Organic food

A skeptical look at medical practices
User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:25 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:I'm a vegetarian. This may seem counter-intuitive, but I smoke cigarettes but can't stand the smoke from a barbeque.

While attending a neighborhood barbeque, the person flipping the burgers amidst billowing smoke got upset with me for lighting a cigarette. :roll:


BBQ smoke is an unfortunate by-product, while cigarette smoke is the (unfortunate) objective.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:52 pm

Paul

I would also get upset with you for lighting a cigarette where I could smell it. Smoking, as I am sure you know, is not a good idea. On average it shortens human life by just under 10 years, and makes people a lot less fit while they still live.

The basic difference between other smokes, like the barbecue, and tobacco is dose. You cannot smoke without ingesting truly massive amounts of smoke.

User avatar
Paul Anthony
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2783
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:23 pm
Custom Title: The other god
Location: The desert

Re: Organic food

Post by Paul Anthony » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Paul

I would also get upset with you for lighting a cigarette where I could smell it. Smoking, as I am sure you know, is not a good idea. On average it shortens human life by just under 10 years, and makes people a lot less fit while they still live.

The basic difference between other smokes, like the barbecue, and tobacco is dose. You cannot smoke without ingesting truly massive amounts of smoke.


Statistics would seem to support your position, but there are exceptions. It is the exceptions that cause me to question the science.

Both my father and my Uncle Al died at age 91. My father never smoked. Uncle Al smoked 4 packs a day (even I consider that excessive). Uncle Al had a brother who didn't smoke. He lived to 92. Their father smoked. He made it to 98. Their youngest sister lived most of her life (until 2 years ago) in the house she was born in - with the smokers. She's still alive at 102. None of them had cancer.

My ex-wife smoked and died of lung cancer at age 63.

Something else is going on here. Genetics must play a large role. Not everyone who smokes or is exposed to "second-hand" smoke gets cancer, and not everyone who gets cancer smokes or is exposed to "second-hand" smoke.

If a person is prone to cancer, smoking may increase their chances. If a person is not prone to cancer, smoking doesn't seem to matter.
People who say ALWAYS and NEVER are usually wrong, part of the time.
Science answers questions, Philosophy questions answers.
Make sense, not war.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:32 am

Paul

You are rationalising.
Certainly some people will live a long time in spite of smoking, but the odds are infavor of an early death. My father smoked all his life and died of lung cancer at 83. His older brother who did not smoke, lived to 95. That is more typical.
Smoking, by the way, kills in many ways. Heart disease. Strokes. Emphysema, which my father in law, a smoker, died of, and which is a horrible way to go. Smoking costs big money. It reduces athleticism in younger people. It can even cause impotence. You may rationalise and attempt to justify your habit, but it remains an idiotic thing to do.

User avatar
Paul Anthony
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2783
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:23 pm
Custom Title: The other god
Location: The desert

Re: Organic food

Post by Paul Anthony » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:11 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Paul

You are rationalising.
Certainly some people will live a long time in spite of smoking, but the odds are infavor of an early death. My father smoked all his life and died of lung cancer at 83. His older brother who did not smoke, lived to 95. That is more typical.
Smoking, by the way, kills in many ways. Heart disease. Strokes. Emphysema, which my father in law, a smoker, died of, and which is a horrible way to go. Smoking costs big money. It reduces athleticism in younger people. It can even cause impotence. You may rationalise and attempt to justify your habit, but it remains an idiotic thing to do.


Well, so is eating cheese burgers and fries, but not many people will stop just because it has a good chance of ruining their health.

We all rationalize. I gave up booze, meat and sex. I never did drugs except nicotine and caffeine, and I've switched to half-caffeine coffee. Smokin's all I got left, so leave me alone. ;)
People who say ALWAYS and NEVER are usually wrong, part of the time.
Science answers questions, Philosophy questions answers.
Make sense, not war.

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Real Skeptic
Posts: 24233
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: somewhere

Re: Organic food

Post by scrmbldggs » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:19 am

Are you sure it's wise to give up exercise? :-P
.
Lard, save me from your followers.

