cholestrol

I would suggest you check the numbers for yourself.

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

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Response to drokhole (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:40 AM

47. I remember that Mother Earth News article...

I raise chickens myself and have a subscription to the magazine.

I appreciate all the additional information that you provided.

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Response to drokhole (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 04:56 PM

92. Thank U very much, drokhole, for all the links

And your own analysis. Wish everyone took the time to understand the realizations you are making.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:21 PM

14. I was totally dumbfounded by that report! How could food without pesticides & in their original

form, not modified, be the same as foods with pesticide that were genetically modified?


I shoulda known!

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Response to jillan (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:24 PM

17. Exactly. Who needs a study to know that food food without chemicals sprayed

all over them are going to be safer than those with pesticides. It's just common sense.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:25 PM

18. I guess more people need to use common sense. Poison in your food, in your body = bad. That stupid

report didn't sway me from organic.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:32 PM

21. No surprise

some of us here suspected as much and were deemed hysterical for mentioning it.

The pharmaceutical companies are equally as bad. There was an investigative report on CBC here in Canada last year about it. Basically, there are layers and layers of 'organizations' and 'non-profits' where the research community and big business are intertwined in a 'x-degrees of separation' kind of way - enough for plausible deniability of any type of wrong doing. Some of the biggest names in Canadian research were involved, and, of course, they denied their research was biased. Yet - they indirectly profit from the results of their research. How can anyone now trust that research?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:49 PM

26. I didn't believe it for a second.

I've had my own experiment going with Organic Produce and Organic Farmers. I know how hard they work to keep the soil poison free and decades of eating it has helped keep my body free of those kind of toxins, anyway.

Plus, it tastes Better!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:01 AM

29. Three points

First, To criticize this study merely because you do not like its outcome and who funded it would be incorrect. If the science is valid, it doesn't matter who funds it.

Second, this is not the first study that shows that organic agriculture has no health benefits. Anybody paying attention would know that already since these studies have been done for years.

Third, me posting this does not make me a big Ag shill. I am just a person who follows science and wants people to at least try to get it right.

I like organics because I think, for instance, that a tomato ought to taste like a tomato. But I cannot always afford to buy organic, so I often have to eat tasteless tomatoes, etc. But I've long known that there is no health advantage to organics.

Why would this be surprising to anybody? And if Ag company X funded a study that concluded this, it doesn't make it false.

Just sayin'

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Response to longship (Reply #29)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:18 AM

36. I think the reason people buy organic food is because they do not want to eat

chemicals. So the study is wrong not to emphasize that eating pure food that has not been sprayed with insecticides or exposed to any kind of genetic modifications, has to be more healthy just for that reason alone. Plus they taste so much better.

.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 07:08 AM

43. If you don't want to eat chemicals

Don't eat - everything is composed of chemicals and there's plenty of natural stuff out there that will kill you much deader than any pesticide: many fungi, berries etc...

If you don't want to eat foods that have been genetically manipulated then that rules out basically everything farmed since it's been manipulated for our benefit by artificial selection. Bananas probably being the best example of taking something basically inedible in its wild form and farming it for human consumption.

There is no reason to suppose that it "has" to be more healthy - it is merely trendy to act as if a particular Disnified sense of nature is inherently better for us without actually stepping back and understanding what nature is.

In short if you want an idea of what is "natural" go live in the Australian outback and subsist on roots and grubs.

And as for taste a lot of that is inherently subjective - you could only know for certain by making a carefully controlled experiment that removes other factors like the positive response to the Organic brand.

Oh and yes, it is a brand, not a thing. What "Organic" means seems to be whatever sounds good to affluent middle classes - not based on anything in particular.

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #43)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:44 AM

49. so DDT is just a chemical like everything else?

I don't understand why some get so upset about other people's food choices. If I don't want to eat Round-Up or DDT or arsenic or the 64 chemicals sprayed on apples -- how does that hurt YOU?

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #49)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:41 PM

54. Yes it is.

Or perhaps you'd like all the chemical carbon removed from your food as well?

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #54)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:52 PM

57. Carbon is not a chemical. It's an element.

You seem to have no idea what you are talking about.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #57)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:54 AM

87. It's both

I do know exactly what I am talking about. I am not the one with an irrational response to "chemicals".

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #54)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:07 PM

77. What's "chemical carbon" and why is it in our food?

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #43)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:09 PM

59. Well, not being a member of the affluent Middle class, I would not know about trends

in that segment of society. Here's a tip, if you want to use ethnicity and/or class to hurl insults at people, they will most definitely miss their target if you don't even know who you are talking to.

There is no need to go to the Australian outback to eat healthy food rather than the junk sold in supermarkets. Ask some not so privileged people how to do that, they learn to be very creative about these things.

