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organic food

Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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what are these organic foods in USA? are they really better then regular or they harm in the long run? i mean like organic milk, organic eggs, and all. why are they so expensive compared to non-organic food items?
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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I read this site http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Consumers/Consumerhome.html and got some answers but could not find a satisfactory answer. It says USDA makes no claims that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food. Then I got this site from google http://www.organicconsumers.org but it seems that they have some campain going on and have a lot of articles. but i dont understand them. they seem to provide an impression that regular supermarket food is so bad that we must stop buying them right away.
Anonymous
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Originally posted by <health conscious>:
what are these organic foods in USA? are they really better then regular or they harm in the long run? i mean like organic milk, organic eggs, and all. why are they so expensive compared to non-organic food items?

"Organic" usually means grown without pesticides and/or synthetic fertilizers. Producing food in this way is less productive for the farmer and therefore he has to charge more money usually to make the same profit as he would on ordinary crops. Simply removing pesticides from food production obviously isn't going to affect nutrional content of food, but its reducing your intake of pesticides. Often pesticides accumulate over time in tissues. This may reduce efficiency/output of various important organs/glands. Historically we have seen harmful effects of DDT accumulation on birds. Recently, other problems seem to be occurring with aligators and perhaps certain frog populations. Although pesticides have not been proven conclusively in those recent cases, they are a prime culprit. In short, it is prudent to reduce pesticide levels when if given the choice I believe.
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
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Its been an expanding market in the UK for years now. Supermarkets usually dedicate an aisle to the organic stuff and even produce their own-name packaged varieties. Public interest in how our food is made has been growing for years accelerated by food scares (the disastrous BSE crisis for one).
Rather than just being chemical free, organic farming is about enhancing natural biological soil cycles, plant growth and livestock rearing. It focuses on building up natural predators to pests and raising natural immunities in plants and animals.
Non-organic farming is very important because of its higher yields. It also protects biodiversity and the landscape. However in intensive farming, artificial pesticide and fertilizer use increases over time and this can decrease the sustainability and natural fertility of a piece of land in addition to polluting water supplies and increasing pest resistance. Organic farming aims to counter this effect while improving the quality of produce and the welfare of livestock.
Organic farming methods are fairly alien to most farmers and it is still a fairly young 'science'. The levels of investment in researching natural methods are far lower than in non-organic research, though organic yields are improving slowly.
I like the idea of farming as naturally as possible but organic farming will be never be productive enough on its own. I guess we need to combine less intensive non-organic methods with those that promote natural methods. And of course there's the whole debate and legal furore about genetically modified crop production in the EU. It'll be interesting to see how that pans out.
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
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    2

myself, i dont see what all the hubub is about artificial fertilizers. i would rather eat Miracle Grow than cow dung. seriously, i dont see what harm it does to the human body. after all, the fertilizer is just what the plant eats. however i am concerned about pesticides. after all aren't humans the biggest pest on the planet? :roll:
[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

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paul wheaton
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Joined: Dec 14, 1998
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So you wouldn't mind eating stuff grown in a field where agent orange was used?
Some chem farmers are using toxic industrial waste as fertilizer because it is cheaper than traditional chemical fertilizers. Cows grazing on a field treated this way died. But it's still okay for human consumption. Oh, and the company that produced the toxic waste saved millions by not having to dispose of it "properly". It's an exception in the law books that promotes recycling in industry.
http://www.crcwater.org/issues/fertwaste91797.html
If organic food cost the same as chem food and were as available, I would eat only organic. As is, I will often pay a little more to get organic. Whenever I grow a garden or raise animals, it's purely organic.


