Clarified: What does "organic" mean?
September 3rd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

Organic: it's a word that gets bandied and bashed around a lot. Plenty of folks believe it's synonymous with "healthy," while others think it's just an excuse for companies to vacuum the last of the cash from your wallet. Politics aside, what does the term actually mean?

Produce: Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering, and relies on natural or mechanical methods, rather than prohibited chemicals, for pest control. Simply put - it needs to be as natural as possible.

For food to be United States Department of Agriculture Certified Organic and bear the accompanying seal, it must be grown and processed according to specific federal guidelines that include, among others considerations, soil quality, pest and weed control, and the use of additives. The operation must be approved by a government inspector and go through a certification process. Handlers and processors that work with the food before it reaches the market must be government certified as well.

As with eggs, dairy and meat, produce can be produced organically without the farm having undergone the lengthy and fairly expensive process to be certified organic by the USDA's National Organic Program's inspectors. If a farm or business’ gross agricultural income from organic sales does not exceed $5,000 per year it doesn't need to be certified in order to sell, label, or represent products as organic, but it may not use the "Certified Organic" seal unless it's gone through the certification process.

It's certainly possible (and increasingly popular) to garden organically at home. The USDA has assembled some handy tips for small-scale farming and home gardening use.

Meat and dairy: Meat and dairy sold as "organic" must be from animals that have been raised under specific animal welfare guidelines, given no antibiotics or growth hormones, provided with access to the outdoors, and fed with 100 percent organic feed - no animal byproducts or genetically modified or "GMO" crops - produced on land that has been free from the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers for a minimum of three years. Farms must undergo USDA inspection and certification to bear the organic seal.

A veterinarian may not withhold antibiotics in the case of illness, but rules for their use are very specific and the products, if sold, may not be labeled as organic.

Eggs: For eggs to be labeled "organic," they must come from farms that meet the USDA's National Organic Standards and are routinely inspected to ensure compliance. Hens must be fed organic feed.

The hens themselves must be maintained without hormones and other intrusive drugs and antibiotics may only be used in cases in cases of outbreak or disease. They're also kept in a cage-free environment and allowed access to the outdoors.

Labeling: Meat marketed as "organic" must be 100 percent organic. Multi-ingredient products marketed with the USDA organic seal must contain 95 percent or more certified organic content.

Read - Should you buy organic? Study complicates decision at CNN Health



soundoff (413 Responses)
  1. Zaph

    My wife and I follow the dirty dozen when it comes to organic (http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214). We will get other foods that are not on the list when we can, and always buy organic/free range meats (beef, chicken, etc).

    September 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  2. Astra Navigo

    This article brought to you by the Monsanto Corporation.....

    September 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Justyna

      I wish you could "like" comments on here. My thoughts exactly!

      September 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Stupid is as Stupid does.

      CNN should make it clear when they are selling out so that the dummies don't regurgitate this garbage. The news is often quoted in arguments and persuasive arguments, and the news is just giving fodder to the lies and propaganda of the Agriculture lobbyist. If I was a teacher I would no longer accept anything printed in the media, and really solely on Scientific Journals. The News is a joke and the media has no shame about printing misleading lies.

      September 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  3. ThatGuy

    I only buy organic food, because food with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen wouldn't really work. Now learn the meaning of words and stop correcting actual science terms with BS.

    September 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      I only buy organic food, because food with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen wouldn't really work. Now learn the meaning of words and stop confusing actual science terms with BS.

      I need to start actually proofreading things before I post...

      September 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Oliver

      Not sure the editors did their homework on the definition of "organic". The list of approved chemicals for organic production does include some synthetics. See the list form The Organic Materials Review Institute at: http://www.omri.org/sites/default/files/opl_pdf/crops_category.pdf

      September 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  4. charles

    I buy as much organic as I can. By buying local organic I support my farmer down the road and in the next county, and it helps keep my money closer to home. I don't need to spend money to help some other countrys farmers.

    September 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  5. llarcs

    I don't blindly buy "certified"organic. I buy locally produced fresh produce when available, organic if possible. I buy locally produced, grass fed, truly pastured meat, egg and dairy products, and bypass the meat section in the local supermarket all together. Actually, I don't trust much that comes out of a chain supermarket. But then, I'm in the business of growing local, organic (not "certified") meat, fruit and vegetables, so I probably know more about where my food is actually coming from (and how a chicken becomes "meat") than the average consumer. If we could all dig in the dirt a little bit for our dinner, we'd all have better appreciation for real, whole, food.

    September 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • charles

      You forgot that it just plain and simplely taste better. Fresher is better

      September 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  6. Barli

    It's not just the potential effects of chemical pesticides and fertilizers on the human body, but also on the ecology (via run-off, ground water contamination, etc.).

    September 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  7. Doc Sam

    I just don't get the anti-organic trolls. Who are the organic eaters hurting by perfering USDA certified organic food stuffs? I mean, other than the bottom line of the large, corporate, inorganic growers. I've not seen a valid argument for why people shouldn't eat organic, other than people's ignorant, foolish opinions.

    As for the quality of the food stuff, I'm not a scientist or nutritionist, so I can't attest to the chemical differences between organic or inorganic foods. I do know that I have eaten organic vegitables, eggs, meats and dairy and that when placed side by side, I almost always taste a difference in the flavor and perfer organic to inorganic(especially meat eggs and milk!). Once again, personal opinion.

    True, maybe it is not possible to feed the world on organic, but that's because we are breeding with the intelligence and planning of rabbits and could use a little less population and more control. I am in the healthcare field and do know there are valid concerns about antibiotics in meat products and their effectiveness of antibiotics on bacterial infections like MRSA. And the effects of the growth hormones in our food stuffs on the growth cycles on our children (there is strong evidence that children are hitting puberty younger and it is highly probable that this can be linked to the chemicals in our food.) Not to mention the number of known carcinogins that get pushed thru the FDA as pesticides, synthetic fertalizers, sweeteners, additives, preservatives, artificail flavoring and colors all thanks to the chemical lobbies. And the stranglehold that the corn lobby has on food (corn products in everything) and the beef lobby trying to crush alternatives to their unhealthy products (like lamb.)

