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Organic or not?
Old 04-05-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
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Organic or not?

I was wondering if most of you step up and spend the extra money for organic procucts? Reading about Strawberries with 13 pesticides is crazy.

11 things you should buy organic on Shine
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:10 PM   #2
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Not.
Whether grown organically or not, there are hundreds of chemicals in strawberries. A strawberry is nothing but a bundle of chemicals in a form that we recognize as a "strawberry." I'm not sure why we'd think the 13 chemicals that were deliberately put on them, and which are probably among the few which have been tested for safety, are more dangerous than the others.

Remember the infamous "Who Knows About Milk" thread? I sense a reprise coming on!
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #3
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I do because I think many organic fruits and vegetables taste more like the veggies my parents and grandparents used to grow on the farm back home. I don't know what factors the difference in taste can be attributed to.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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For different reasons, I prefer to get organic fruit and veggies. I do not care for commercialized organic produce (the kind you get in chain super markets), but ripe ones at farmer's markets are where I prefer to get my produce although if I'm lazy, I would eat just about anything. Living in Northern CA, I realize I have better choices, compared to some other people who live where produce is not grown locally.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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Usually not.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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I generally avoid organic. I feel like they are trying to pull a scam on me, and I won't play.

Notice the 'wiggle words' in that article - 13 chemicals can be 'detected'. We have super-sensitive equipment these days that can detect trace amounts. Does that make it dangerous? Odd they don't link to studies that show the clear danger. Maybe because there isn't any?

I recall trying to research this in more depth a while back - if any group was to be harmed by this stuff, it would be the farmers/workers that deal with it directly on a regular basis, and are exposed to it far more than us consumers. Yet, outside of a few specific instances of identified issues, there doesn't seem to be trend of farmers falling over dead as they sprouted a third head.

But you might as well try to convince some people that candles are more dangerous than nuclear power - they don't want to hear it.


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Old 04-05-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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I do because I think many organic fruits and vegetables taste more like the veggies my parents and grandparents used to grow on the farm back home. I don't know what factors the difference in taste can be attributed to.
You might very well be getting fresher, tree/vine ripened produce that is of a variety that was not bred for shipping over flavor. But I doubt that 'organic' affected the taste.

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Old 04-05-2011, 09:07 PM   #8
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You might very well be getting fresher, tree/vine ripened produce that is of a variety that was not bred for shipping over flavor. But I doubt that 'organic' affected the taste.

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I agree. As I mentioned, I think other factors might very well account for the difference in taste. I just don't know what those factors might be.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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Ahhhh, here's the guy I was looking for - Dr Ames:

Of Mice and Men - Reason Magazine

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In the 1970s, Bruce Ames was a hero to environmentalists--the inventor of the Ames Test, which allows scientists to test chemicals to see whether they cause mutations in bacteria and perhaps cancer in humans. His research and testimony led to bans on such synthetic chemicals as Tris, the flame-retardant used in children's pajamas. A world renowned cancer researcher with a calm, reasoned manner, Ames was an ideal witness in the case against man-made chemicals. .....

But it's a scientist's imperative to change his mind when the data change-- and recent data have made Ames deeply suspicious of high dosage chemical testing and especially of the notion that man-made chemicals are uniquely dangerous. We are, he has discovered, surrounded by mutagens--not only synthetic chemicals but also natural ones--and blindly banning suspicious modern substances can do more harm than good.

Today, Ames, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, stands on the other side of the chemical-ban debate. In 1990, he spoke out against California's Proposition 128, which would have banned many pesticides, and he has been highly critical of the ban on Alar. The best way to prevent cancer, Ames now believes, is to "eat your veggies." Any government action that makes fruits and vegetables more expensive ultimately causes cancer. In recent years, Ames has added a dollop of the economist's sense of trade-offs to the cancer researcher's zeal for prevention.

Ames discussed cancer research and environmental politics with Editor Virginia Postrel at his Office in Berkeley.

Ames:
But the control. which people should have thought of but they didn't, is what about all the chemicals in the natural world? People got in their head, well, if it's man-made somehow it's potentially dangerous, but if it's natural, it isn't. That doesn't really fit with anything we know about toxicology. When we understand how animals are resistant to chemicals, the mechanisms are all independent of whether it's natural or synthetic. And in fact, when you look at natural chemicals, half of those tested came out positive.

Of course. almost all the world is natural chemicals, so it really makes you rethink everything. A cup of coffee is filled with chemicals. They've identified a thousand chemicals in a cup of coffee. But we only found 22 that have been tested in animal cancer tests out of this thousand. And of those, 17 are carcinogens. There are 10 milligrams of known carcinogens in a cup of coffee and that's more carcinogens than you're likely to get from pesticide residues for a year!


