Do You Eat Organic?

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fennel
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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby fennel » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:45 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Many European countries could be argued to have a financial interest in suppressing agricultural innovation due to controlled place-name appellations. If you want to see an extremist, tell a Frenchman about your favorite Italian champagne.
That would be an awfully feeble argument, even for the the Faux News Snooze Crew.

(Other than the fact that "appelation" is originally a French term — which is all some receptacles need to know, apparently. (No, not you, silly!))

In terms of wine, the Apellation system historically (and may still, for all I know) did a lot to prevent cheap knock-offs that were purportedly made in the same way as traditional regional wines. It had become very easy to game the system.

But it seems the appelation system did become a bit sclerotic and dictatorial. One of the interesting responses (in France) was that there was a new generation of upstart wineries who decided to focus on originality over conformance to the appelation system (which, for example may dictate minimum or maxium percentages of grape varietals for a cerain region).

I think this was mainly in the southwest where many makers were outside of the appelation system, or where makers wanted to be more experimental.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby kimm » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:38 pm

Honestly, I don't buy much that is specifically organic. I do try to buy local for about 40% of my food, though (mostly bread, dairy, meat) and that sometimes happens ot be organic. During the summer, it's more with the addition of produce. In the winter, I don't buy much organic or local produce.

I also grow a lot of my own fruits and veggies, and don't use pesticides (sometimes I do use limited fungicides).

Meat is my biggest concern, as I'm most skeptical of putting hormones in my body and I think local, naturally raised pasture-fed meat just tastes good.

The GMO debate is a little annoying to me. I think it's fine to insist they are labeled, but I don't think all GMOs are inherently bad. I feel like it's a debate about 50% of people are informed about, and the other 50% are just deriving a stance based on a Facebook post their friend shared.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Stella_Guru » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:03 pm

When we started farming organically back in the early 70's the goal was to imitate the same natural systems that sustain the forests and prairies. Our livestock was the soil micro-organisms which we fed lots of organic matter through methods such as composting. Several decades later we still continue to grow organically, but have dropped the certification. To our surprise we have experienced a significant jump in sales. Go figure.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby snoqueen » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:30 pm

I would be curious to know if you dropped the organic certification because you thought the standards you were following (to be certified) were unrealistic or not appropriate, or what. I would also be curious to know if it was the certification practices themselves, or more the documentation and paperwork that got so time consuming and costly it just wasn't worthwhile.

I am asking because you aren't the only person (whoever you are) who has dropped the certification but continues to farm organically and I wonder if this is a trend or just a few random farms. I can see the point in having formal certification, especially where your customers don't really know you, but I can also see how it could become a waste of time particularly if the standards weren't well written.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Stella_Guru » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:46 pm

The documention and paper work required are not scale appropriate. Our farm is small but grows 150 different varieties of vegetables, 300 ft. at a time, planting from mid-April thru mid-September. The audit trail was much larger than required for many large scale mono-crop farms, and seldom did the inspectors examine it. Over time our enthusiam for the process dropped. Also our customers indicated to us that certification wasnt important to them, but then again we know most of them.

The standards themselves are fine but are being undermined by various forces, mostly larger scale operations that market on a national level. (http://www.cornucopia.org) Local, small-scale, knowing and trusting your farmer seems to be resonating more with folks these days and the trend will be for more small farms to drop their certification but continue to farm with organic methods.
Last edited by Stella_Guru on Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:32 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:51 pm

As a consumer it's sometimes troublesome to find out what's organic and non-GMO.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Stella_Guru » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:04 am

Bwis53 wrote:As a consumer it's sometimes troublesome to find out what's organic and non-GMO.

Where do you shop?

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Bwis53 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:54 am

Willy Coop, Metcalfe's and Copps.

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgC-SdvyFWI

Personally, I'm more concerned about GMO's. (I've had spastic colitis in the past, so I was interested in the part of the video about GMO plants that make their own pesticides and the higher incidents of gastrointestinal problems in humans.)

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:29 am

When organic became such a big business that even Wal-mart jumped in, I knew the label could never be trusted again, so it means nothing to me. I generally just don't eat a lot, probably about half of what a typical Wisconsin guy eats. I try to minimize consumption of the "food product" type stuff in the middle aisles of the grocery store. Frozen pizza is definitely my guilty pleasure but I've been trying to stick to smaller Wisconsin producers lately.