    As to the arguements that try to somehow relate eating organic to world hunger issues? That is a relative of the school of logic that says that eating all your peas somehow helps starving children in India. It's a bucket that holds no water.

    But it is the right of every American has the right to ignore all this and continue to eat their highly processed, crap. Likewise, it is every American's right to eat organic, if it makes them feel better to do so. But any arguements that people shouldn't eat organic is just so much manuer.

    September 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Ally

      I've really only seen 1 or 2 anti-organic comments on here.

      About the only draw-back I could see would be less availability of produce selection to areas of the country that aren't good for growing crops. Organic foods rot more quickly, so the open highway shipping wouldn't be a good option. That's great for people living in areas that have plenty of local farms, but not so great for a decent percentage of the country.

      Of course, if you can, I fully support buying locally and seasonally!

      September 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Good for you

      Good response- people should look at living and eating better in all they do! If you can WHY wouldnt you- the facts are there- just like not eating lots of fatty food of any origin.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Aaron

    The b.s. of the government qualifications of "organic" is that it is not truly organic. It is still allowed to have chemicals smothered all over it. We have a big garden at my house and we use other, cost effective remedies that keep the pugs away. We also compost to build up the soil. It is absolutely asinine that something can be called organic but is not truly organic.

    September 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • pflatman

      You realize that there are some chemicals that are allowed on organic, but never in the same quantities as conventional produce, which are sprayed liberally and without any regard to the environment. And there are plenty of organic products with NO pesticide use whatsoever. Conventional and organic don't even compare when one compares the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides on both.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • BB

      It must be hard to keep the pugs away. They'll eat anything.

      September 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  9. trololwut

    organic poop taste so scrumdidlyumpshush is my mouth

    September 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  10. Gary Markley

    I try to buy organic only. But, I do buy non-organic if 1) it's just not available in organic AND 2) the data shows that the pesticide loading on the non-organic is fairly comparable to the organic variety.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  11. Amazed and Concerned

    Clearly from all the anti-organic and pro-hormone, pro-deadly chemical comments here, Monsanto and the other chemical companies have and are doing a superb marketing job in convincing the masses that any chemical laden food is just fine, that eating clean food is only for freaks, and that we have no right to know what is truly in our food. Additionally, the 'research' done about organic foods was and is financed by those same companies, so why would they wish to find the truth? Let's not forget that the pandemic of cancers and harsh diseases has risen in tandem with the increase in the amounts of synthetics in "food", as well as the level of GMO that has and is infesting ( yes, infesting ) the pathetic "food" supply. People, please do try to think for yourselves instead of blindly believing what the talking heads tell you; that, indeed, is where you will find the truth. Let's not forget that in the pre-chemical days, there were much less instances of cancer and food-causing disease, when people grew their own. Wakey, wakey.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ally

      In general I'm all for organic food. But we need to be careful in placing blame on the rising cancer and allergy rates.

      There have been an incredibly large number of changes in society since "people grew their own" food. We currently have no proof that the use of certain pesticides, etc is the cause. Is it a possibility? Yes. So lets get those studies going so we can find the causes.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  12. Steve

    I buy nothing but conventional. I don't hold anything against organic farmers, but I do disagree when people slam conventional and proclaim that organic is so much better. Here is a study from one of the top medical schools in the world that finds there is virtually no difference between organic and conventional.

    http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html

    September 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Ally

      If you're simply talking about nutrition, yes. They are virtually the same. But this study didn't look into possible effects of trace pesticides in humans. That's a whole different study. People who buy organic are hoping their food doesn't have the chemicals in it.

      I know we don't have difinitive proof that the trace chemicals found in conventional produce have bad effects on us. But it stands up to the "makes sense" test for me.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • Stupid is as Stupid does.

        There are studies that show a direct link between the pesticides in our food and birth defects, autism, and other health problems in our country. If you want to read a more well thought out argument Doc Sam says a mouthful. There are serious issues this article is ignoring. But American news media doesn't have a strong point of presenting fact.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Al

      That study is dubious at best. Your choice your body.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  13. Wain

    Do you know why people buy organic. BECAUSE THEY CAN. people don't buy organic for their higher nutritious value but to avoid the pesticides and what ever other chemicals associated with normally grown fruit and vegetables.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  14. Feltch

    And people wonder why their kids are 200lb behemoths by the age of 10.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Calif Mike

      It's called SUGAR and lack of EXERCISE. It has nothing to do with organically versus commercially grown produce.

      September 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  15. Carl

    Blueberries, Broccoli, Spinach for me are organic. Stuff like Corn where you remove the husk, not that big a deal to me.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Dr. Mac

      Just make sure Carl that it is not a GMO product. Most corn unfortunately is now grown that way. The PLU code that has to be displayed will start with a 9 if it's organic, an 8 if it is genetically modified, and a 3 or 4 if conventionally grown.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • AQ

      I've read that broccoli does not require a lot of pesticides to grow, so not a food that buying organic makes a big difference

      September 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  16. Calif Mike

    CNN CENSORSHIP!!! Interestingly, I posted a very factual comment to organically grown produce (having over 40-yrs experience growing crops, testing, researching, trials, etc.) with no profanity and slamming no one person, yet CNN appears to have censored it from the comments herein. I will state that my comments spoke of the "organic" fallacy, i.e., one not based on sound science. Maybe CNN felt it to factual. Shame on CNN.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Ally

      The auto filter catches lots of letter combinations. Stringing together parts of two words can result in a "bad word". That's probably what happened.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  17. Jack O'Shyte

    If 50,000 flies eat excrement, it must be good!