User avatar
Paul Anthony
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2783
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:23 pm
Custom Title: The other god
Location: The desert

Re: Organic food

Post by Paul Anthony » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:18 am

scrmbldggs wrote:Are you sure it's wise to give up exercise? :-P


Can't give up what you never had. ;)
People who say ALWAYS and NEVER are usually wrong, part of the time.
Science answers questions, Philosophy questions answers.
Make sense, not war.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:06 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Paul



Smokin's all I got left, so leave me alone.


Sure, but in return I request you stop justifying a lethal habit on a public forum.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by TJrandom » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:45 pm

I found this article on CNN – based upon a scientific study, saying that eating organic foods reduced the risk for cancer. I have not been an organic food consumer, given the generally higher price, but have been concerned with pesticide residue. Unfortunately I frequently did not follow through and thoroughly wash or peel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/heal ... index.html

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 8K Posts
Posts: 8472
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by landrew » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:10 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:45 pm
I found this article on CNN – based upon a scientific study, saying that eating organic foods reduced the risk for cancer. I have not been an organic food consumer, given the generally higher price, but have been concerned with pesticide residue. Unfortunately I frequently did not follow through and thoroughly wash or peel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/heal ... index.html
There's more to organic foods than not using pesticides. They also don't use fertilizers in the form of synthetic urea, phosphate and potash. Unless the nutrient cycle can be supported by natural means, organic foods are malnutritioned, and lack the ability to fight disease and predation. They also may lack the vitamins and nutrients that would be present in a well-fertilized crop.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Has More Than 5K Posts
Posts: 5196
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit

Re: Organic food

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:22 pm

But there's pesticide residue on organic foods too, it's just different pesticides.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11302
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Organic food

Post by OlegTheBatty » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:34 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:22 pm
But there's pesticide residue on organic foods too, it's just different pesticides.
Not to mention that almost all e-coli outbreaks are in organically grown foods.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11302
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by OlegTheBatty » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:46 pm

landrew wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:10 pm
TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:45 pm
I found this article on CNN – based upon a scientific study, saying that eating organic foods reduced the risk for cancer. I have not been an organic food consumer, given the generally higher price, but have been concerned with pesticide residue. Unfortunately I frequently did not follow through and thoroughly wash or peel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/heal ... index.html
There's more to organic foods than not using pesticides. They also don't use fertilizers in the form of synthetic urea, phosphate and potash. Unless the nutrient cycle can be supported by natural means, organic foods are malnutritioned, and lack the ability to fight disease and predation. They also may lack the vitamins and nutrients that would be present in a well-fertilized crop.
1. no mention of confounding factors
2. no breakdown of the cancers in each group, only totals for the entire 68,946. If we look at one of them, the non-hodgkins lymphoma, where the difference is largest:
- average of 12 cases per group, but we don't know how many in each group, but it doesn't matter - maybe 19 or 20 in the highest group, and 5 or 6 in the lowest - but it means that out of 68,946 examples, 20 or so vs. 5 or so. The actual reduction in risk is about 15/68,946. Negligible.
3. only 2 cancers, not the rest
4. no allowance for statistical error, or sampling bias (all volunteers, not randomly selected)

I am underwhelmed

I tried to look at the original study, but the link is borked, and couldn't find it in JAMA, but I only made a cursory search.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:19 pm

The article concludes with...
"At the current stage of research, the relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk is still unclear," Chavarro and his co-authors wrote in the commentary.

In the end, the study's takeaway, according to Chavarro, is that we should all probably be paying more attention to how much organic food we eat and "we should probably be studying this more."
So even the authors understand that there are issues with the study and the results cannot be taken as conclusive. But it does suggest that further studies are needed. Beyond that I believe it should give consumers reason to consider their options rather than simply purchase the cheapest.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Has More Than 5K Posts
Posts: 5196
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:26 pm

I'm not sure does. The results weren't just non-conclusive, they were negligible as Oleg pointed out.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by TJrandom » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:37 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:26 pm
I'm not sure does. The results weren't just non-conclusive, they were negligible as Oleg pointed out.
The study period was short - only four and a half years on average. I wouldn`t call the reduction negligible given the human lifespan, the difficulty in treating cancers, and the affect they have on patients.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:36 am

The British Food safety Authority authorised a study to compared health effects of organic or conventional food. After reviewing literally hundreds of research programs, they concluded there were no health benefits for organic food.

