The Running Score: Organic Verse Conventional

15 03 2011

Today is it virtually impossible to buy or eat everything we want without something be labeled “organic.” My favorite snack, fruit leather, has cashed in on this growing niche market… and at $6.00 a box or so it must be working out for them. I would gladly eat fruit leather of the non-organic variety and when it comes down to cost, I would prefer it.

So why are so many people doling out the dough to eat organic diets? It might be that it protects the environment, saves the soil, or that is better for our bodies, healthier. It might be that they just don’t know the facts.

And truthfully, neither did I.

What makes something organic? Common answer: it’s all natural. Even more correct, scientifically based answer: Soluble mineral inputs are prohibited and synthetic herbicides and pesticidesare rejected in favour of natural pesticides. Natural, yes. But is it better?

And why is it so expensive? Well, organic farming practices mean lower yields and inefficient use of the land.

An article by Anthony Trewavas said that the leading organic researcher admits that in organic farming “there is very little science” and “this gives rise to a great deal of illogicality and confusion particularly insome areas of production.”

I would think that when it comes to the health of the environment and our families, science would be of the utmost importance.

So here is the break down so far: organic means expensive, unscientific production of food. Conventional is, and again Trewavas said it best: a diverse set of technologies using the best available knowledge, whose ultimate goal is the safe, efficient provision of foods in abundance and at lowest price.  And the score stands:

And as we stand:

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We Love [Safe] Farmers

16 02 2011

In the spirit if Valentine’s Day week (because one day of loving is never enough!), I wanted to find a nice “We Love Farmers” youtube video. Here is what I came up with:

And I kept looking to give all you farmers a little loving this holiday season…. but what I ended up finding set this blog post in a totally different direction than I had anticipated. This next youtube video made me want to emphasize that farmers are loved and appreciated, so be safe! I think production agriculturalists sometimes take for granted how large and dangerous farm machinery can be.

I hope this video encourages us all to take our time. Don’t rush into the planting season too soon when it is too wet. Be aware of your surroundings (especially deep ditches and power lines).

Here is an informational video about tractor safety tips involving a tractor and liquid manure spreader:

Another thing, don’t text and drive in a car OR a tractor OR combine OR any other motorized vehicle. Teenagers aren’t the only one abusing texting and smart phone apps.

The overall take home message: be safe! And…. Peace Love and Corn, which is apparently available as a bumper sticker too: http://images2.cpcache.com/product/450061762v3_480x480_Front.jpg… in case you need a belated Valentine’s Day gift!!

Corn Bumper Sticker








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