    All kidding aside, if organic products weren't selling well, articles like this would never be written.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • shawn l

      Snuggies and beanie babies once sold well, doesn't mean it's anything but a fad. Organic food is a fad born of ignorance and fear.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Jack O'Shyte

        What do you care what other people eat? Really?

        September 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Carl

        People eat Snuggies and Beanie Babies? Seriously, people are much more concerned about health than toys. I don't think it's a fad. I think it's a long term trend.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Underoo Jamboree

        Fads don't generally last years and years. But I'm guessing you're the type that doesn't mind eating food laced with compounds found in anti-freeze, so it doesn't really matter. You're just hearing more about organic stuff because more people are realizing it isn't a bad thing.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  18. chris

    I buy what I can afford. However there is no direct proof that organic is 100 times better then non. You'd need to study people raised on organic vs those that weren't from the time they were born until they die and gather the data from that study. Otherwise anything is total speculation and guess work.

    They say get exercise eat healthy. Well seems that there are young healthy athlete's dropping dead who do just that. And the funny thing is is that those types of deaths are happening more often now then before organic healthy eating.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • jonny appleseed

      A bit off, actually. There is proof, widespread, that rats and other animals raised on non-organic, GMO vs. not specifically, that develop kidney lesions, blood issues, tumors, and generally become infertile.

      So no, there is no "proof" that GMO/pesticide-laced foods are harmful to humans because, well, we are the experiment in motion.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • chris

        Jonny did that happen in 100% of the cases studied? No it didn't so really proves nothing. Did they study rats on organic only diets and did those rats develope kidney lesions, blood issues, tumors, and generally become infertile? If one rat in that study developed something even minor it shows a flaw in that way of thinking.

        Again as I said, there are healthy kids out there, regular exercise, eating habits that are just collapsing on the field

        September 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Ryan

      So you think that organic farming methods could be linked to athletes dieing? Interesting. Could it be related to the head trauma and exhaustion/dehydration from running in full pads in the middle of summer? C'mon man, you're better than this!

      September 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  19. VetSV

    and I have seen more recall and Ecoli toxicities out of non-organic farms then organic .. the more drugs u use the more resistant microbes u have to in the system which are that more dangerous .. and yeah if you are one of those who believe that u shd without washing food stuff then dont blame on organic food products ..Organic is healthy and natural is tasty thats the fact .. unless u r too much into chemicals n drugs that u have lost the taste for it

    September 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • shawn l

      English please.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • VetSV

        U can shut up please .. we are not here for ur english class ..

        September 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
        • shawn l

          However, we aren't here to read comments by someone who can't take the time to spell out you.

          September 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • scooter

      You know as much about organic food as you do puctuation. Do a google search, you are over 10 times more likely to get ecoli from organic as non organic. Also organic does not mean no pesticides, only no synthetic pesticides. If you think natural pesticides won't hurt eat a big spoonful of sulphur or phosphorus!! Non organic produce grown in the United States is the safest food source in the world by far!!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  20. nobadges

    Results of this survey are very skewed. Clearly most people reading about organics are organic fans. I work in the produce department for a large supermarket chain. Less than 5% of our sales are organic. It has the highest throw away percentage too because we have to provide selection, but sales are low. and it is very susceptible to mold because it is not treated with anti-fungus. Most common reasons customers tell me they don't buy it is that it's too expensive and it looks less appealing than regular produce. Apples have more blemishes for example.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • shawn l

      Correct. Organic food is a fad, one born out of fear mongering and ignorance.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • VetSV

        Just like Republicans and Tea party .. Lol ..

        September 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
        • shawn l

          Correct

          September 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ally

      The "less appealing" look is a catch 22 that many people don't think about in this debate. So many people have grown up eating the big, juicy, shiny red apples that have benefitted from synthetic chemicals and wax coats and they don't realize that going organic will often result in just as healthy (or moreso) but slightly less "bling-y" fruit. We waste so much food, it's sad.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  21. Carol

    I am chemically sensitive and if I eat any produce containing chemicals I become ill. One day I ate a handful of cherries that my mother thought were organic. Shortly thereafter I became sick with a chemical sensitivity reaction. She then remembered that she didn't buy organic cherries. My body can definitely tell the difference. If I eat tuna I get sick esp. since I had all the silver amalgams in my teeth removed and replaced with composites. Then I went on a detoxification program to removed heavy metals from my body. I can't eat any fish except wild salmon now because my body reacts to the mercury in them.

    September 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • shawn l

      Organic foods are not chemical free. They are grown in areas with other farms, where pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers are used in abundance. The wind, water, and ground all transfer these chemicals many miles from where the farms are. A study showed a 30% decrease in chemicals, but if it was truly organic it would be 100%.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
      • Ryan

        Shawn I – What's your point? So organic foods have 30% less chemicals than non-organic? That's still 30% better. Plus, if we got rid of the non-organic farming methods wouldn't that just leave us with 100% less chemicals?

        Plus, there are significant studies that show wild fish have superior health benefits to us. Many farm raised fish are fed all sorts of crazy things like ground up chicken feathers and this unnatural diet changes the structure of the fish. Plus, they don't swim like a fresh water fish and that too changes their structure.

        It's just as important that we feed our food well as it is that we feed ourselves well!!