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paul wheaton
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Joined: Dec 14, 1998
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    ∞

Originally posted by Randall Twede:
myself, i dont see what all the hubub is about artificial fertilizers. i would rather eat Miracle Grow than cow dung. seriously, i dont see what harm it does to the human body. after all, the fertilizer is just what the plant eats. however i am concerned about pesticides. after all aren't humans the biggest pest on the planet? :roll:
[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

Your choice dude. I think you would die from the miracle grow. You probably wouldn't even get a stomach ache from the cow manure.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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thanks people. earlier i was under the impression that non-organic is better because it is pumped with more nutritions. so with genetically engineered food we get more value for less. but now it seems that the differences and worries are not actaully about the artificalially injected proteins and calcium, but it is more about the pesticides that go in. i recently started using organic whenever possible like milk and eggs. was just wondering is it worth spending that much extra. may be if everyone starts using organic, those companies will be able to spend more on its research and will ultimately bring the prices down. or may be not so fast.
SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
i recently started using organic whenever possible like milk and eggs

I say you are wasting your money. All milk is pasturised these days so whats the point of buying organic? Sure if you live on a farm, fresh non-pasturised milk will taste better & probably be better for you.
Ok so you buy organic eggs? then what - fry them in olive oil?
(sorry, just taking the contrarian view).
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20660
    ∞

Originally posted by Simon Lee:

I say you are wasting your money. All milk is pasturised these days so whats the point of buying organic? Sure if you live on a farm, fresh non-pasturised milk will taste better & probably be better for you.
Ok so you buy organic eggs? then what - fry them in olive oil?
(sorry, just taking the contrarian view).

Simon, how would you like to grow a lovely set of breasts? Non-organic cattle are being fed hormones so they can increase milk production. Some men drinking that milk have been experiencing the side effect of growing breasts.
When it comes to eggs, you can have the eggs from free range pastured chickens that are out in the sun eating bugs, grass, organic grains, etc. Or you can have the eggs produced by chickens that are kept in cages with their beaks broken off (to prevent pecking) and are fed the entrails of other animals plus medicated grain that has something so wrong with it that it is not allowed to be sold for human consumption. They breathe the amonia filled air from so many other chickens cramped into the same small space.
Eggs from hell cost about a dollar a dozen. Eggs from heaven cost about two dollars a dozen. The later have been proven to have more omega-3 and other healthy benefits. Some claim there is a big taste difference.
You seriously don't want to hear me talk about processing chickens for meat.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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Sure if you live on a farm, fresh non-pasturised milk will taste better & probably be better for you.

Sorry, i forgot to mention that i am even in the process of trying soy milk. most of my friends and colleagues don't like its taste but i am okay with it. when i went to buy one, i saw tons of companies with tons of varieties, plain/vanilla/chocolate etc. then there were low fat/fat free/regular/2 percent/etc.. i tried plain regular organic soy milk from a company called Silk and i kind of like its taste.
Ok so you buy organic eggs? then what - fry them in olive oil?

yes. we were even planning to use olive oil instead of canola or peanut or vegetable or others. and i found out this http://content.health.msn.com/content/article/11/1671_50886. now i m not so sure . i had once received a spam chain letter email about canola oil. i thought it was just a joke and people are just spreading rumour. but typing "olive vegetable canola oil health" in google shows this as the second result http://www.breathing.com/articles/canola-oil.htm. yuk!
so you got any such bad news about soy milk too? boy i m changing my food habits drastically these days but the more i think about it the more it seems confusing and at the end of the day i find myself saying, what the heck? what's the point of going through all this trouble?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
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Before you get too excited about Canola oil you should realize that the article you cited is a bunch of half truths and outright lies. Yes, canola oil does come from rape seed which is in the mustard family. But so does mustard and turnip, cabbage, watercress, horseradish, and radish. Rapeseed oil has been used in cooking for centuries in Europe, India, China, and Japan. The problem with rapeseed oil is that it is high in erucic acid which has been linked to heart lesions. Canola oil was developed by cross breeding (not "genetic engineering") different strains of rapeseed plants and replacing most of the euric acid with oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. Cross breeding has been used by human beings to develop our food crops for 10,000 years. In 1978, the new and improved rapeseed oil was named Canola oil. This light, tasteless oil's popularity is due to the structure of its fats. It is lower in saturated fat (about 6%) than any other oil. Compare this to the high saturated fat content of peanut oil (about 18%) and palm oil (at an incredibly high 79%). It also contains more cholesterol-balancing monounsaturated fat than any oil except olive oil and has the distinction of containing Omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat reputed to not only lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, but also to contribute to brain growth and development. So the people who tell you to avoid Canola oil are idiots. Ignore them.


