Food Facts & Cooks Challenge I

First a disclaimer:  This post may be a bit like discussing religion or politics.  So if you are a firm believer in returning to our roots and eating like it, then skip these posts.

A return to the “golden days” would not make us live longer or healthier lives like so many people seem to believe.  If we ate like our ancestors we would get sick more often and die younger.  That’s history.  How many people do you know who have a vitamin A deficiency, rickets, scurvy?  None?  Really?  No one?

I get sick and tired of people talking about the way “WE” used to do things and how it was so much better for us.  Yep, no cancer (or fill in the blank of your choosing) back in the day – cause guess what – everybody DIED before they could get it.

I am all about home-grown, get to the roots, fresh food, and using the best possible ingredients (of course) for very simple food (think bread), BUT that being said…aren’t we getting a tad ridiculous?

Organic – Is it Truly Better?

I think growing your own food is wonderful.  I don’t think any store bought veggie can measure up to ANYTHING you grow yourself.  But organic milk – for $4-6 per gallon? Eggs?  Bananas – come on, you don’t even eat the peel!

Reasons not to choose organic products:

1) It’s a cash cow of the large farms – It does not support small/local farms.

2) Less safe on a microbial level, and although these farms can use natural (organic) pesticides, they are still toxins – and they can use higher amounts than commercial fertilizers/pesticides.  It is less healthy in many ways.  (Same idea as “natural” medicines – natural does not equal safe)

3) It takes more room (less room for habitat) and it’s more costly for both the farmers and consumers.  Organic foods are not better for the environment/economy.

And sometimes it is just utterly ridiculous. For example, sometimes a portion of the milk used to make organic yogurt may be taken from a chemical-free cow in New Zealand, powdered, and then shipped to the U.S.

Buying from local farms and farmers would be arguably better but buying organic is not a good choice all of the time. The only reason I can see why organic would be so much better is if you really feel the taste is superior. Then by all means, pay the price for organic. Just don’t complain when you wind up in the hospital with a massive E.coli infestation.

Some websites with information about organics.

http://www.skragglies.com/article2.html

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4019?popular=true

http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/2334

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_42/b4005001.htm

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/126276.html

Challenge for Cooks

Compare the addresses of organic eggs, milk, fruits, veggies, etc. to the store brand and see how far the organic products are shipped.  Buy both organic and non organic and compare the freshness, taste/flavor, color, and texture.  What do these differences tell you about each?

4 thoughts on “Food Facts & Cooks Challenge I”

  1. I like it- great information. It can be easy to get caught up in the craze. Thanks for bringing a voice of reason to the mix.

  2. Wow, this brings back memories from when you were teaching at West Side. You even gave homework =)

  3. I know I’m late in posting a response but I’m just catching up on my blog reading 🙂 I’m sure you know we disagree on a few things, and of course I had to respond because . . . well, I like to rant too 🙂

    I’m with you on big-business organic – it’s no better than any other type of produce. But I do buy local organic and love that I know exactly where my veggies come from and who grows them, as well as my milk, beef, chicken, eggs, etc. It’s not as important to me that they are “certified organic”, just that I know and trust the growers.

    I do hate that the organic “movement” or whatever has simply created another way for someone to make a crapload of money but recent studies out of University of Michigan and University of Iowa are interesting. They have found that organic practices can actually produce a lot more food per acre than those using pesticides and we could feed the world without using any more land if we did it the right way. Not that we will of course – that wouldn’t be good for business 🙂

    Anyway, I’m think you’ve read my blog so you know my opinions on some of this stuff and I love that we disagree in a friendly way – keep the posts coming! 🙂
    -Meghan

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