        September 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • shawn l

      Also, it shows either the ignorance you have or that you are a hypochondriac as wild salmon contains three times the mercury levels as farm raised salmon.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
      • Bob

        Well if you knew anything about "Certified Organic" you would know that the government requires ground and water samples. If there is runoff from nearby "non-organic" farms then it will show up during the certification process. Also, it doesn't help anyone to just spew off numbers without providing any evidence.

        http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004346&acct=nopgeninfo

        September 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
        • shawn l

          Already added the links to my other comments, feel free to go look them up. The articles were posted on cnn.com

          September 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  22. Alan

    I worked directly with farmers both organic and conventional for 29 years in three Northeastern states. It is not true that the government does the inspections, at least where I wasfor the past 25 years. It is done by private non-profits and paid firms to certify based on USDA standards. Mostly the concern is use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. it's really a pretty loose inspection process, it's more a result of the honor system than strict inspection. The grower fills out a report in the beginning of the growing season, an application, which describes what the grower intends to do to meet the requirements. The inspector reviews the application, later during the season the inspecter goes out to the farm announced, looks around at what's stored on the farm etc. After a couple inspections throughout the three year process the inspector will certify the farm if all is well. Not everything is looked at though,for instance, organic growers are not required to have nutrient management plans describing their nutrient applications. In effect they can be over applying nutrients and still be certified organic. This is interesting to me because the conventional dairy farm in the State I last worked is required to have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan which is reviewed annually by the State. I would have to say that these conventional dairy farms are under more stringent regulation than the organic growers. To be honest, I've been out to some organic dairies that were such environmental eyesores I would not want to drink their milk. Just because it's an organic farm does not always mean it's a completely environmentally friendly farm. Some things are scrutinized others things go overlooked.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • shawn l

      That's why the organic label is a scam. It's an honor system, in a world without honor.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Audrey

      Alan, you're absolutely right. I work in the agriculture industry in Illinois with experience in both the non- and for-profit sectors, including working for a major seed company, and I can promise you that the idea that organic anything is healthier is simply baloney. Comsumers need to be more savvy about agriculture in general, which is not entirely their fault - the industry hasn't done a great job in the past in regards to communicating with the public. Still, it's important for people not to believe everything they read on the subject of "organic", and unfortunately I think that's what's happening.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Truth

      Alan, this is very interesting because my family has been in the DAIRY industry for GENERATIONS. You are 100% INCORRECT in what you list. 100% INCORRECT, I will repeat it again. This leads me to believe you know nothing about ANY of the topics you are listing.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  23. RedskinsFan

    I buy organic produce and meats whenever I can. I try to buy Organic Milk and Eggs too, when my store has them in stock and as long as they aren't 2x the price of the non-organic products (which, let's be honest, is sometimes true). Produce is usually much more expensive where I live and in the summer I hit up the local farmer's markets on the weekend and my own garden like no tomorrow. Organic food does typically taste better, mostly because it has to be picked at the right point in the ripening process. Face it, when you pick a tomato early, yes... it will turn red, but its going to taste like red paper. And organic beef, which is usually grass fed since now they have to let them out to pasture, tastes much better. Its got a deeper flavor, and makes any dish 10x better than its factory farm equivalent. Same with Chicken, pork, eggs, milk. Its worth the higher price to me. I don't make many leftovers and try not to waste anything so in the end its not much more expensive than throwing 40% of the food you make away like most of us in this culture do.

    Overindulgence is the real problem here in this country. There is no reason to make 5 pounds of something when your family will only eat 2 or 3. Don't make a bunch extra for those "I may want more later" when you know you won't and no one else will. Its wasteful and shameful with so many going hungry.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  24. ma

    Try organic! Or as my grandparents called it "food"!!!

    September 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • shawn l

      Farmers have been using man made fertilizers for over a hundred years.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • Rob

        And we all discovered how good DDT was. Ignorance is bliss I guess?

        September 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • shawn l

        And do we use it anymore? Life is a health risk.

        September 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      We DID eat organic, ALL of us, up until about 100-150 years ago. At the time, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years. NOW, life expectancies are close to 80.
      You go ahead and eat organic if you want to, I'll eat better, safer, healthier AND CHEAPER with the non-organic foods, thanks!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • Underoo Jamboree

        You appear to be one neuron short of a synapse.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
      • Ryan

        HA! That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. We live longer because of modern health care, regular cleanliness, housing, etc. It's not because we're eating apples and tomatoes that are the size of our heads!

        September 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • Tired of The Hate

        I don't think that things like Doritos, Hostess Snack Cakes, and Stoffer's dinners are actually helping anyone live that long. It's a little frightening to me that you can make a chip taste like Baby Back Ribs... or a cheeseburger. Sounds like its been sprayed with cancer to me.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  25. shawn l

    Organic means next to nothing. It's a lot of money for little gain. Anyone that was foolish enough to think the organic label magically made food contain more vitamins and minerals deserved to be bilked from their money. The world cannot support organic food consumption of everyone on the planet, and its simply not a viable solution to long term problems.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Primal 4 Life

      It sure can. Small to medium organic farms produce more per acre than large scale industrial farms.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
      • Ally

        That's news to me, Primal. Everything I've read says lower yield (less produce per acre) is one of the main reasons organic foods cost more. And conversely, why non-organic growers use the fertilizers they do.

        September 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • shawn l

      Extremely incorrect. The yields are smaller for organic farms, period. The average is 25% less yield. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/26/world/organic-food-yield/index.html

      I wrote a paper a few years ago about this very subject. Organic farming cannot feed the world.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • VetSV

        yields are low if and only if you are producing same crop again and again .. The trick with natural recovery of soil is that you will have to rotate the crop .. Pulses before cereals .. and legumes ..There are enough real valid doumentaries out there to state the same .. they are even on Netflix .. I know people will say we dont believe this .. but then How come you believe everything hashed out by the Food and agriculture Industry .. They are the ones who always promote bigger crops with everything .. but the yields may be more but are much more expensive when u compare the cost of raising them.. And Organic does not make every nutrients available it makes then available in a healthy way not with a good serving of Chemicals along side the nutrients .. I would rather have less production then the polluted yields .. lot more expenses when u fall sick later in ur life

        September 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
        • shawn l

          Again, incorrect. Yields are low as losses are due to insect loss, combined with less effective fertlizers.