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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I'm with Paul on organic milk and eggs.
Cows from an organic farm are not induced to produce milk by injecting them with hormones. They are also not given doses of unneeded antibiotics.
We eat eggs only from free range chickens fed with natural feeds. These eggs are higher in nutritional value and contain omega-3. I think the eggs from these chickens also just taste better.
And isn't there something nice about knowing that animals weren't tortured to provide you with your breakfast?
Pakka Desi
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Joined: Oct 11, 2002
Posts: 177
There is nothing like the taste of pure village milk. The regular milk tastes really bad, even the tea made using the milk tastes horrible but the organic milk tastes a lot better and I am convinced that it is a lot healthier than the harmone milk.
In India, we used to buy milk from our neighbor who had a buffalo (Bhains). (In India, buffalo milk is more popular because of economic reasons although cow milk is preffered for health reasons.) I somehow like the taste of buffalo milk better. Do any stores in the US carry Buffalo milk?


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R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Randall Twede:
myself, i dont see what all the hubub is about artificial fertilizers.

I dont know whether you ever had home grown vegetables[in which chemical fertilizer is not used and dung is used] or not.
But I can tell you by the smell of cooked vegetables that whether its grown on chemical or its on cow dung.
The only difference is that there is no smell in veg grown with help of Chemical fertilizers.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Joel McNary
Bartender

Joined: Aug 20, 2001
Posts: 1821

Originally posted by Simon Lee:

Ok so you buy organic eggs? then what - fry them in olive oil?


Actually, Yes, I do scramble my eggs in olive oil Or Ghee, which is clarified butter.
We buy organic whenever we can. We find that Soy Dream (not Silk) is the better brand of soy milk, but, of course, your tastes may vary.
My wife is also large into the Blood Type Diet / Lifestyle. This isn't a "lose-weight" type of diet but rather a "feel better/live longer" type diet--of course, the "live longer" cannot easily be proven, but I've seen the effects of the "feel better" for myself. Basically, the theory states that different people digest different foods in different ways. Therefore, eating the foods that you digest better will increase your general overall health. Likewise with relaxation; people respond differently to different types of exercise. Basically:
Type O: Eat meat, minimize the carbohydrates. Avoid wheat; ancient grains (kamut, quinoa, etc.) Strenous exercises (aerobics, team sports, etc.) are encouraged. Note that this is very similar to the Atkins diet.
Type A: Eat grains and beans. This is the vegetarian diet, although poultry and fish are OK to eat (as, I believe, is turtle ). Yoga / Pilates / other exercises in the similar vein are encouraged. (My wife and I, as well as both kids, are type A)
Type B: Milk and eggs and some meat and....my wife is jelous of Type Bs becasue they have the most varied food selection.
Type AB: A combination of A and B. Don't know much about this one off the top of my head.

There's been a lot of research (30 years) into this diet, but it has all been case-study/anecdoteal research conducted by the proponant (Dr. D'Adamo) and his father before him. I would like to see further, hard, research into this diet because the case studies are fairly compelling.


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
So how do you know which type you are?
SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
hey I did say I was just taking the other side of the fence
I think the price differential is greater in the UK, 'free range' eggs cost 3 times 'battery' eggs. I doubt if they're fed different feed either. Yup, I'm from a village that had a battery chicken farm & it did used to stink. But 3 times the price? I'll stick with the cheap eggs.
Olive oil for frying? That is the dumbest thing I've heard - its a salad oil. Use corn/sunflower oil (i.e. high temperature) for frying.
If you want omega-3, eat nuts.
Which leaves milk.
Sure if you live on a farm, fresh non-pasturised milk will taste better & probably be better for you.