Do you have any objection to the labeling of foods so that we grown adults in this country actually know what we are eating? And why do you think the US refuses to inform the public about what is in the food they are eating?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #59)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:01 AM

88. It's not an insult

That's what the marketing is targeted at.

"There is no need to go to the Australian outback to eat healthy food rather than the junk sold in supermarkets."

I made no implication that bush tucker is "healthy". It is no more or less healthy than any other food is merely by implication of origin. People can live on a variety of foods, "natural" is no guarantee of anything.

"Do you have any objection to the labeling of foods so that we grown adults in this country actually know what we are eating?"

Nope - I have an objection to assumptions that it is possible to delineate ingredients into "natural/healthy" and "artificial/unhealthy" categories.

"And why do you think the US refuses to inform the public about what is in the food they are eating?"

Because your politicians are completely spineless in the face of large food corporations.

Believe me I am not saying that by any means mass food production is without problems but you are kidding yourself if you think "organic" is a magic word that will make it all good.

So like I say branding to make people feel better without necessarily accomplishing anything in particular.

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #88)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:14 PM

91. Nothing is going to make ANYTHING 'all good'. But some things do make things

worse. Anyone who believes that consuming GE food and ingesting insecticides is better than eating food without all these things, is simply wrong imho.

As for labeling, it is not a question of telling the public what is healthy or not. The public has a right to know what has been added to the food they are eating and they can decide for themselves what to do about it. The fact that there has been such resistance to this simple right the people should have, tells me they are fearful that the public will not want to eat their products.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #91)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:21 PM

94. But this is the point: your opinion does not trump science

"Anyone who believes that consuming GE food and ingesting insecticides is better than eating food without all these things, is simply wrong imho."

And in my opinion there is nothing inherent about chemicals that kill insects or food stuffs with genetic sequences not produced by natural selection that inherently makes them worse for people. That they may do is neither here nor there - these things being used as boogey men to imply by their absence that "organic" is better is absolutely no better than any number of the ways in which either inadequate or misleading labelling is used.

"The fact that there has been such resistance to this simple right the people should have, tells me they are fearful that the public will not want to eat their products. "

If the experience in the UK is any indication it'll probably be more to do with things such as "low fat" items (organic or not) usually having massive amounts of sugar (sugar isn't a fat after all) and misleading things like this which are their real concern. Ignorant consumers give them power.

However it does not work to compound one ignorance with another and that is where my essential problem with the organic food movement lies - it rests on an unsound assumption that is more to do with ideology than whether or not it achieves its aims.

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Response to cyborg_jim (Reply #94)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:39 PM

95. Well then if all you say is true, just tell everyone what is in the food they are being sold

stop the huge effort to keep it all secret from them, and we adults can decide for ourselves what we want to eat.

All people are asking is, stop hiding what you are putting in the food people eat. The fact that the battle to continue to do so is so fierce from these Corporations, tells me that your opinion is not something I want to rely on.

If there is nothing to hide, then stop these campaigns against transparency and let the people make their own decisions about what to eat. It's ridiculous that we even have to say this.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #95)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 03:24 PM

96. You seem to be injecting something into my opinion that isn't there

"The fact that the battle to continue to do so is so fierce from these Corporations, tells me that your opinion is not something I want to rely on."

My opinion is that good scientific evidence is the place to start from and obviously that is not possible without knowing what it is you are eating. However just because "organic" portrays a wholesome front doesn't necessarily make it heavenly - a sugar loaded fruit smoothie from organic sources will still be as bad for your health as anything "unnatural" you care to conjure up. It becomes just another exercise in green-washing.

That is all there really is to it. Chemicals aren't inherently anything good or bad to you. Natural doesn't mean good for you. Organic is not a well-defined term.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:40 AM

46. Yes, more flavorful.

That's why I buy it, when I can afford it.

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Response to longship (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 05:24 PM

69. Isn't that

 

Healthy in itself? We know, also from scientific studies, that positive feelings are healthier than negative feelings.

What and how is health? We know it's a complex and holistic issue, not reducible to comparing contents of few chemical combinations.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:11 AM

30. Oh my gosh!

I am soooo surprised!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:25 AM

31. Study is not wrong or false. The press reporting about the conclusions is skewed. Blame the media.nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #31)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:01 AM

51. Premise of the study was to attack the strawman: "Organic = more nutritional"

Honest and useful study would analyze whether or not the following premise is true:

"Organics have less pesticide residue"

because THAT is the reason most people pay more for organic over conventional. Period.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #51)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 04:59 PM

67. Thank you for this moment of sanity.

Now we shall resume tilting at strawmen and belittling the hippies for their food choices.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #51)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 07:26 PM

74. no shit. and the followup study: long term impact of pesticides in food.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:30 AM

32. I'm not surprised in the least

the first thing I thought of when the big announcements of that study came out was who funded it? And I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that it was some of those assholes.