          September 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
        • VetSV

          There is no point in arguing if only answer u have is no with a blank statement abt insects .. Look at people and kids around you and tell me that in past decade we have much increased number of metabolic diseases and more allergies in kids then ever before .. it takes time for this things to show up .. but If u dont want to eat right ur choice .. I know for sure I am not wrong .. neither are u in eating non organic its just ur choice

          September 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • ConstantChange

        Link is not valid, could you give the right link so that we can understand based on what you have come to this conclusion?

        September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
        • shawn l

          The link is working perfectly fine for me.

          September 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • shawn l

        There has been zero link between alergies and organic/non organic foods. Zero. However, there HAS been links to the overuse of antibiotic soaps and sterelizing environments of kids plus pollution that leads to allergies.

        September 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • really

      I see. But even dumber are those who think that vitamins and minerals have ANYTHING to do with the word organic.
      It's like you are saying people who think cars run better on cornmeal are dumb.

      It never was about vitamins and minerals. It was ALWAYS about trying to get industrial famers to stop using TONS of insecticides every year which end up in our rivers and lakes. It ALWAYS was about finding ways to farm that are not destructive to the rest of the environment. It ALWAYS was about keeping genetically modified crops from cross-pollinating NON-Genectically modified food crops. (you know so you're not FORCED to buy roundup to get your plants to survive)

      Yea, Some people are too dumb to actually learn about something before spouting craap about it.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • shawn l

        The other article that was just here on CNN, stated that a study showed that the only change between organic and non organic food is a 30% decrease in pesticides, and not a change in nutrition. http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/is-organic-food-more-nutritious-and-healthier-than-conventional-varieties/?iid=hl-main-lede&hpt=hp_bn16

        Try to actually educate yourself about recent news before attacking, thanks.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
        • VetSV

          Shawn Really thats ur argument ? have u ready what Really is being sad above ur statement ? read again and then reply

          September 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
        • kumar

          Like he said, it's not about nutrition but about quality
          a 30% decrease in use of pesticides is huge from where i ( and a lot of growwing # of people buying organic ) stand

          and it's just plain tastier to eat organic produce, just give it a try !

          September 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  26. Dave Zacek

    Unfortunately, USDA & FDA does not require small organic farmers to have any sort of food safety program. Larger industrial egg producers must have a program and be audited annually by FDA to assure they are not positive for Salmonella which is carried by wild birds and household pets. While small local farms are heart warming, they avoid some regulatory restrictions placed on the larger operations. So, be careful and fully cook the food. Just think, cantelopes, lettuce, eggs and other foods were reported contaminated this past year.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Food Scientist

      David – you are accurate in your comment about required safety protocols, but incorrect in your final conclusions.

      Yes – big companies have to fulfill more rigorous safety checks – but its because they produce more, and therefore can harm more people at one fell swoop. Its a simple case of STATISTICS and PROBABILITIES – the more you sell, the higher the probability you will have a problem in your supply chain.

      Local and small farmers (a) are usually more hands on, so inherently take more care since they also eat what they produce themselves, (b) sell to local communities where their reputations matter more, and any mistakes can be fatal to their long term livelihoods whereas the big guys can lobby, or settle out of court using their deep pockets, (c) small farmers sell very little, so IF someone should fall sick, the likelihood of it becoming a problem that affects a lot of people is very low (statistics & probability).

      Again, I don't dispute that there needs to be more oversight of small producers too, but the "capitalist" system of market based checks and balances applies to small producers as much as it applies to big companies.

      It is IRONIC that big companies who HATE government controls and oversight, should invoke the lack of government oversight and controls on small businesses so as to crush free enterprise and the competitive threat posed by the small guy. I find that hilarious and pathetic at the same time. It will NEVER be economically viable to scrutinize small producers to the same extent as the bigger ones – the answer can't be to shut down small producers – that would be INSANE.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  27. Lauren

    Food for thought: Most of the people on this thread who are anti-organic, conspiracy theorists, I must ask? Have you seen first hand where your non-organic food comes from. Literally in the warehouse/lab/slaugher house? And compared? Call it whatever you want, organic in this instance. It is about having a set of STANDARDS for our food supply and demanding transparency from the monopolized food companies (oops I mean Chemical Companies). At the end of the day can everyone agree that if food is PROPERLY LABELED, then we as consumers, can make the choice of which we want to spend our hard earned money on? Why should companies be allowed to call things natural or organic with no set of standards behind it? Protecting the word "organic" as it relates to our food supply is so important. Fighting over definitions, whats the right way vs wrong way to grow food, and calling each other hippies hardly addresses the real issue. We have the right to walk in to any grocery store Walmart OR Whole Foods and know that the labeling is honest and truthful. After that point, it is our individual decision on what we want to purchase. That should be the number one concern – remember the times before Nutrition Labels were required? This is another opportunity and turning point for us to demand to know what we are eating no matter where it comes from. If you are in California I strongly urge you to vote in November for your food to be required to be properly labeled. Then if at that point you choose the non-organic route, that is your prerogative!

    September 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Wake Up

      Yes, I have seen where the food comes from.

      I have grown and harvested too many crops to count.
      I have raised too many animals to name them all.

      So yes, I know exactly where my food comes from and how it is made. The organic methods that farmers are being forced to use make me sick. The waste of food due to disease and spoilage that organic methods generate is sickening.

      So, the question is, do you know where your food comes from? Not the wearhouse/lab/slaughter house, head out of town and look for the tell tale tractor and make yourself useful and pitch in a hand! You might just learn something.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • really

        "The organic methods that farmers are being forced to use make me sick."

        No one anywhere is FORCING anyone to use organic farming methods.

