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The Forum > Article Comments > Organic food it's a religion > Comments

Organic food it's a religion : Comments

By David Leyonhjelm, published 6/7/2012

Support for organic food is based on a belief system in which facts are not particularly relevant but allows the self-satisfaction of looking down on those who do not share your beliefs.

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What you consider to be similar to a religion has not proven correct in this family. After ds was extremely ill with flu in the middle of last year (hospitalised) he never returned to full health. He also came down with everything that was going around and was visibly sick all the time. Multiple tests by the doctor came back negative and the medical community obviously did not have an answer. Our doctor suggested probiotics which was introduced and 4 rounds later he still showed no improvement. He had always taken a general multivitamin. We have always eaten healthy with lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains etc so it was not our diet. We then introduced an immune system booster from the 'health shop' to the equation. There was still no visible improvement. The lethargy, paleness, picking up everything that was going around continued, he was visibly sick all the time.

Out of absolute desperation we turned to organic produce. After several weeks of being on a totally organic diet ds has visibly improved. His old energy has returned, he is visibly well again. This is anecdotal I know but obvious that the organic food was the turning point for him. It is NOT a religion but has been a choice after having tried everything else. We do not feel 'superior', just your average family. Will we remain as an organic family - maybe, maybe not. But right now it is the right thing for us as nothing else worked.
tired
Posted by tired, Friday, 6 July 2012 9:17:52 AM
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Well done David. Moralising, as opposed to morality, has become the most dangerous disease of rich societies in the 21st century. Too many people now distinguish themselves from their fellow citizens by claiming moral superiority through what they eat, how far their food travels and several other equally silly notions.

People can eat organic food if they like but they shouldn't believe they are improving their own health or improving the environment by doing so.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Friday, 6 July 2012 10:06:11 AM
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Well I have read some rubbish in my time, this article just about takes the cake.

There are plenty of peer reviewed scientific studies that clearly demonstrate organic food is not only more nutritious, better tasting and yields in excess from mainstream 'industrial, mono-crop agricultural foods'.

I prefer my food, when I can get it, to be free from the oil and natural gas by-products (herbicides and pesticides) and from soils that don't retain years of residue from these chemically toxic substances.

With the increasing cost of energy, lowering yields, and difficulty in getting industrial foods to market in the near future, I would suggest you take a good long look at your biased hatred of organic farming foods and methodologies.
Posted by Geoff of Perth, Friday, 6 July 2012 1:18:11 PM
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Geoff

Most independent and rigorous analysis confirms what this article says - there is no discernable nutritional benefit to eating organic food. See for example:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640946

The correlation with moralising also rings true, in my experience.
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 6 July 2012 2:53:17 PM
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So suppose you are right, David, and organic food IS a religion - then what?

Suppose "Tired", Geoff and others are wrong and organic food has no nutritional or health benefits, only spiritual benefits, suppose eating organic food does not make us healthier but does bring us closer to God - WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Also, what's wrong with moral superiority? If you are doing better than average morally, then you are morally superior - that doesn't mean that you want to keep others inferior - on the contrary, you will only rejoice if everyone else were to rise to your standards!
(may I remind you that John Galt, Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, etc. were also morally superior - surely you don't oppose them...)
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 6 July 2012 3:17:06 PM
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Sorry Geoff, but the facts don't fit your opinion. Or should I say, your opinion doesn't fit the facts.

David is correct, organic yields are generally lower. There may be some crop specific exceptions, but they are not the rule.

This has been shown pretty definitively by these guys and published in Nature:
Verena Seufert, Navin Ramankutty, Jonathan A. Foley. Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11069

That's not to say that I agree with everything David Leyonhjelm says, as much of what he writes is faith based free-market economy stuff (eg. he doesn't believe that quarantine helps anyone).

But he is right in this instance.
Posted by Bugsy, Friday, 6 July 2012 3:29:53 PM
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