On pesticide residues.
Organic food contains more natural pesticides than conventional food. That is because unsprayed crops get attacked by insects more, and the plants generate natural insecticides in defence. Those natural insecticides are just as toxic, gram for gram, as synthetic ones, and are present in quantities about 10,000 times as great. Not that this matters most of the time. Even at the 10,000 differential, the amount is usually too small to be harmful.

https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/06/13/99 ... lves-11415

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:51 am

Thanks. Noted the linked article is from 2017, while the CNN article/France study just concluded. It is good to see the research continues.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:55 am

On cancer

One of my science heroes is Dr. Bruce Ames, an American guy who specialised in chemicals causing mutations and cancer. He found that 50% of all the chemicals he tested (and there were thousands), whether natural or synthetic, caused cancer in large doses. In common cabbage, for example, there are about 60 chemicals that cause cancer. Not that this matters, since they cause cancer only in large dose, and the amounts in cabbage are present in small quantities.

Anyone who wants a carcinogen free diet can achieve it only by giving up eating.

Natural pesticides are nearly all cancer causing in large dose. Many synthetic pesticides do the same. Again, not an issue. People rarely get the kind of dose that is a problem.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:10 am

But yet roughly 40 to 50% of people get cancer - not including those predisposed due to genetics.

And whether or not people rarely get the kind of dose that is a problem, is exactly what is being investigated.

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11302
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Organic food

Post by OlegTheBatty » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:28 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:19 pm
The article concludes with...
"At the current stage of research, the relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk is still unclear," Chavarro and his co-authors wrote in the commentary.

In the end, the study's takeaway, according to Chavarro, is that we should all probably be paying more attention to how much organic food we eat and "we should probably be studying this more."
So even the authors understand that there are issues with the study and the results cannot be taken as conclusive. But it does suggest that further studies are needed. Beyond that I believe it should give consumers reason to consider their options rather than simply purchase the cheapest.
The tiny difference could easily be random fluctuation, but even if real, it is so small it is lost in the shitstorm of other, more potent carcinogens we can't avoid.

The study conclusion makes sense if the study was commissioned by an organic food grower or association of them.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:10 am

TJrandom wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:10 am
But yet roughly 40 to 50% of people get cancer - not including those predisposed due to genetics.

And whether or not people rarely get the kind of dose that is a problem, is exactly what is being investigated.
The exact number for the western world is 38%. Cancer is primarily a disease of old age. The probability of developing cancer during your 75th year is 100 TIMES as high as in your 25th year. Cancer tends to be the result of accumulating errors in DNA. There is more cancer today than, say, 100 years ago, simply because a lot more people live long enough to develop it. On the other hand, the survival from cancer has also increased dramatically.

You may be surprised to know what material is most often the cause of cancer. It is oxygen. That comes from aerobic respiration, in the mitochondria of every cell. A harmful by product of this process is oxidizing compounds like hydrogen peroxide. They are quickly mopped up by the antioxidants which are also in every cell. But it does not take long for an oxidizer to damage DNA.

This, of course, is the basis for a whole bunch of crackpot health ideas related to consuming antioxidants. Of those we consume, vitamin C is doubtless the most important, and as long as we ingest enough (W.H.O. recommends at least 50 milligrams per day per adult), we will have sufficient. There is no credible evidence that ingesting excess antioxidants, whether vitamin C or anything else, actually helps.

So, to put it simply, there is little, if any, credible empirical evidence to suggest that organic foods are anti cancer, and there is no reason in theory why they should be.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:06 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:28 pm
TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:19 pm
The article concludes with...
"At the current stage of research, the relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk is still unclear," Chavarro and his co-authors wrote in the commentary.

