Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Scientific American Busts Myths on Organic Farming; I tackle daddy-long-legs
Having posted my own reasons why I do not usually purchase more costly organically-produced foods, I thought this post was an excellent companion piece. Actually, I am thrilled that a professional writer from Scientific American magazine is tackling this tough issue. She may hold a bit more clout than this rural mommy from Kentucky.
1 – Organic farms don’t use pesticides
2 – Organic food is healthier
3 – Organic farming is better for the environment
4 – It’s all or none
One of my favorite points she makes is that the factory farm definition is not exclusive to conventional methods. There are many very large organic farms in this country. Organic does not mean small or local. It reminds me of my disdain this summer when I visited a little home-based, roadside market between swimming practice and home. I asked the proprietor if he grew all the food there and he said the only thing that was locally grown (100 miles away) was a small pile of squash. The rest was purchased at a wholesale produce market and he was charging much more than the local grocery store. He did not claim any of it was “organic,” but I can guarantee that many people had that perception.
I want to reiterate that I am not against organic production, and I believe there are several benefits to having varied production methods. I just don’t think one is necessarily superior to the other. I am a bigger fan, however, of food produced by farmers that I “know.” I appreciate being able to talk to them about what they are doing, regardless of the label they are given. Then it becomes personal, and in the end we may meet on common ground to figure out what methods are good for everyone and everything.
Before I provide the link of the said blog post I want to do some of my own mythbusting: Daddy-long-leg spiders are NOT the most poisonous spiders on the planet. In fact, they are not poisonous at all, nor are they spiders. I have no idea who started this myth, but hear it just about on a weekly basis. These creatures are called Harvestmen, and they eat decaying plants or animals. Pass it on. Source: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/relatives/daddy/daddy.htm
Mythbusting 101: Organic Farms vs Conventional Farms - http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/
You may also enjoy - Why I don't buy organic most of the time.