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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, there have been 2 food scares that seem to affect both organic and non-organic foods alike. I am referring to the current salmonella peanut butter recall, and the spinach scare of a year or so ago. I found quite a few products labelled 'organic' that are affected by the salmonella scare here:

I do not claim to be an expert on this topic. But, my question is this: If organic foods are significantly different than non-organic, why are they affected by the same salmonella outbreaks? If they are such different products, grown and kept separately, then clearly only one or the other should be affected, but not both.

I understand that the peanut problem is due to a processing plant, and isn't a farmer/grower issue directly, but this still doesn't really add up.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really fail to see your point. How does something that has nothing to do with how a food is produced invalidate the method of production?
I thought that the point of organic was healthy food grown/produced under controlled conditions. As a 'bottom line' kind of guy, what's the point of growing food carefully only to process it carelessly? It's only worthwhile if the entire process is good. Obviously, organic food with salmonella is no better than non-organic food with salmonella. I think the product and the production have to go hand-in-hand.

Furthermore, I don't know all of the specifics surrounding the spinach scare. I thought that was due to animal waste on the product or in the irrigation water, which again leads me to believe that these things aren't as different as the marketing people want us to believe.
 

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As a preliminary matter, you have to be careful with the term "organic" since its meaning can vary wildly. Also, if you're going to buy organic, you need to get it from a trustworthy source. Just because something claims to be organic doesn't mean that it is organic or that it is what you consider organic.

With those caveats out of the way, I buy organic because I don't want to ingest a bunch of chemicals needlessly. I don't mind paying extra to have meat without hormones or fruit without pesticides.

This is not to say that hormones and pesticides are all bad. Both have allowed exponential increases in food production. If the choice is people starving in Africa or Africans eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, I think most would agree that the hormoes and pesticides have helped.

For me, though, I am fortunate enough not to worry about starvation, so my choice comes down to conventional or organic foods. I choose organic because, having access to both, I prefer to avoid chemicals and their known and unknown effects on humans.
 

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As a preliminary matter, you have to be careful with the term "organic" since its meaning can vary wildly. Also, if you're going to buy organic, you need to get it from a trustworthy source. Just because something claims to be organic doesn't mean that it is organic or that it is what you consider organic.
The USDA regulates organic food. If so labeled, it must meet the criteria of the National Organic Program. The intent is to enable people to make informed food choices. Now whether the standards are strictly enforced, I don't know. But the term organic is defined, as opposed to natural or other terms.
 

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I am a big believer in organic fruit and vegetables. In some fruits, pesticides get into the meat of the fruit so it can not be "washed off". I always try to buy organic grapes, apples, peaches, pears, and any other fruits with thin skins.
 

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I saw the title of this thread on the forum listing and immediately thought about the salmonella outbreak. My coworkers and I had the exact same questions.

Maybe there's not too many ways to grow peanuts and then turn them in to paste?
 

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I'm a non organic dude. I haven't seen any reason to switch to organic and increase my food bill $100s a month.
My simple solution;
1-clean food
2- cook food
3-pray over food
4-eat food
I also take supplements for what may be lacking in my diet.



If things ever get so bad that I can't trust what I buy from the grocery store then I'm going straight to the farm or farmers market and slaughter house.
 

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I'm a non organic dude. I haven't seen any reason to switch to organic and increase my food bill $100s a month.
My simple solution;
1-clean food
2- cook food
3-pray over food
4-eat food
I also take supplements for what may be lacking in my diet.
^+1. I know several people who swear by organic food, but methinks it's just a placebo. I am floored how expensive organic food is. I go into Whole Foods every once in a while for a good chuckle.
 

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My wife and I pretty much eat organic food exclusively.

It started with her (one of those "wife things"), and since she manages our groceries and is the primary cook (I just bake), I let her do what she wanted. Now, about 5 years later, the idea of "ordinary" food bothers me.