In the end, the study's takeaway, according to Chavarro, is that we should all probably be paying more attention to how much organic food we eat and "we should probably be studying this more."
So even the authors understand that there are issues with the study and the results cannot be taken as conclusive. But it does suggest that further studies are needed. Beyond that I believe it should give consumers reason to consider their options rather than simply purchase the cheapest.
The tiny difference could easily be random fluctuation, but even if real, it is so small it is lost in the shitstorm of other, more potent carcinogens we can't avoid.

The study conclusion makes sense if the study was commissioned by an organic food grower or association of them.
If a random fluctuation, further studies should show that. IMO, an additional 15 people who did not get cancer is not small. Of course there are many more potent carcinogens - but cannot avoid? If one can avoid synthetic pesticide residue by simply eating more organic, why cannot one avoid the more potent carcinogens? And even if some cannot be avoided - why not avoid those which can be avoided?

A conclusion of 'more study is required' hardly makes sense for an organic grower to be pushing.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:07 am

The flaw in your illogic, TJ, is the belief that conventional foods carry a burden of lots of harmful pesticide residue. That idea is wrong.

First. The amount of synthetic pesticide residue in conventional foods is normally less than one part per million (my source is the NZ Food Safety Agency, who analyse this as part of the government program to keep food safe.), and one part per million is totally harmless.

Second. Organic food contains a lot more "natural" pesticides, which are just as toxic and just as carcinogenic as synthetic ones. My source here is the work of Dr. Bruce Ames, an expert on carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals. So eating organic food instead of conventional actually increases the amount of carcinogens consumed.

Third. Neither organic or conventional food carries a burden of too much synthetic or natural pesticide. The amounts are way less than what the human body can tolerate. So either way, paranoia is just stooopid !

Most of the bull-shite about pesticide residues is generated by the multi billion dollar organic food industry, and is spread by their willing crackpot minions.

User avatar
Gord
Obnoxious Weed
Posts: 32219
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by Gord » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 am

TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:45 pm
I found this article on CNN – based upon a scientific study, saying that eating organic foods reduced the risk for cancer. I have not been an organic food consumer, given the generally higher price, but have been concerned with pesticide residue. Unfortunately I frequently did not follow through and thoroughly wash or peel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/heal ... index.html
The link they give to the article in JAMA doesn't work for me, so I tried searching for it. Is this it?

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamain ... ultClick=1
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Has No Life
Posts: 14872
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:39 am
Custom Title: bobbo da existential pragmatist

Re: Organic food

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:52 am

I don't follow the issue closely as TASTE is my primary concern followed by COST...….hmmmm, while "safety" really isn't an issue for the American consumer.

TASTE: I've never detected any difference...so thats a "wash." except: all too often organic food with unattractive blemishes and bruises are meant to indicate their virtue? Everyone knows: bruised/unattractive food should only be provided at a discount.

COST: Big wasteful Corporate Ag wins hands down.

SAFETY: I've read too many articles pointing out how unsafe organic can be. They are prone to have natural contaminants on them not present in factory farmed food. As I always note: Pros and Cons to EVERY issue there is.===>Find the balance. In my case: its the $$$$.
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:09 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:07 am
... The amount of synthetic pesticide residue in conventional foods is normally less than one part per million (my source is the NZ Food Safety Agency, who analyse this as part of the government program to keep food safe.), and one part per million is totally harmless. ...
That may be true for NZ, but maybe not for other countries. The study was from France. Here in Japan, there is no testing at all - much less independant testing UNLESS a major poisoning occurs. Using pesticide on crops prior to harvest and within the natural decay period occurs without detection. IIRC, only 10% of food imported to the US is tested.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food cuts cancer risk

Post by TJrandom » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:34 am

Gord wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 am
TJrandom wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:45 pm
I found this article on CNN – based upon a scientific study, saying that eating organic foods reduced the risk for cancer. I have not been an organic food consumer, given the generally higher price, but have been concerned with pesticide residue. Unfortunately I frequently did not follow through and thoroughly wash or peel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/heal ... index.html
The link they give to the article in JAMA doesn't work for me, so I tried searching for it. Is this it?

