The Illusion Of Organic, Ctd

A reader counters our earlier post:

The science doesn't support "paying significantly more for organic foods just to avoid synthetic pesticides" – you will encounter the chemicals elsewhere.

But if all crops were raised organically, there would be fewer pesticides in that "elsewhere." That is the POINT. It's not that the organic grapes are, in themselves, better for you.  No doubt most of the poisons are washed off the conventionally raised grapes.  But then what happens to them?  They end up in the soil and the water.

The reason to buy organic is not in order to avoid ME being poisoned by MY food.  It's that supporting organic farming may eventually result in all of us no longer being poisoned by everything around us.  Buying organic for those reasons – and paying more for it – is the opposite of elitist.

Another writes:

We don't buy organic fruits because they're healthier to eat, but because they're healthier to grow.  They're better for the fields and the farm workers.  I never had any fear about eating produce grown conventuals.  No one really does.


The basic benefit of organic (and local, small scale) food is about creating a sustainable food system. Organic farms consume far less energy and produce far less waste than conventional farms, while taking a small hit on overall yield. They also promote healthier heterogenous ecosystems and release much few contaminants into the wider world. The reason we have massive amounts of dead fish washing up in the Gulf of Mexico is from agricultural runoff from the Mississippi river.

There are still serious questions that need to be answered to create a large-scale, equitable, and sustainable food system, but I hope that this study doesn't move people away from organics and back toward our broken conventional food system.

Another defense of organic:

There’s the taste; the fruits and vegetable that come from an organic farm are just that much better.