Friday, March 31, 2006

Organic food

I've just been looking at the guardian feature about organic veg in today's paper. Titled 'Is organic veg really better for you', Leo Hickman once again looks at the green vegetable way of life, and ultimately concludes that it will be the consumers who decide whether pesticide residues do us harm or not.

I love this sort of thing. Consumer pressure can and will achieve anything and everything. It's no use expecting the government to take a line on it in order to make a real difference - simply because it's not in their best interests. However, the more organic food we buy, the easier it is to find it in the shops and the cheaper it becomes. It becomes beneficial for the stores to change the market place to suit us.

However, I still don't understand why pesticides are allowed to be used so much. We've seen a real effect on fish with all the pollutants flushed into the water supply - apparently many fish stocks are now so high in certain toxins that there's only a few varieties that are safe to eat. And it doesn't only affect us - it's affecting the animals that feed off them as well.

And as for pesticides sprayed willy nilly over crops - they've got to go somewhere. Of course, they affect the birds and wildlife that live in the countryside as well as creeping into the water supply. There's not going to be an answer to this is there? Maybe one day Organic food will just be the norm, whether pesticides damage us or not. If that's the case then at least we won't be damaging things other than ourselves.


lilymarlene said...

The pesticide issue is only one of the reasons why people choose to buy organic. There was a report the other week about the nutrient levels in vegetables produced today being a fraction of what they were in our grandparent's time. For that reason alone, buying organic makes sense. It is obviously the micro managing of chemical fertilisers rather than using manure and compost that makes the difference.

Judith said...

Although I agree with a lot of the arguments about organic veg - I would personally rather by locally grown veg from a supplier/farmer I trust. Better taste, and much lower 'food miles'.

Or of course my own veg - where 'food inches' are a more suitable measure!

Al said...

Our veg box gets produce from local suppliers, which gives us the best of both worlds I think. Although we do get some fruit in the box from abroad, they don't airfreight it.

I also read that report about veg from the past having more nutrients. It's strange how we manage to make things worse for ourselves while trying to better our lives. I'm all up for pushing science, especially when it comes to evolution/creation arguments, but I don't think we actually use it that well all the time.

But home-grown veg is clearly the way forward.

Anonymous said...

How can one tell if the field organic produce has been grown in isnt next to one regularily crop sprayed with pesticides thus recieving overspray.

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