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamain ... ultClick=1
Yes, I believe it is. Thanks.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:02 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:09 am

That may be true for NZ, but maybe not for other countries. The study was from France. Here in Japan, there is no testing at all - much less independant testing UNLESS a major poisoning occurs. Using pesticide on crops prior to harvest and within the natural decay period occurs without detection. IIRC, only 10% of food imported to the US is tested.
Testing is not the reason.

The reason is because modern pesticides are biodegradable, and start to break down immediately after spraying. The only way you could get a harmful dose from sprayed foods is if you harvested and ate them very soon after the spraying. The standard period is 6 weeks from spray to harvest. As long as that is maintained (and it normally is), there is no risk.

There was a case about a decade back when organic grapes were sprayed with copper sulphate *(used as a fungicide, in organic produce because it is 'natural', but sadly it is also non biodegradable and is a potent liver toxin) and two boys plucked grapes from the vine and ate them. One died and the second almost died.

* Copper sulphate is a widely used organic spray, but is quite toxic to humans, with a lethal dose estimated at 11 milligrams per kilogram body weight.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:29 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:02 pm
TJrandom wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:09 am

That may be true for NZ, but maybe not for other countries. The study was from France. Here in Japan, there is no testing at all - much less independant testing UNLESS a major poisoning occurs. Using pesticide on crops prior to harvest and within the natural decay period occurs without detection. IIRC, only 10% of food imported to the US is tested.
... Testing is not the reason. ... As long as that is maintained (and it normally is), there is no risk.
Testing is what keeps farmers honest. Don`t test, and there is incentive to break the rules. As for there being no risk because the prior to harvest restrictions are normally followed (if indeed they are) - is that why pesticides are found in human urine and breast tissue?

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Has No Life
Posts: 14872
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:39 am
Custom Title: bobbo da existential pragmatist

Re: Organic food

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:33 am

TJrandom wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:29 am
- is that why pesticides are found in human urine and breast tissue?
Where

When

How Many

How Much

Personal Histories taken and pesticide traced to source?

What pesticides?....ie: home use vs food?

Lots of Questions with the upshot "usually being" the risk/harm of pesticides far less than doing without them. Ain't that the shits?
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 11703
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Organic food

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:25 am

Bobbo made a good point.

I went to a Greenpeace lecture some years ago, where we were told of the horrors of dioxins. One point made was that dioxins were so pervasive that they were even in human mothers milk, harming babies.

I decided to look it up. Would you believe 100 parts per quadrillion ! About 10,000 fold lower than the minimum that might cause harm with the single most toxic number of the dioxin family.

The lesson is simple. When people talk of residues, or toxins found here, there or somewhere else, it means absolutely NOTHING, unless you know the dose, and how big a dose is required to cause harm.

A competent skeptic demands detail.

User avatar
TJrandom
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9856
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am
Location: Pacific coast outside of Tokyo bay.

Re: Organic food

Post by TJrandom » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:39 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:25 am
Bobbo made a good point.

I went to a Greenpeace lecture some years ago, where we were told of the horrors of dioxins. One point made was that dioxins were so pervasive that they were even in human mothers milk, harming babies.

I decided to look it up. Would you believe 100 parts per quadrillion ! About 10,000 fold lower than the minimum that might cause harm with the single most toxic number of the dioxin family.

The lesson is simple. When people talk of residues, or toxins found here, there or somewhere else, it means absolutely NOTHING, unless you know the dose, and how big a dose is required to cause harm.