Ames: ... The point isn't to worry so much about cups of coffee, but to rethink what we're doing with animal cancer testing We're eating natural pesticides, which are natural chemicals that plants use to try to kill off insects that try to eat them. And we eat roughly 1,500 milligrams of them per day. We eat 0.09 milligrams of synthetic pesticide residues. So we're talking about incredibly tiny amounts of synthetic pesticides, and yet the same percentage of natural chemicals come out positive.
Yep, them strawberries are full of carcinogens, organic or not.

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Old 04-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Yet, outside of a few specific instances of identified issues, there doesn't seem to be trend of farmers falling over dead as they sprouted a third head.
Farmers (and migrant workers) don't fall over dead but they are more likely to get cancer such as myeloma. Farmers who use the pesticide 2,4-D have a much higher rate of lymphoma. Aldicarb is known to cause colon and rectal cancer. Etc., etc.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:29 PM   #11
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Farmers (and migrant workers) don't fall over dead but they are more likely to get cancer such as myeloma. Farmers who use the pesticide 2,4-D have a much higher rate of lymphoma.
How much more likely? How much of a higher rate? Now take that back to the difference between working directly with 50 # bags of this stuff, and getting trace amounts on the foods we eat.

Aldicarb is known to cause colon and rectal cancer. Etc., etc.

And apples are known to contain carcinogens - should we stop eating apples (see my links to Dr Ames).

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Old 04-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #12
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How much more likely? How much of a higher rate?
Enough to be statistically significant in peer reviewed studies. Ie, it depends on the cancer and the pesticide.

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And apples are known to contain carcinogens - should we stop eating apples (see my links to Dr Ames).
No. Why do you suggest we should eating apples?
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:34 PM   #13
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Farmers who use the pesticide 2,4-D have a much higher rate of lymphoma.
Somebody should tell the NIH about the "much higher" rate in these farmers. They think:
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The toxicological data do not provide a strong basis for predicting that 2,4-D is a human carcinogen.
Others think
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Epidemiologic studies provide scant evidence that exposure to 2,4-D is associated with soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, or any other cancer. Overall, the available evidence from epidemiologic studies is not adequate to conclude that any form of cancer is causally associated with 2,4-D exposure.
I stopped checking after that. So, maybe there's been newer work, or a salacious magazine interview with an ill farmer.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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Why do you suggest we should (stop) eating apples?
Look at the data that Ames provided. If you are want to avoid .09mg of synthetic pesticides, shouldn't you be absolutely terrified of 1500mg of natural pesticides, half of which are probably carcinogenic?

Just stop eating altogether, I guess.

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Old 04-05-2011, 09:46 PM   #15
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Somebody should tell the NIH about the "much higher" rate in these farmers.
Fair enough.

Weight of the evidence on the human carcinogenicity of 2,4-D

"The predominant opinion among the panel members was that the weight of the evidence indicates that it is possible that exposure to 2,4-D can cause cancer in humans, although not all of the panelists believed the possibility was equally likely...."

There seem to be some earlier studies but the current consensus is that it doesn't cause cancer.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:48 PM   #16
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Look at the data that Ames provided. If you are want to avoid .09mg of synthetic pesticides, shouldn't you be absolutely terrified of 1500mg of natural pesticides, half of which are probably carcinogenic?

Just stop eating altogether, I guess.
Eh? We should stop eating altogether?!?

Please explain again to me, slowly. You're going to stop eating veggies and fruits because...?
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:01 PM   #17
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Eh? We should stop eating altogether?!?

Please explain again to me, slowly. You're going to stop eating veggies and fruits because...?
OK. It...... was..... sarcasm......


The point that Ames makes (and he developed these tests), is that everything we eat contains naturally occurring carcinogens. You don't avoid them by eating organic. He says you might eliminate 0.09mg out of 1500mg. Just don't eat .09/1500ths of that commercial apple and you'll cut your intake down to the 'organic' version. Cheaper to throw that tiny bit away than to pay a premium for organic.

It's all about scale.

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #18
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The point that Ames makes (and he developed these tests), is that everything we eat contains naturally occurring carcinogens. You don't avoid them by eating organic. He says you might eliminate 0.09mg out of 1500mg. Just don't eat .09/1500ths of that commercial apple and you'll cut your intake down to the 'organic' version. Cheaper to throw that tiny bit away than to pay a premium for organic.

It's all about scale.
Yes, and I didn't disagree with that.

This is a weird "conversation."
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:07 PM   #19
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Yes, and I didn't disagree with that.

This is a weird "conversation."
It seemed to me that you were concerned with the synthetic pesticides. All that I (and Dr Ames) are saying is that there should be more concern over the 'naturally occurring' pesticides (natures own defense) - these are often carcinogenic also. Why single out .09mg out of 1500mg?

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:21 PM   #20
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