Monday, 10 August 2009

Blanch that organic broccoli

A reader writes, in response to my knocking organic food

Only glanced down the page and came upon the mention of "organic food" in a negative light  --- and blanched, of course. Forget the nutritional content --- I understand from what "they" say that its cultivation is much better for the environment, even from a global warming perspective. Ergo (as this is a learned discussion), you ought to support it!

Couple of points I'd make:
1. I'm not sure that organic food is better for the environment.  See article here, from the left-of-centre Independent, "Organic food no better for the environment".
2. It's hard on the wallet: three times the price for "organic" Weetabix than "Original" Weetabix, for goodness sake!  Is that worth it?  Scientists say that the trace amounts of added chemicals are in such amounts that you'd have to eat a truckload in a day for there to be any impact.
3. Organic farming has lower yields than non-organic.  It takes something like three times the amount of land to grow our staples organically than not.  We could not feed the broad masses of poor people if we went fully organic.