        Yea, and some people are just sick. in the head.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
        • Wake Up

          When a farmer can't find a buyer for their produce because it doesn't carry an "organic" sticker, yes they are being forced to at least say they are using organic methods. In most cases I know of big farmers who are certified use a test field which gets audited, the other 90% of their farm they use the good old methods that have worked for decades. So the organic certified food you are eating may not be certified, well at least 90% of it.

          Does any of this make the food better? Please find me a study that says it does. You won't by the way, every study done on the composition of organic vs non-organic grown food shows no significant difference. Worse yet, the differences they do show favor the non-organic food (tends to have more vitamins and minerals).

          I'll also tell you a little story about farming in San Francisco. People living in the city growing crops on their roof tops to sell at farmers markets often don't buy fertilizer. Why should they, they end up using human waste mixed with dirt to create good soil. I know because I've seen the process first hand, but if you doubt me ask your local grower on your next visit to the market. Personally, I'd rather have chemicals that break down after a few week than have food grown in human feces.

          This law in California is nothing more than trying to get a ban against large industrial growers from using the certified organic label. In the end it will do nothing, they will just find a loop hole in the law and be packaging the product with the new label and pocketing the profit while the small farmers will have a hard time of keeping up the new regulations. In the end small farmers will say to heck with the effort and find ways around it themselves or just stop growing organic.

          Again, people try farming for a while before you put your two cents in. Things are as clear cut as you might think.

          September 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
      • shawn l

        There is an extreme amount of waste in organic farming for sure.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Wake Up

      If you really want to know where your food comes from, then have the farmer write the whole story down and attach it as a label to the food.

      Ie, where he got the seed, what the soil conditions were, what fertilizers he used, where the water came from and how it was treated, how insects and other pest were dealt with, what harvest methods were used, if it was treated afterwards, how it was processed, what the store did to present the food. Of course you wouldn't read any of that would you? But if it had a nice Organic sticker on it, you would buy it wouldn't you?

      To me, organic means "contains carbon", nothing more, which is humorous when I see it on bottle of "pure water"!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  28. ModSquad

    All the organic items I buy were featured on the Eatocracy "dirty list," which were items most likely to have traces of pesticides at the market. I regularly eat (3 or more times per week) over half the items that were published on that list, so I decided to pay the little extra for those particular fruits/vegetables.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  29. Mike

    Protein = chemical
    Water=chemical
    Cholesterol = chemical
    Caffeine = chemical
    Starch (from vegetables) = chemical
    Sugar = chemical
    Vitamins = chemical
    Minerals = chemical
    Fat = chemical
    Boy we hate chemicals in our food don't we!

    September 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Primal 4 Life

      None of those are petroleum based.

      Epic Fail!

      September 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
      • Mike

        Wow you are bright! Did you graduate middle school?

        September 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
        • Primal 4 Life

          Says some punk posting form his mommas basement.

          LMAO!!!!!

          September 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • ma

      You missed the SYNTHETIC part. Glad you consider yourself so educated.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Vicki

      I think they mean synthetic or man-made chemicals. Everything you listed occurs naturally.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Food Scientist

      Wow – Mike you are a genius. Even Humans are "chemical" – does that make them fit to eat? There are good and bad chemicals – natural and synthetic ones, those that are easy to digest and those that are difficult to digest, those that interfere with your DNA and those that don't.

      You should be asked to do community service like cleaning up rivers and lakes near chemical factories – you will gain a better appreciation for different kinds of chemicals.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • really

      Heck, in that case, I fully recommend that you drink a whole bottle of Round-Up pesticide.
      I mean after all, it's just a chemical.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • ensense

        This is the best reply, to these monsanto trolls. I bet you wont be hearing from him.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  30. Andrew

    I think the whole organic versus non-organic debate is of secondary concern. The primary concern and the important point to make is that people need to eat better. They need to eat more fish, fruits, veggies, and plant-based foods and less processed foods. If we started eating more of these types of foods, whether organic or not, we would be a much healthier society.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  31. sfeger

    I'll buy organic whenever I can. I remember putting on the suit, and the "gas mask" so I could ride on the tractor with my dad to spray the back 40 with pesticides. However I do remember picking the apples, rubbing them on my shirt, then eating them. Not now, no way.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • ORChuck

      And do you also remember learning to swim? A little water is good for you. You need it to live. But too much water improperly applied will kill you.

      Citrus fruit gets its name from the citric acid they contain. Concentrated citric acid, however, is dangerous. It can burn your lungs if inhaled and can even be fatal if inhaled. It can blind you if it gets in you eyes. It can cause serious blistering of the skin. My point is that even something which is natural and good can be dangerous if high concentrations.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
      • ma

        Obviously. But the point is that as industry moves forward and we create and introduce unnatural aspects into our environment, we do not know the long term effects of these things. It is a repeated pattern that something is initially thought to be of benefit turns out to produce very unhealthy results (birth defects, cancers, etc.).

        September 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • ma

        and somethings build up over time in the physiology, resulting in a higher level of concentration.

        September 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • Ryan

        ORChuck – I don't get your point. We need water to live but too much can kill you is not the same as spraying crops with poisons. Maybe consuming a little bit of the poisons won't have a serious affect on us but it doesn't mean that we can't live without the poisons. Why can't we just have no poisons? Sure the crops will suffer but it's not like we need to produce the amounts of crops that we currently produce. We probably waste a quarter of what is produced anyways...

        September 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  32. ORChuck

    While we wring our hands about whether or not OUR food is "certified organic," or "free-range," or, "cruelty free," or "sustainably produced," or "locally-produce," or "artisanal," there are many people - the majority of people - in this world whose food worry is simply whether or not they will have any for dinner tonight... much less tomorrow. Until we solve that, it is cruel and selfish for us to fret and whine about the tiny details of our food.

    People, just eat the abundant food we have and thank God that we have it.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Primal 4 Life

      Outright nonsense. Every person should worry about the tiny details whenever they can. Food is THE single most important aspect of health, period.