Probably it doesn't "really" matter, but I do like the idea of reducing the level of chemicals (from pesticides, high-tech soil treatments, etc.) taken internally - things that mere "washing" won't remove (having worked as a biophysicist and analytical chemist in the past, I'm well aware how incredibly hard it is to actually clean a surface... just scrubbing and rinsing isn't enough). We are lucky enough, foodwise, to live in a very "liberal" community, so we have a neighborhood organic farmer's co-op, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, plus a couple of asian markets with organic selections.

I even drink organic, free-trade coffee ;)

Is it expensive? Quite so, especially since we're "foodies". Probably our grocery bill is about twice what it would be if we weren't selective, but few things are more important than what you eat (I always say you should never economize on shoes, mattresses or food) so it's worth it.

But "chemistry" aside, I feel there are several ancillary benefits to organic eating. First, you're *thinking * about food more, and that awareness - the inability to just reach for the convenient packages - translates into a better, healthier diet. Also, going organic means you don't have so many "preserved" foods, so you're forced to shop more frequently so you're eating fresher food (always a good thing) AND probably a greater variety of food, since you aren't buying in bulk or "hoarding". Finally, the quest for organic food leads you to stores where you're more likely to be buying whole-grain breads and the like.

So the organic benefits are both chemical and "lifestyle", I'd say; that's been my experience, at least.

D.
 

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I've found organic foods usually taste better as well.
 

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Organic is one of those catchwords that means different things to different people. I'm a monkeywrenching treehugger, and I am damned if I know what 'ecology' is?
Very simply, organic is not so much what food has, but what it does not. Modern organics are simply plant and animal food products produced pre WW2 chemical and industrial agriculture practises.
To some, simple ethical treatment of animals is organic. Our recently passed California legislation reflects this. And, with a two year degree in agriculture with basic production courses in dairy,beef,sheep,swine,chicken and citrus management I know some aspects are horrific while others are of value. A free range chicken leads a happy, as far as chicken happy goes, life.Certainly, if you've fed feed to a battery holding thousands of chickens with their upper beaks burned off you might concur.
But I also know a chicken can get all manner of nasties eating those tomato cutworms that can show up concentrated in my morning dnever Omelet.
Unless you are a hunter gahterer, 100% organic is a myth.
People should ponder a tall, cold glass of microbrewery bear. Beer was invented, along with much of our cultural tools on the Fertile Crescent, aka Iraq.
the buzz was just a nice side effect. Brewing provided a SAFE beverage from the ORGANIC pollutants even then present in that ancient civilisation.
Organic is a clumsey and marketable phrase to let peolpe know the producers are at least thinking about the product.
Pours myself a finger of Laphraiog, which tastes of peat, decomposing plant matierial. Slante' which is Gaelic for ' it's organic'
 

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I do not claim to be an expert on this topic. But, my question is this: If organic foods are significantly different than non-organic, why are they affected by the same salmonella outbreaks? If they are such different products, grown and kept separately, then clearly only one or the other should be affected, but not both.
I have not heard any claims that organically grown foods are processed on different equipment than their non-organic counterparts. Is it your understanding that they are necessarily segregated?
 

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Organic food is about it not being grown or processed with the aid of toxic chemicals. Some of us don't want to eat chemicals that 60-90% of which have been shown to increase cancer risk. Placebo? You be the judge.
 

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I took a class in forensic anthropology towards my degree.
Instructor shared a charming fact. Older people born pre 1940s decay at a faster rate, overall than those born post 1940.
His explanation was there are so many food preservatives in our modern supply the residue slows mortification of the flesh.
You take a breast feeding mother from US or Europe and let her suckle a third world baby. The baby will die from all poisoning we have accumulated in our environments but less so theirs.
The great whales, co alpha animals in the ocean food chain have such massive amounts of mercury in their fatty tissues the japanese people are beginning to see directly related birth defects, yet stubbornly persist in killing whales for 'research.'
 
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