The crunchies get their panties in a bunch


OK, brace yourselves. This was released a couple of days ago:

“Organic food is no healthier than ordinary food, a large independent review has concluded.”

“There is little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce, UK researchers found.”

I have an interest in the subject, since my dad was a greengrocer, and dammit a good, old school one, introducing delights such as figs and avocados to the unwashed of Hemel Hempstead long before Delia Smith was burped up onto our TV’s. Decent, nutritious vegetables are not in the least bit about the pesticides on out cabbages, they’re about the varieties grown: nice tasty ones or high-yield water-filled ones. End of.

And yet, the forces of stupidity that are the Daily Mail, for whom black is clearly white lead with:

Despite its obvious benefits for our health and for the environment, organic food continues to be denigrated by the political and corporate establishment in Britain.

Okay. A cancerous conspiracy to poison our “faith” in organic food”. Oh, OK. Organic food is a relgion! That’s all right then.

Luckily we have Ben Goldacre to shed some light in the dark:

I don’t care about organic food. I am interested in bad arguments. Theirs has three components.

He goes on to roundly demolish the Soil Association’s squealing.

Let’s reiterate the law of Goldacre: the only sure things to maintain your health are to eat moderately, exercise properly, don’t smoke and drink to moderation. Everything else is playing +/- 30% with one in a million odds.

But no, there is a body of people who want to feel righteous about how they live their lives, and much like the religious, feel superior to the rest.

Holfordwatch tears into the Soil Association further and like totally analyses the data to death.

the skeptic blog is, er, skeptical. About the organic side.

Me? The more skeptic I’ve become, the less anal I’ve become about all this crap. Eat a balanced diet, don’t smoke, be happy, pet a kitten. That’s all there is.

  1. #1 by cowbutt at August 1st, 2009

    I tend to be semi-regular consumer of organic foods, but that’s mainly because of the environmental benefits and that sometimes, different, tastier, varieties are used, or in the case of processed foods such as bread, a bit more care is taken with its preparation (since labour becomes a relatively less significant cost, I presume) which again makes the food tastier.

    Inadvertently my lifestyle is vaguely in line with the ‘law of Goldacre’, though I suspect I could do with a bit more exercise and a little less meat and sugar. Meh, those are my vices and we’ve all gotta die of something, and quite honestly, I’d rather have a healthy-but-shorter life, than a long life with decades spent wasting away in a nursing home or suchlike.

  2. #2 by Michael Kingsford Gray at August 4th, 2009

    …and wear sunscreen

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