Take some advise from Pakka. Try some unpasturised milk straight from the farm, I think your unqualified to talk about milk unless you've tried it.
just my 2c (as ever)
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Simon Lee:
Olive oil for frying? That is the dumbest thing I've heard - its a salad oil. Use corn/sunflower oil (i.e. high temperature) for frying.
I heard that olive oil becomes unhealthy after frying at high temperatures, but depends on oil type and exact temperature. - food oil science degree needed. Its okay for low temp cooking though, baking etc. Its best cold (and with lots of vinegar).
I stick to ground nut oil for frying these days.
I don't mind paying extra for organic eggs and milk. Don't usually bother with organic veg; depends on my mood and urgency of shopping, but I'm getting better (at least when I'm in UK).
Where I really notice the difference in taste is organic meat. Meat from a farm tastes great and looks leaner. No more frying supermarket bacon and ending up with a room full of steam and a pan full of water and white scum.
Regardless of taste, price and nutrition organic food production is just better ethically. I hope it survives.
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by <health conscious>:
...and at the end of the day i find myself saying, what the heck? what's the point of going through all this trouble?
I know what you mean! But don't despair. Educating yourself about what you eat and where it comes is really important and it can only help you in the long run.
Linda Rowczenio
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 2
I just discovered javaranch thought I would be looking at java questions. but talking food is my kinda thing. what I do is use extra virgin olive oil for most things salad etc and for one off frying e.g. eggs but where I might use oil more than once say for chips (french fries or whatever I should call them after the Iraq war) I use rapeseed oil which is higher in monosaturated oil than extra virgin olive oil. The extra virgin bit before anyone gets too excited is how the oil is extracted so olive oil could come from the second pressing of the olives.
on the milk front in the uk we can get oat milk and rice milk as an alternative to soya, but try different brands it makes a lot of difference
I use organic food when I can as the skins of fruit and veg contain the vitamins and the pesticide residue also if you have peel a pound of carrots you do not get a pound of carrot to eat if I buy organic carrots I eat the skin so I get nearer a pound the price difference is less
Marcus Green
arch rival
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Simon says....
All milk is pasturised these days so whats the point of buying organic? ....
(sorry, just taking the contrarian view).
....
Marcus responded
What do you think the connection is between organic/non organic and if something is pasteurised or not?
Marcus


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SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
It depends why you are buying the milk. If you buy organic because you think the cows should be eating natural feed then fair enough.
If you buy organic milk because you think it's better for you (the human), and tastes better than non-organic milk, then I'd say that unpasturised non-organic milk was better for you.
I can't believe people can taste the difference between pasturised organic/non-organic milk?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Simon Lee:
I can't believe people can taste the difference between pasturised organic/non-organic milk?

I don't think there is a difference in taste. I buy it because the cows are more humanely treated and the cows are not injected with hormones and antibiotics.
Organic eggs definitely taste better, though.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20660
    ∞

Originally posted by Simon Lee:

I can't believe people can taste the difference between pasturised organic/non-organic milk?

My daughter raises goats and sells goat milk and goat cheese. There is a big difference in taste depending on what the goats have been eating lately.
As for difference in quality - those pesticides find their way right through.
Many people beleive that red meat doesn't cause cancer. It's red meat from cows that have been eating pesticide treated grass/grain/etc. The pesticide is the carcinogen and accumulates in the cow.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20660
    ∞

How would you feel about consuming milk from a cow that was grazing on a field that still had some agent orange on it? Or cyanide (used to control moles and voles)?
Pakka Desi
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Joined: Oct 11, 2002
Posts: 177
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I don't think there is a difference in taste. I buy it because the cows are more humanely treated and the cows are not injected with hormones and antibiotics.

I don't know if there is any scienific proof to this, but I most definitely feel a marked difference in the tast of organic and non-organic milk that we get from the grocery store. And I am pretty sure you would too if you just take one sip from a mug of organic and one from the harmone milk. But don't mix anything like sugar or chocolate in it. Just heat it up and taste it.
Another sure shot way to feel the difference is to prepare Indian style tea with both the milks. But that's complicated
[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: Pakka Desi ]
Joel McNary
Bartender

Joined: Aug 20, 2001
Posts: 1821

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So how do you know which type you are?

If you give blood you'll find out. If you don't, there are kits that you can buy to find out.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Type O: Eat meat, minimize the carbohydrates. Avoid wheat; ancient grains (kamut, quinoa, etc.)
Type A: Eat grains and beans. This is the vegetarian diet, although poultry and fish are OK to eat (as, I believe, is turtle ).

Joel, my blood type is O, but my meals fit more into the A type. I m an eggetarian (vegetarian + eggs) no fish no meat. so those rules probably do not apply to me
 
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subject: organic food