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:


Hello Everyone!

14 01 2011

Hello! I thought the best way to kick start this blog would be to introduce you to your friendly internet neighborhood blogger, me!! So who exactly am I?

To begin, I was born on a small farm in Central Illinois founded by my great-great-great grandfather (in case you are counting in your head, that’s six generations). You know the saying “location, location, LOCATION!…” well it’s definitely true-growing up on this small farm has pretty much defined me completely.

I learned to love and appreciate animals, from ducks and cows to snakes and garden spiders. In fact, my brother and I had an animal rescue operation when we were in elementary school. Our regular clients included birds and rodents our cats had injured… needless to say we didn’t have video games, internet, or cable television. Other activities included making hybrid dams/bridges to cross from one side of the creek to the other from mud, seaweed, rocks and field tiles.

Today, I refuse to drive on a particular road near our farm that went from field to suburb rather dramatically. Every year the city seems to creep closer and closer, developing more and more prime farmland into excess developments (excess gas stations, Subways, golf courses, etc). Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping and eating and going to movies too… but I know the value in good soil and good people to take care of it too.

Hopefully this introduction gives you a little insight as to who I am. And make sure to stay tuned for more anecdotes and family history!

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