1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    25 Jul '14 01:373 edits
    Organically Grown Fruits and Vegetables

    Week ago I listened to an hour long presentation by a Keynote Speaker and Lecturer on "Mechanistic" (outside in) vs. the "Vitalistic" (whole body) approaches to modern medicine. The "New Start" his summary was as follows: Nutrition: Buy Organic for the minerals content (especially Asparagus, Spinach and Carrots) along with lean protein; Exercise: Walking (preferably early in the day) is preferred because it resets the biorhythms of the human body; Water: Drink one half of your body weight in lbs. / in ounces each day (180 lbs. = nine 10 ounce glasses daily); also that Watermelon contains the highest beneficial alkaline content which the acidic content of the body requires... I'll continue with "Start" if there's interest.

    Q. Does this doctor sound credible and what are your views on the benefits of Organically Grown Fruits and Vegetables?
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    25 Jul '14 07:034 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Organically Grown Fruits and Vegetables

    Week ago I listened to an hour long presentation by a Keynote Speaker and Lecturer on "Mechanistic" (outside in) vs. the "Vitalistic" (whole body) approaches to modern medicine. The "New Start" his summary was as follows: Nutrition: Buy Organic for the minerals content (especially Asparagus ...[text shortened]... und credible and what are your views on the benefits of Organically Grown Fruits and Vegetables?[/b]
    I am not a doctor but I have done some research on this and I can say it is just total rubbish! No doubt there are health benefits from exercise but:

    1, research has shown that the mineral and vitamin content of organic fruit and veg is, on average, only very slightly higher than for the equivalent none organic fruit and veg.

    2, the exact amount of concentration of minerals and vitamins of fruit and veg make absolutely no measurable detectable effect on health. for example, if the carotene (which is equivalent to vit A) content of organic carrots just happens to be 1% higher than for none organic carrots, that would have such a miniscule effect on health that it would be not worth mentioning.

    3, Scientific empirical evidence all shows that that merely eating organic rather than inorganic fruit and veg makes no measurable effects on health.
    see: http://organic.about.com/od/organic-tips/tp/Top-Myths-About-Organic-Food.htm

    4, then there is the water drinking myth propagated by certain health fanatics the world over: the idea that you must drink a ridiculously large amount of water, usually they insist it must be pure water (WHY must it be pure? ) , to stay in good health. This has been scientifically debunked. There are many people that drink only a small fraction of the recommended ( by certain health fanatics ) amount of that water and are in perfectly good health.

    5, "...Watermelon contains the highest beneficial alkaline content which the acidic content of the body requires..."
    What!? never heard of this before! this is a new one on me but it is definitely complete rubbish! there isn't such thing as a "beneficial alkaline content" of food in particular -that they just made up out of thin air, and, "which the acidic content of the body requires"? LOL, What complete rubbish!
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    25 Jul '14 07:37
    Originally posted by humy
    I am not a doctor but I have done some research on this and I can say it is just total rubbish! No doubt there are health benefits from exercise but:

    1, research has shown that the mineral and vitamin content of organic fruit and veg is, on average, only very slightly higher than for the equivalent none organic fruit and veg.

    2, the exact amount of ...[text shortened]... t of thin air, and, "which the acidic content of the body requires"? LOL, What complete rubbish!
    humy, I appreciate your comments more than you know. I'll still summarize the rest of my notes here later today. Thanks.
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    25 Jul '14 11:11
    I agree with humy. Its complete rubbish.
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    25 Jul '14 14:42
    It is a myth that organic food is healthier than non-organic food. In addition, organic food puts an additional strain on the environment because of its lower yields, and it puts a strain on the economy because of its greater costs in overhead, retail and logistics. So for ethical and financial reasons, it is best to avoid organic food.
  6. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Jul '14 15:07
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It is a myth that organic food is healthier than non-organic food. In addition, organic food puts an additional strain on the environment because of its lower yields, and it puts a strain on the economy because of its greater costs in overhead, retail and logistics. So for ethical and financial reasons, it is best to avoid organic food.
    Insecticide content?
  7. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Jul '14 15:20
    Originally posted by humy
    I am not a doctor but I have done some research on this and I can say it is just total rubbish! No doubt there are health benefits from exercise but:

    1, research has shown that the mineral and vitamin content of organic fruit and veg is, on average, only very slightly higher than for the equivalent none organic fruit and veg.