My girlfriend has set us up with a meat CSA recently and while I feel better about it being local and supposedly raised "happier", I don't think it tastes any better, sometimes worse. It probably tastes like meat is supposed to taste.

We've gotten a produce CSA a few times too, and I feel about the same as I do with the meat. On the subject of GMOs, I don't see produce anywhere that is the size that nature intended it to be. Everything is a size group bigger (and growing). Plums are the size of peaches, peaches the size of apples, apples the size of grapefruit, etc etc. Those GMO Honeycrisp apples mentioned earlier are like the surgically-enhanced Barbie doll strippers of produce.

And the fucking light pink seedless watermelons. Fuck all you lazy people who have made it almost impossible to find a seeded watermelon. They've ruined one of the best foods in the world.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby ouroborus4 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:46 am

Sometimes I eat organic, and other times I don't. I think the label has lost its meaning and will continue to be eroded. When there is a label for "absolutely no pesticides or herbicides, and grown sustainably with the intent of building the soil and healing the Earth without exploiting resources or customers", I will eat that exclusively. That said, I find most organic foods to taste better and be of better quality than non-organic foods. And whether its true or not, I think its healthier, both in terms of nutrition (better color and taste) and in terms of healthier(?) pesticides, which gives me an uneasy peace of mind. I stay away from most packaged products, but if you look at the produce at the coop vs. say woodmans or aldi, there really is no question about which is better. I suspect that has less to do with organic/non-organic than it does about other production/shipping/purchasing/storing methods. I grow as much of my own food as possible and the quality trumps anything else I've had with MAYBE the exception of the farmer's market for a few items.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby ouroborus4 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:08 am

As far as GMO, I think an important distinction needs to be made. Genetic modification can occur through breeding. In fact most of what you eat today has been genetically modified through years of selective breeding. There are techniques today that speed this along by splicing genes of desirable traits into plants, but they are indistinguishable from plants that could potentially get that way through years of breeding.

There are also genetically engineered organisms, which are different. These have genes inserted which would not ever normally occur in a plant, and you are left with truly 'frankencrops'. These are the crops that produce their own pesticide or have unique resistances to chemicals, (i.e. roundup). I'm not entirely sure of the scope of this practice, but it does exist, and is much more controversial than GMO. I'm not necessarily against GMO, though I would prefer natural selection through breeding. I AM against GEO. The terms are often confused.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Bwis53 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:08 pm

Thanks Ouro, yeah it's the frankenfoods that scare me.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:12 pm

Under the law, if my organic seed corn crop becomes transgenetically contaminated by my neighbor's Round-Up Ready Monsanto seed corn, through pollen drift by wind, bees etc., Monsanto can sue me for patent infringement and assert that I am in illegal possesion of their patented technology. Whether GMO crops are safe to eat or not is only the tip-of-the-iceberg regarding this new technology. Monsanto entered the seed business 30 years ago and it is beginning to look their GMO crops are alot about
control of the seed market and bludgeoning farmers into submission.
Last edited by Stella_Guru on Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:22 pm

Yeah, not so sure that's exactly the situation.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/0 ... t-monsanto

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

Instead, the judge found that plaintiffs' allegations were "unsubstantiated ... given that not one single plaintiff claims to have been so threatened."

[emphasis mine] A plaintiff can't presume damage and file suit preemptively. This is nothing new, and certainly not unique to agribusiness.

The company, meanwhile, asserts that it doesn't exercise its patent rights when trace amounts of its patented traits inadvertently end up in farmers' fields.

Granted an assertion's worth maybe the paper it's printed on, but.

They might be able to sue you, sure, but as the initial claim against Monsanto shows, just because you can file suit doesn't mean you'll win.

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Re: Do You Eat Organic?

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:01 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
The company, meanwhile, asserts that it doesn't exercise its patent rights when trace amounts of its patented traits inadvertently end up in farmers' fields.

Granted an assertion's worth maybe the paper it's printed on, but.

You are correct. And, when the OSGATA attorney asked Monsanto to make a legal declaration to that effect, that they would never sue.......they refused regardless of their previous assertion. Meanwhile...http://www.americasfarmers.com/meet-the-families/pistorius-family/


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