Thread: Organic foods
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LindenGarcia18 View Post
Thats hardly the case. Anything you grow yourself is going to be better for you becasue it doesn't have all the chemicals on it that supermarket food has.
But Linden, I thought you were all about facts.

To unpick a number of assumptions in the argument.

a) home grown food has fewer 'chemicals' on it. But what do you mean by chemicals? Food is made from chemicals. Plants are made from chemicals. Everything is made from chemicals, including all Tannhausers and LindenGarcias. If you mean chemicals produced industrially, then you've still got an issue. What's the difference between a phosphate ion absorbed from a plant from earth, manure or industrially produced fertiliser? The answer is none at all: a phosphate ion is a phosphate ion, no matter where it comes from.

b) But OK, let's say we're talking about powerful industrially produced pesticides. It's true that your allotment food is probably going to have fewer of those. However, depending on where your allotment is, you might need to balance this against heavy metal contaminants in your food. Unless you're out in the middle of the country, your food is subject to environmental pollutants from traffic etc, which are bio-accumulated in plants. My guess is that anyone who has got a town allotment is upping their intake of cadmium, lead, etc. Even if this doesn't apply to you personally, I bet it applies to a lot of 'organic food' grown in towns.

c) And even if there are potentially harmful pesticides on supermarket food, you have to consider dosage before you can declare that these are no good for you. As I pointed out in my earlier post, we're all exposed to all sorts of industrially extracted 'chemicals' every day:

fluorides in toothpaste
chlorine compounds and aluminium sulphate used to treat water
deodorants, skin cleaning products and hair products (bunging 'natural' on the label doesn't change the composition)
copper from pipes
etc, etc, etc

Industrial chemicals are a fact of life. What matters is their toxicity at low doses, and what the long-term effects of these are. At the moment, there's little indication that the dosages the average person faces has got any clinical significance. There's a paranoia about substances that, in the scheme of things, probably contribute a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction to health and life-expectancy.

To boldly declare that home grown food is going to be better because supermarket food has 'chemicals' on it is going well beyond the available evidence, and as such it's misleading.
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