Thursday, September 06, 2007

Is Organic Healthier For Us And The Planet?

Here in Oregon, as in much of the rest of the affluent world, where many of us can afford to spend a little extra money on what goes in our cooking pots and on our dinner tables, lots of folks are keeping stores like Wild Oats hopping with the demand for organic edibles. Many people believe that organic is healthier, both for us and the environment. Cosmos (a magazine which examines "the science of everything") has a long, but very interesting article, by Elizabeth Finkel, on organic versus more conventional farming methods (which employ chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers), comparing their effects on both people and the planet. You might be surprised at how the two stack up against one another, and how many chemicals occur naturally in "natural" foods.

I don't have anything of significance to say about the topic myself, since I lack both knowledge and firm opinions, and haven't even indulged in much idle speculation about this particular subject matter, but I found this article very informative, and thought Finkel's analysis was worth your perusal. Here's my one-and-a-half cents before I send you on your way. Sounds to me like pressures from environmental groups and organic advocates have pushed and changed all farming for the better over the course of previous decades, but that their philosophies shouldn’t be allowed to limit future improvements from other philosophical and scientific ways of thinking. It's king of a "can't we all just get along?" reaction. That may be too bland and middle-of-the-road for some, especially here in "green" Oregon, but I calls 'em as I sees 'em. Anybody else have an opinion?