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Response to arikara (Reply #32)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:10 PM

78. Most studies don't receive that kind of media attention..

unless they are actually groundbreaking, which made me suspicious of the motives behind it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:40 AM

34. I never buy organic thinking it's more nutritious...

I'm avoiding pesticides and herbicides. The media totally downplayed the results of the study that showed organic produce being safer in that respect.

(Edited for sleepyhead spelling.)

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:41 AM

35. The study is legit ..... this is not the first such study .... the brits did the same study already

Chemically and as far as nutrition is concerned organically produced
food* is no different from food produced by other methods .... a carrot
is a carrot ... but food production by organic methods is much more
ecologically sound and better for the environment.



* this does not count for hormones or for pesticide or herbicide residues
on the the food or in the meat or diary product(s)

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Response to Botany (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 03:34 AM

38. Right. And was there some pressing misconception that needed to be corrected, there?

No. It's kind of like saying "we compared really good pot to really crappy pot, and we discovered that really crappy pot is just as easy to roll into a joint as really good pot";

except, the reason your average pot smoker would want to smoke good pot and not crappy pot, isn't because of ease of rolling it into a joint, it's because the good pot will get them more high.

Same with organic produce; most people aren't under the "befuddled" notion that their organic nectarine or cucumber is somehow magically more nutritious, despite what the big ag companies would like to believe about "stupid" people buying organic. People who buy organic do it because it has less impact on the Earth and less pesticide residues, two factors that are fairly indisputable.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 05:36 PM

71. +1

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:24 PM

81. LOL

Best rebuttal ever!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 04:28 AM

39. I could pump vitamin C into horse manure...

...and claim it contain more of that nutrient than an organic orange.

But would you eat it?

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Response to KansDem (Reply #39)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 05:33 PM

70. Horse manure

 

miraculously transforms into nutrient rich soil and nutritious edibles with lots of vitamins and good cheer. Especially if you do the organic gardening yourself, and learn to love also good manure, knowing by experience the whole cycle.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 06:20 AM

40. I just assumed

Monsanto when I first read the article. Thanks for the links.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:02 AM

48. A lot of the discussion is about the hazards of pesticides...

The other issue involves with 'non-organic' farming beyond the pesticides; which is the fertilizer.

There are trace elements in natural fertilizer that are not available in 'inorganic' fertilizer (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus).

This is one of those instances where we should learn from history. That's why I mentioned niacin above. If you look at the history of niacin, people were getting sick eating perfectly healthy looking food, but the soil was not prepared properly.

If you look at all of the ailments that we have as a modern society (increased rates of autism, obesity, depression). It would be difficult to prove that they are as a result of our foods lacking in these trace nutrients, but the correlation is there; even though causation cannot be established.

The influence of the big chemical companies needs to be minimized so that we can know whether the research is valid, or just some bought and paid for bullshit.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:58 AM

50. Some of the associates were members of a separate foundation that recieved some money

 

from people who also supported conventional agriculture.

Damning stuff there.

/Don't trust those scientists. They might have a bias. Instead listen to my blog which already has all the answers.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:58 AM

52. It's all in the wording - "no more healthy" is not the same as "no more harmful".

An unprocessed (other than washed) peach or asparagus spear will have the same basic amount of nutrients and pretty much close to the same baseline of healthiness whether it is grown organically or "conventionally".

Now,the increase occurrence of bacterial infestations, improper use of pesticides, fertilizer and/or genetic modification contamination may change that "healthiness factor", as does commercial handling and processing procedures, but that does not seem to be what the studies are looking at, they're looking at the "baseline" level of nutrition.

What's questionable is where on or in the fruit or vegetable they are sampling when looking for the nutritional value, and from where they collected the samples. Conventionally grown at the University is different than purchased from the local Albertson's. Even the difference between Organic and Conventional at the same store is different, as there is a commercial Organic produce agribusiness that still uses pesticides and fertilizer and many of the conventional processes to get large commercial yields to sell to processor.
So, yes, in those cases, there may not be as much a baseline nutritional difference as comparing the organic apple locally grown purchased from the farmer's market that was picked yesterday and the apple picked a week earlier, packed and shipped in from a Mott's commercial Walla-Walla orchard a thousand miles away or so.

A cored or internal sample will also show fewer differences than a sample from a slice that compares inner and outer layers equally

After all, in any study, it's all in what you focus on and how specific you are with the data from your artifacts. I've discovered that depending on the focus, the same data can be analyzed to come to a wider range of conclusions than most scientists want to admit. So while I'm not sold on the conclusion, I'm not totally opposed to what they concluded on a practical level. That's why studies need to be peer-reviewed.