      I cannot care about every living person, however I can care about myself and my family and friends. If we all did that, we would all be fine.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
      • Mike

        Keep watching out for number 1 Primal. That is so thoughtful of you. We should all be so selfish.

        September 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
        • Primal 4 Life

          It isn't selfish in any possible way. Sorry you can't see that. You certainly are not going to look out for me better than I can, and you know it.

          September 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • ma

        this in no way diminishes concern and actions to improve life for others as well. It is just one step to improve your own personal health. If only we could choose what air to breath!!!

        September 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • CatastropheCathy

      I'm not thanking god for twinkees and the many other products that 'we' eat that have zero nutritional value. Yes it is nice to have access to food but we should still make sure it is good food for us to keep us healthy. And I agree take care of yourself first and you can do that by eating well. If you can/want to help others that is great too.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      Wanting food to be produced in a manner that is the best for us has nothing to do with poverty and hunger in other parts of the world (oh yeah, and in the US where we have a huge population of hungry poor people). Having an abundance of food that could lead to high levels of asthma, cancer, allergies, etc is not a good thing. Why can't we have an abundance of food that is produced the right way? Or, we could always just produce less and waste less... Just a thought.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • ensense

      Are you trying to say that you are ok with the food abundantly laced with poision as long as it is dirt cheap. The cost of organic is not high because it requires more inputs. It is high because the small scale farmer cannot affort to get his food certified by the Food Nazies in the govt. The laws are written by the big 3 agri corps who have the FDA in their pockets. If you have some time just google joel salatin and watch or read what he has to say. you will know what is being hidden from people like you who are willing to close their eyes and led like sheep.

      September 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  33. rk

    Always thought that Organic meant we substituted pesticides for bug poop,

    September 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  34. eric

    Eating foods without unwanted chemicals and animal dna is my personal choice ( I feel better and enjoy the flavor; more ;whether the reason is biological or physiological doesn't really matter as much as that result). . . as such I grow my own or budget to buy what I want. .. If you enjoy drinking chemicals or touting your faith in companies like Monsanto then feel free; thanks to Obama you will now be chipping in for your own future health care and no longer freeloading and adding on to my health premiums. . . enjoy!

    September 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • JeramieH

      > If you enjoy drinking chemicals

      Everything is a chemical, even water. Chemistry fail.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • VetSV

        Jeremiah Chemicals are always chemicals .. the difference is Synthetic or Natural .. Instead of failing others on Chemistry plz do check on ur own credentials in chemistry .. U r not slurping on H and oxygen to get the water .. u r not drinking Citric acid to get the lemonade .. u r drinking natural chemicals with lots of other things in it which u have no clue about .. U dont want to eat organic ur choice dont try to dissapprove by giving the wrong answers.. I get these answers from religious freaks .. who always tell me the science has not proven enuf to deny that nature is not created by god .. Just becoz science do not have all the answers does not mean God provided us with any answers .. u r ur own god take care if ur self .. or u can ask for other guy to do it for u .. watever

        September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Valerie

      Agree !

      September 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Valerie

      I am Agreeing with Eric ... I also have a reverse osmosis water system .. eating organic for 25 years .. I can not eat any other food .. the non-organic is just plain 'ol FAKE food. Ps. have not been sick .. not even a slight cold .. in 25 years !! Better for you .. better for the environment .. and better for the animals. Go TOTAL ORGANIC

      September 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  35. Ryan

    It means you are about to get ripped off and pay 20% more compared to the same "non-organic" option.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Ryan

      To hell with scientific evidence! More poisons and more chemicals = bigger foods that never rot = bigger people who never die. It's just so simple!!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  36. ben

    organic means carbon based. this other stuff is marketing.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • ma

      Right on!!!!

      September 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • carpenterman123

      They've defined "organic " in the story. It may not be chemically correct term, but it gives a clear meaning to what is organic.

      September 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  37. AlongTheWay

    It's merely a catch phrase to get people to feel as if they are doing a good job. You know....like "going green". It ALL costs more and you reap very little - if anything at all - from the effort. You know, like shouting "storm" and people rush out to get supplies.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • CatastropheCathy

      grass fed beef is supposed to be much healthier than the antibiotic pumped up corn fed kind. I believe many studies have shown this so it isn't just a feel good thing

      September 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • Ally

        Grass fed beef isn't necessarily organic though.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Ryan

      Let's just destroy the earth and inject pesticides directly in to our blood stream! There's no proof that this won't make us healthier and happier. It's just those damn hippies and their socialist agendas who make it so difficult on us!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  38. organically

    Environmentally friendly lawn tips: A misconception is that trees cause lawns to suffer, but is much easier to maintain a green lawn under the shade of trees. Treeless lawns that receive direct sun all day are more likely to dry, turn brown, become infested with insects and weeds, and demand more chemicals. In addition, the tree debris that accumulates during the spring and summer is a great form of organic fertilizer when ground up by the mower, another reason to never use the mower bag. Trees can make the soil acidic, but this is resolved by spreading lime, which has many benefits. Lime is natural ground up rocks containing many essential gardening minerals, so applying lime is synonymous to people taking vitamins. Lime also helps aerate the lawn, retains moisture, and is a mild and safe insect repellant that does not seem to bother beneficial insects. A common misconception is that lime “burns” grass, but this is false – misuse of lawn herbicides, excessive direct sun, and lack of water creates brown turf.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  39. organically

    Environmentally friendly lawn tips: Increasing the average lawn height a few inches by adjusting the wheels or mowing less often can have profound positive impacts. Taller grass helps the soil retain moisture and reduces drying out and browning. In addition, the taller grass has more surface area to absorb sunlight, increasing photosynthesis and reducing the need for fertilizer. Taller grass also strengthens the roots and blocks sun from weeds, therefore reducing the need for herbicides.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Valerie

      Agree with Organically ... I have not used any chemicals on my lawn in 25 years .. and it is as green and healthy as any one else is on the block .. if not healthier !

