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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 29,475

Journal Archives

Whole Food Blues: Why Organic Agriculture May Not Be So Sustainable


Six Reasons Organic is NOT The Most Environmentally Friendly Way To Farm


If I Were a Food Activist By Nurse Loves Farmer



If I were a food activist, I could share statistics and studies without providing accurate sources (or any at all!).

If I were a food activist, I could demand honesty and transparency and not give the same in return.

If I were a food activist, I could not care about a farmer’s right to choose how they farm and petition to take away their choices.

If I were a food activist, I could act like an expert but have no actual experience or knowledge in agriculture, nutrition or biotechnology.


Why Organic Can't Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals


"Almost any farmer or consumer could agree on the following ideals for our agricultural system:

"Farming in ways that are best for us, best for the environment, and best for providing an adequate food supply."

I believe that these are the goals and ideals of organic customers and organic farmers, and I share them. If organic could deliver on these “triple best” goals, I would be among its strongest supporters, but I don't believe that it can. The organic rules are based on the assumption that “natural” is always best. That assumption originated in a pre-scientific era, and it does not hold up to what we have learned over the last century. The "natural" definition is great for marketing purposes, but often not the optimal criterion to guide farming practices.


Unfortunately, some of those who market organic products, and some who advocate for organic, continue to make unsupportable claims that organic is best for us and for the environment. Many consumers accept these claims and believe that they are doing the right thing by paying the premium prices for organic items. If we really had a food supply that was only safe and responsible for those able and willing to pay higher prices, that would represent a huge failing of public policy. Fortunately, that is not the case.



This is a piece that must be read fully, and therefore it is a challenge. It does not make itself easily digestible in bumper sticker responses. Yes, I could be kinder in my description of what happens, far too often, at DU.

However, it is time for DU to get back to its roots, where evidence matters more than hyperbole.

I must try to beseech my fellow DUers on that road.

Take care.




Why labeling of GMOs is actually bad for people and the environment

Why GMO Food Labels Are a Bad Idea

And the Mercury Decides: Say No to GMO Labeling, Even If It Feels Terrible

Why Mandatory Labeling for GMOs is a Very Bad Idea

Whole Foods' Anti-GMO Swindle

The Costs of GMO Labeling


A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

GMO Foods: Why We Shouldn't Label (Or Worry About) Genetically Modified Products

GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left

Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea

Antivaccine versus anti-GMO: Different goals, same methods

Kavin Can’t Even: Food Babe, Did You Know that “Indian” Isn’t a Language?


"This will be an extremely short edition of “Kavin Can’t Even.” I have been taking one for the team and reading Vani Hari’s book, “Food Babe Way,” a New York Times bestseller. For the life of me, I cannot imagine how anyone believes that this book is factually accurate. Even her personal anecdotes are reductionist to the extreme. Case in point:

“Dad and Mom had my brother first and then, seven years later, me. They named me Vani, a name I hated as a child because my schoolmates made fun of it and no one could pronounce it. But in Indian, it means “voice”—how prophetic, because I’ve definitely developed one.”

-Food Babe Way, page 7

Vani must be aware that there is no language called “Indian.” India is a vast, diverse nation with a rich and varied culture, where over a hundred officially recognized languages are spoken. More accurately, “Vani” can mean “voice” or “expression of thoughts” in Hindi; the word originated from Sanskrit. If she is aware of this fact, does she not believe her audience to be savvy enough to look up the word “Hindi?”

I previously wrote a post called “Kavin Can’t Even: Food Babe Way Exotifies India, and Grossly Exaggerates or Lies About Her Dad.”I hadn’t noticed this line about the meaning of her name, though it would have fit perfectly in that post.



Link to Kavin's earlier post noted in the quote:


Study links Disneyland measles outbreak to low vaccination rates



Using some simple math, the researchers show that the vaccination rate among people who were exposed to the measles during the outbreak was no higher than 86%, and it might have been as low as 50%.


In other words, the only way to explain how the measles spread from a single person at Disneyland to 142 people in seven states is that a substantial number of American parents have not had their children fully immunized with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

“Clearly, MMR vaccination rates in many of the communities that have been affected by this outbreak fall well below the necessary threshold to sustain herd immunity, thus placing the greater population at risk as well,” the researchers concluded.


So why did the study authors go to all this trouble? In an outbreak involving a major tourist destination like Disneyland, there is no single state, county or even school district that can report the overall vaccination rate, the researchers wrote. As a result, mathematical modeling like this may give a clearer picture than any individual government agency.



Yes, such studies are necessary.

Europe has plenty of scientists and science that show GMOs are safe.

No seed development technology is labeled. There is no science-based justification for doing so.

Why don't you ask organic producers to label their foods as deriving from mutation breeding?

And if non-GMO is so good, why does it have to market itself by unjustly demonizing GMO plants?


A Decade of EU Funded Research Shows GMOs To Be Safe

German Meta-Analysis Shows GMO Increase Yield And Reduce Pesticide Use

Scientists urge change to Europe's GMO regulation

Michigan Referee's Death Prompts Calls for Tougher Laws


"Attacks on Michigan referees so alarmed Jim Dworman, an accomplished lawyer who also officiates high school basketball and football games, that he contacted his lawmaker two years ago about toughening penalties for such actions.

"People just weren't that interested," he said.

Everything changed with a single punch in a men's recreational soccer game near Detroit last summer. Referee John Bieniewicz, 44, was killed by the blow from player Bassel Saad. The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and will be sentenced Friday to up to 15 years in prison.


While statistics on the number of attacks on officials is limited, referees nationwide report such incidents are on the rise.



More on the murder story, specifically...


This is why I always make it a point to thank the refs before and after games, whether I'm playing or coaching, or my kid is playing.

It's a game, and it's about having fun and getting exercise. If you have to take it beyond that, then you need another hobby.

The Ecological Case Against Organic Farming

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