Which I'm not sure has happened with this study yet.

Haele

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:03 PM

53. Stanford gets a C minus or D plus for this--

The study is valid only when considering the consumer's angle. Any researcher who hasn't been to imperial valley when it is getting plowed up, the air is brown and unbreathable. Just about this time of year is when the chemical dust that collects all over your car if parked there overnight has a pesticide odor to it. Field workers wear masks, they know it will give you Valley Fever.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:45 PM

55. I think we've come to expect crap like that is horseshit. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:39 PM

60. Anybody Know of Cancer-Related Studies of Inorganic vs Organic Food?

 

I noticed that the "C Word" is not in this discussion....or did I miss it? Please advise

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 01:42 PM

61. Well to be fair, the premise is true...

Organic food and non-organic food have the same nutritional value.

But that's not the point of organic food.

The point of organic food is ecosystem health. Protecting and preserving not just the farmland, but the surrounding environment, waterways, and even far-away seas. All that DOES have a health benefit for humans, albeit in a difficult-to-measure way.

This study isn't lying. It's just being disingenuous.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 02:01 PM

62. how much did the corporate media get to repeat the lie over and over

 


The corporate media is the real entity raking in all the cash for lying, I wonder what their profit margin is looking like this election season.

I bet Romney will fix it so they pay no taxes.

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Response to RepublicansRZombies (Reply #62)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:33 PM

82. I don't believe that they necessarily get paid for it

what they get is the free video press release all prepped and ready to air. That way they don't have to hire real reporters and can get away with cute little "news" readers.

Not to mention the cargill stocks that the CEO has go up a bit from the presser.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 05:02 PM

68. It was scarce research dollars wasted on reinventing the wheel

because the fact that there is no nutritional difference between organic produce and chemically grown produce has been known for decades.

The study they won't fund is the one that tracks changes in the soil the food is grown in by the two methods.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 06:21 PM

73. It was only a matter of time that this came out

What an idiotic study, in any case.

They set up an argument that nobody makes and then knocked it down. How clever! These so-called scientists should be, but won't be, ashamed of themselves. They should be tossed from their academic positions.

I don't know of anyone who chooses organic over non-organic because it is more nutritious.

You want to argue organic vs conventional, try these on for size:
-- organic is tastier, and organic varieties are often more desirable
-- organic has no pesticides, or less pesticide contamination than conventional food
-- organic often supports local farmers
-- organic containers fewer additives
-- organic is often fresher

Now prove me wrong on these factors, and maybe I'll consider the findings. But don't set up the nutrition straw man and then knock it down.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 07:50 PM

75. k&r - thanks for posting this. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:04 PM

76. Although this story is about lies and being bought out,

there is an underlying issue here as well. Again, it is how the media reports stories, and especially stories on scientific research. The press made this a story about organic foods being no more healthy. In reality, this study concluded that organic foods are no more nutritious----and that is a different story. "Healthy" and "nutritious" are really different, especially when you consider what the chemicals and genetic modifications will do to you.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:34 PM

79. So, the most prestigious University in central Ca. can be bought, ...

who da thunk. Scientist in the last fifty years can be divided into those that care, and those that time share. The degrees do not guarantee the morality.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:38 PM

80. The OP is a classic logical fallacy.

The biases of the scientist have absolutely no bearing on whether the study is true or not, only further studies can do that.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #80)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:37 PM

83. Wow, that sure is some faulty logic there,

 

Bias effects scientific studies everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Some classics, thalidomide, DDT, tobacco, just to name a few instances. Even scientists will tell you to look twice at who is funding the study.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:43 PM

84. I think that was Odin's point.

A study was done. Results were reported. As with any other scientific study, if the results are accurate, they will hold up in a similar study.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:44 PM

85. Let's not forget the Gates Foundation Cachet

Bill Gates has been propped up as this wonderful philanthropist when in fact his world mission is to put world health in the pockets of big pharma and nutrition in the pockets of agribucks. He is a dangerous man....just google "Bill Gates eugenics". Pharma is using him to force needful countries to sign agreements to buy only branded drugs where generics are fiscally sound.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:27 AM

89. The hell you say. Can't say I'm surprised. I NEVER pay attention to articles that tell me...

not to eat organic or take vitamins or do any of the various common sense healthy things. It's just common sense to me.

But the premise of hte article...that organic foods aren't more nutritious than non-organic...the whole reason organic foods are good for you are NOT because they're more nutritious, according to what I've read; it's because they contain less harmful or no pesticides, and are fresher and taste better.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:13 PM

93. Since this study was funded by the notorious Gates Foundation, among others,

what exactly did they get wrong? What facts were changed because of those evil dollars (partially supplied by everyone's favorite billionaire Warren Buffet)?

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