      September 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • Lombay Wall

        Valerie: Please tell me how you are able to maintain your lawn without chemicals. I would like to do the same....Thanks.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  40. organically

    Environmentally friendly lawn tips: The best food for any lawn is the grass clippings, so it never makes sense to hang the bag on the back of the mower. Mowers made in the last decade pulverize clippings and weed seeds directly into the lawn, and there is no better fertilizer available in stores. In addition, the moisture contained in the clippings is forced back into the lawn, reducing drying and browning. This process does not increase thatch as is commonly believed. Think of mowing as also providing food and water to the turf roots.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  41. wootings

    OK please...the list of options is laughably biased towards "organic" product.

    How about "I'm not so stupid as to ever believe there's the slightest validity at all in "organic" produce?"

    September 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      You're right. I'm sure the extra chemicals and other unnatural and inhumane methods used to produce our food will make us extra strong and smart without the need to even exercise or read! Boooo organic, I only trust big corporations with my food!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  42. eric

    Eating foods without unwanted chemicals and animal dna is my personal choice ( I feel better and enjoy the flavors; more whether the reason is biological or physiological doesn't really matter as much as that result). . . as such I grow my own or budget to buy what I want. .. If you enjoy drinking chemicals or touting your faith in companies like Monsanto then feel free; thanks to Obama you will now be chipping in for your own future health care and no longer freeloading and adding on to my health premiums. . . enjoy!

    September 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Hector

      Eric: I'm sorry to bust your bubble but unless you live in a remote isolated region you're eating and drinking lots of "chemicals" (in fact, plain water is a chemical too, and every molecule in everything on Earth is a chemical), but errors aside, the water you use for watering your own crop is filled with chemicals (chlorine, fluoride, etc), well water is full of earth-sipped chemical products accumulated over the years, and even rain water is packed with all sorts of chemicals and heavy metals. All of them toxic of course. Your soil is full of chemical downfall from air pollution, and the air itself is contaminated. You're just eating a little less chemicals, but still... your body is full of unwanted chems, even eating your own crop. Just take a sample to a good lab and have it analyzed, you'll be striken by truth. Organic is a bit better, just that... a tiny tiny bit.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  43. Jimmie

    I buy only organic because I do not want the residual herbacides (especially Roundup) and pestacides. Beef and lamb, not fed organically, gives you all the hormones and antibiotics you desire !

    September 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Luke

      Jimmie, too bad that roundup has one of the shortest soil half-life of any of the modern herbicides and no detectable residue at harvest. Simple bacteria eat it within a few days, which is why is has such poor staying power as an herbicide. So, factually, your herbicide comment is not only misspelled but also wrong. If you are like most organic people, it has more to do with your anti-corporate, anti-Monsanto philosophy than any facts.
      Now, there is good, sound scientific evidence that removing antibiotics from animal feed would be safer for the human population. However, that has more to do with the dangers of overuse (i.e. we are way overusing antibiotics as a society) and nothing to do with their danger to you as a consumer. You see, if the antibiotics harmed you, when then they probably wouldn't make the cattle grow faster and healthier which is why they are used.
      Personally, I avoid organic produce because of the increased risk of E.coli in something fertilized with manure and their reliance on older, more toxic chemistry for pest control (look up the allowable insecticides before you blast me).

      September 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • VetSV

        Luke the comment gave to Jimmie about round up applies to u.. it is wrong.. Antibiotics in meat is harmful i am Doc and i am seeing it first hand .. People who eat more meat with ANtibiotics get low levels in there system all the time .. and so microbes develop resistance overtime. Which leads to resistance un HUmans and animals . they make cattles grow faster and healthier is a myth... Cattles who come to slaughter are always carrying so many antibiotics as they are increasingly becoming resistance to all the products on market ..so I would say to all the corporations (i m sure u believe that i am anti-coporate by now) stop dumping stuff in food chain which is not part of the food .. we will soon have more kids with allergies and resistance to lot drugs in the near future .. How can we be so selfish to serve only our needs and not think abt future .. once u grew older u will see the what difference food habits make.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
        • Fred Evil

          "Antibiotics in meat is harmful i am Doc and i am seeing it first hand"
          No you aren't. Unless you are a 'Doc' in Haiti, or perhaps Uganda.

          September 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
        • VetSV

          Well Fred .. I dont think I need to talk to u abt anything fruitful.. but just FYI i dont think people in Uganda and Haiti have Feedlots .. hell they dont get beef everyday and I am sure they eat much more healthy just by chance that there is not much to eat .. and abt my qualifications i dont have to defend myself against dumbs .. so watever u say

          September 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  44. virologist

    I hope the writers of this article are in communication with the writers of "Should you buy organic? Study complicates decision." I think this article may clarify some of the points made in the "Should you buy organic..." article.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  45. alex

    the uninformed sheeple with their heads in the sand never cease to amaze me. organic is better, better for humans, animals and the planet.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • ORChuck

      How and why? Certainly you don't expect us to believe such sweeping statements just because you said them.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Mittens Romnutts

      OK, if you say so. You sound credible..you guy on the internet with just a first name and no other credentials.

      September 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  46. Janos

    People who think ORGANIC food is foolish, or those who want to become educated about Organic Food, should watch..

    Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution

    September 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  47. Anon

    Organic means it has carbon in it. So your tire is organic and so is your pencil.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Janos

      carbon dioxide has carbon...diamonds, for example, are pure carbon in crystalline form... carbon atoms simply form the backbone of most organic molecules...

      next

      September 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • ORChuck

      The misuse of the word "organic" is, indeed, very unfortunate.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
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