organic or not, part II

I wasn’t originally planning a follow up to my original post about organic foods and farming, but I came a across a couple of articles that really drive home the point for me. (The point that only science and critical thinking can truly unravel the confusion around the subject.)

First, though I believe the GMO foods are the only efficient way to feed the world, it seems that because they allow the increased use of a certain pesticide or herbicide, that they tend to have seemingly dangerous amounts of that chemical. This is from a research paper published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences. Obviously, the conclusion is the part that you will most want to read. The rational response seems to me to be careful about how much of the pesticide and herbicide is being applied so that it is not over-applied just because it doesn’t hurt the crop.

Second, for those who watched Food, Inc. and learned about how bad it is for cattle (specifically of the bovine sort) to each a corn-based diet versus a grassfed diet, comes this news. Grass-fed beef releases more methane due to digestion than grain-fed. Of course, in Food, Inc., the main concern was for the safety of the meat, as grass-fed beef has much less e-coli in the stomach. For me it just highlights the fact that we live in a very complex world. It is easy to focus on one part of that world and declare that this way is “better,” but when you expand the boundaries of your system, often there are unexpected trade-offs.

1 Comment»

  Fearsome Comrade wrote @

Grass-fed cows release more methane? The first thing that came to mind is that we need some sort of device to capture cow belches. That’s perfectly good fuel they’re spewing into the atmosphere!

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