A competent skeptic demands detail.
Except when you don't know the dose and want to err on the side of safety. Residual pesticides on food is like having a gun, not knowing the caliber or how close to the heart one must aim before shooting to only cause a wound - but go ahead and shoot. The study was an attempt to determine the effects of pesticide residuals on food - not knowing the dose simply because it is not knowable. It still has value and a competent skeptic would not throw it out because they have a religious belief in synthetic pesticide use.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Has No Life
Posts: 14872
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:39 am
Custom Title: bobbo da existential pragmatist

Re: Organic food

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:54 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:39 am
It still has value ...
What is that value? .......other than more work needs to be done before anyone can say anything else about it?
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 8K Posts
Posts: 8472
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Organic food

Post by landrew » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:14 pm

Aside from contamination, foods have become less nutritious. The focus of crop breeding has been to increase tons per acre, not vitamins and minerals per serving. The human body needs about 60 elements to be healthy, but plants need very few. Factory farms deplete the soil of trace minerals and human health suffers as a result.
Organic foods are often grown on lands fertilized naturally, therefore they are likely to have more trace elements than a factory farm, where the soil is practically sterile, and fertilizers are applied only as needed to maintain yields.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11302
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Organic food

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:51 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:06 am


A conclusion of 'more study is required' hardly makes sense for an organic grower to be pushing.
It is a meaningless buzz phrase attached to pretty much every study.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11302
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Organic food

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:54 pm

landrew wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:14 pm
Aside from contamination, foods have become less nutritious. The focus of crop breeding has been to increase tons per acre, not vitamins and minerals per serving. The human body needs about 60 elements to be healthy, but plants need very few. Factory farms deplete the soil of trace minerals and human health suffers as a result.
Organic foods are often grown on lands fertilized naturally, therefore they are likely to have more trace elements than a factory farm, where the soil is practically sterile, and fertilizers are applied only as needed to maintain yields.
The fact that a farmer is using manufactured fertilizers and/or pesticides does not mean he is not replacing organic material every year. Your point is a false dichotomy.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 8K Posts
Posts: 8472
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Organic food

Post by landrew » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:18 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:54 pm
landrew wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:14 pm
Aside from contamination, foods have become less nutritious. The focus of crop breeding has been to increase tons per acre, not vitamins and minerals per serving. The human body needs about 60 elements to be healthy, but plants need very few. Factory farms deplete the soil of trace minerals and human health suffers as a result.
Organic foods are often grown on lands fertilized naturally, therefore they are likely to have more trace elements than a factory farm, where the soil is practically sterile, and fertilizers are applied only as needed to maintain yields.
The fact that a farmer is using manufactured fertilizers and/or pesticides does not mean he is not replacing organic material every year. Your point is a false dichotomy.
Just an opinion based on about 40 years of experience. Organic material essentially increases carbon content, and has little to do with the subject at hand. Crop residue does not generally replace the yearly loss of organic matter, and therefore most agricultural soils have undergone a decrease in organic matter content over the years.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Has No Life
Posts: 14872
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:39 am
Custom Title: bobbo da existential pragmatist

Re: Organic food

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:27 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:54 pm

The fact that a farmer is using manufactured fertilizers and/or pesticides does not mean he is not replacing organic material every year. Your point is a false dichotomy.
Thats exactly what it means. Fertilizers with trace elements are more expensive. What do you think happens?
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 8K Posts
Posts: 8472
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Organic food

Post by landrew » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:42 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:27 pm
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:54 pm

The fact that a farmer is using manufactured fertilizers and/or pesticides does not mean he is not replacing organic material every year. Your point is a false dichotomy.
Thats exactly what it means. Fertilizers with trace elements are more expensive. What do you think happens?
Plants need only about 16 elements to grow properly, and they are only added through fertilizer to improve yield and quality, but not for human nutrition, mainly because it would be uneconomic to do otherwise. Humans need about 60 elements, and we get them from our food, ultimately from the plants where those trace elements were drawn from the soil and are along for the ride in a crop. The mineral cycle is being depleted each year, and fertilizers are doing practically nothing to reverse the process.
Most of those trace elements travel through our sewers, and ultimately end up in the ocean. We can't be expected to replenish all the lost elements that were once part of the natural nutrient cycle when all human and animal wastes were returned to the fields.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.