    2, the exact amount of ...[text shortened]... t of thin air, and, "which the acidic content of the body requires"? LOL, What complete rubbish!
    A recent meta-analysis says otherwise. You can read the abstract of and if you want buy: Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.
    here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103
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    25 Jul '14 15:251 edit
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Insecticide content?
    Usually not an issue, since modern regulations in Western societies tend to be very strict, although pollution of the oceans has resulted in hazardous levels of certain heavy metals in certain fish species (but that doesn't have anything to do with organic farming). I can imagine US regulations being less strict than European ones, though, so it might be that if you have a very monotonous diet you can ingest hazardous levels of pesticides and insecticides.
  9. Cape Town
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    25 Jul '14 15:57
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations.....
    Hardly sounds like an issue. What are these 'anti-oxidants' and will the difference have any health impacts?
    What about the cadmium?

    and lower incidence of pesticide residues
    Which pesticides? Did they measure organic pesticide residues too?
    To what extent are the measured pesticides a health concern?

    Were these differences just averages, or is there a clear distinction in most cases?
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Jul '14 16:27
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Hardly sounds like an issue. What are these 'anti-oxidants' and will the difference have any health impacts?
    What about the cadmium?

    [b]and lower incidence of pesticide residues

    Which pesticides? Did they measure organic pesticide residues too?
    To what extent are the measured pesticides a health concern?

    Were these differences just averages, or is there a clear distinction in most cases?[/b]
    Cadmium is pretty toxic. Yes, they measured pesticide residues in organic and non-organic veg and found more in non-organically produced vegetables. The abstract said that this effect was present in all regions, but I've only read the abstract and not the whole paper so can't give any greater detail. My main point was that the scientific evidence wasn't as ambivalent as humy was claiming.

    They'd have to do a randomised controlled trial to establish any actual health differences. Since I think this should be done for GM crops there's a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

    Also there is considerable nitrate pollution in British rivers well over half of which is attributed to farming. Organic farming methods do not pollute rivers with nitrates since they don't use them.

    I'm skeptical about Kazet's claim that organic farming is unethical due to lower yields (80% ) in the light of our discussion elsewhere about dumping surpluses on Africa. If there are surpluses to dump then we are overproducing and so there is no reason to object to organic farming on those grounds.

    One of the ideas with organic farming is that intensive farming methods damage the soil. I'd have to check my facts to be sure, but a claim for organic farming is that it is less damaging to the soil. Also because insecticides (or most insecticides) aren't used there is less of a bio-diversity hit.
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    25 Jul '14 17:55
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    A recent meta-analysis says otherwise. You can read the abstract of and if you want buy: [b]Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.
    here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103[/b]
    In the present study, we carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods

    Ouch hard to argue with empirical evidence, will make some interesting reading. Thanks.
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    25 Jul '14 17:579 edits
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    In the present study, we carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods

    Ouch hard to argue with empirical evidence, will make some interesting reading. Thanks.
    That link is certainly not a good scientific one. The vague phrase "meaningful differences" would have no scientific meaning without much elaboration and clarification to define what is "meaningful" in this context. "meaningful" in what way exactly? how do you scientifically measure or detect "meaningfulness"?
    it then says:
    "Most importantly, the concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods, ..."
    but then completely fails to mention that the antioxidant myth has already long been debunked so that info is irrelevant to health.
    And then it says
    "the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops"
    but fails to mention that research has found that such pesticide residues are generally still at such low concentrations that they have no measurable biological effect on the human consumer.

    Here is a better more scientific link:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/new-study-shows-its-a-myth-that-organic-foods-are-healthier-2012-9

    -so if there are any health benefits eating organic food, they must be generally pretty rare ones and/or very trivial.
  13. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Jul '14 20:15
    Originally posted by humy
    That link is certainly not a good scientific one. The vague phrase "meaningful differences" would have no scientific meaning without much elaboration and clarification to define what is "meaningful" in this context. "meaningful" in what way exactly? how do you scientifically measure or detect "meaningfulness"?
    it then says:
    "Most importantly, the concentrati ...[text shortened]... ealth benefits eating organic food, they must be generally pretty rare ones and/or very trivial.
    I'd be more impressed with your reference if it was to a scientific journal than to a newspaper article. If you want to find the original article then we can assess it. Otherwise you're relying on the opinion of a journalist.

    The reference I gave was perfectly reasonable. Just because they came to conclusions you don't like doesn't mean they are bad scientists. In this context meaningful means large, you can get statistical significance on a tiny effect (if the trial is big enough), or a large effect which is not statistically significant (in a small trial). All the trials in which anti-oxidants were shown not to be beneficial had them in supplements and not in food. In fact no trial of dietary supplements has ever shown a significant benefit to taking them.

    Actually the article wasn't all that negative to organic food, except for the headline. The Soil Association made some good points about relevance and methodology. Also note that they found higher levels of pesticide residues in the urine of children fed non-organic food than organic food. How do you know that pesticides are not biologically important in these doses? They'll have done LD50 testing in laboratory animals and also had trials giving them large doses of pesticides to see if there are any biological effects. They then extrapolate to humans. This won't filter out all possible effects. The article made some good points about animal welfare. They made a very big one concerning the presence of anti-biotic resistant bacteria in non-organic food, where the risks are badly understood.
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    25 Jul '14 20:53
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Cadmium is pretty toxic.
    But was it toxic in the amounts measured?

    Yes, they measured pesticide residues in organic and non-organic veg
    That doesn't answer my question. Were they measuring non-organic pesticides only, or were they testing for the organic pesticides too? Was it possibly a loaded test?

    Also there is considerable nitrate pollution in British rivers well over half of which is attributed to farming. Organic farming methods do not pollute rivers with nitrates since they don't use them.
    That it simply not true. Organic farming methods still need to provide nitrates to their crops. I believe animal manure is one way to do this and results in nitrate pollution too. Do you have any evidence that organic methods use less nitrates and pollute the rivers less with nitrates?

    I'm skeptical about Kazet's claim that organic farming is unethical due to lower yields (80% ) in the light of our discussion elsewhere about dumping surpluses on Africa. If there are surpluses to dump then we are overproducing and so there is no reason to object to organic farming on those grounds.
    If you are producing a surplus and decide to cut down, it is better to use less land than to use the same land less efficiently. It is significantly better for the environment to let the land return to wild state.

    I'd have to check my facts to be sure, but a claim for organic farming is that it is less damaging to the soil.
    This depends on the farming technique used, not whether it is organic or not. There are better ways to farm that are better for the soil - but they do not fall under the organic/non-organic category system.
    My sister is a proponent of using animals more effectively for soil management and believes there should be more animals on the land. She has also mentioned to me that there are no-till or minimal till techniques that can reduce the need for fertilizer as well as cutting down on erosion and water requirements.
    Generally we need better farmer education in Africa. In Europe and the US it probably requires policy initiatives to encourage better practices.
  15. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Jul '14 21:41
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But was it toxic in the amounts measured?

    [b]Yes, they measured pesticide residues in organic and non-organic veg

    That doesn't answer my question. Were they measuring non-organic pesticides only, or were they testing for the organic pesticides too? Was it possibly a loaded test?

    Also there is considerable nitrate pollution in British rivers ...[text shortened]... ica. In Europe and the US it probably requires policy initiatives to encourage better practices.
    I've got what you were asking now with the pesticides thing. It probably depends on the original studies. This was a meta-analysis of 200+ original papers, I'd have to read the full article and look at what they said (which probably means paying and I'm not doing that for the sake of a debate on an internet forum), and it may require going back to the original papers. Since they found traces of pesticides on the organically produced stuff, one would imagine so as otherwise they shouldn't have found any residues at all.

    But nitrates in organic matter tend not to leach through the soil so quickly. Also, while it's not compulsory (AFAIK) they encourage crop rotation, so nitration is done by planting legumes for a season or clover over winter.

    I remember an old discussion where you brought up low till and no till farming methods. I read about it on Wikipedia at the time, it looks like a good method where it can practicably be employed.

    Organic farming rules in the U.K. allow the use of Ferric phosphate to control slugs (which works a treat I can tell you) that can cause damage to waterways if used carelessly. I'm not claiming a Nirvana, I just think the level of hostility of the usual posters in this forum is unwarranted.

    Bear in mind that the "scientific" approach of Thatcher's government in the late 80's insisting that BSE was not a threat to human health, with the excuse that there was no scientific proof that it was, has left us with 177 dead (the last person to start showing symptoms of vCJD did so within the last two years) and up to 250,000 people carrying the disease in a symptom free fashion. People who argued were labelled as anti-science then. So I'm wary about scientific claims for the food chain that are at odds with (my) intuition or against precautionary approaches.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-28443558 For a BBC article about the vCJD study
    http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5675 For the full article (which is free to read).
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