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Thread: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

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    Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    http://www.theguardian.com/environme...oxidants-study


    Discuss.

    I am an organic farmer but i was trained as a conventional/ chemical reliant farmer..

    How does this make you non organic farmers feel.? How would you feel if organic farmers made much of this research? Does anyone actually care?

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    There has been a mixed expert reaction to the study http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/ex...ntional-foods/

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    I've briefly read the two links above and am approaching this from our own "non-organic" status; personally I don't think it really changes any of the arguments for or against organic produce significantly. I appreciate it is a meta-analysis and therefore aims to reduce error through the shear volume of studies used but you don't have to read very far in either link to start finding holes in the paper if you wish to find them. I've no knowledge of the study author or the individuals attributed to the quotes but it appears that there may be some history to some of the papers findings in terms of previous studies which have been produced. I guess the paper offers positives and negatives for organic produce depending upon your original viewpoint.

    I tend however to agree with some of the comments relating to the importance of what we eat rather than whether it is organic or not. If you are a 5 portion of fruit and veg a day chap then you may decide there are positives to choosing organic produce however if you are only eating an apple a week and choffing take-aways for the rest of the time organic or not won't make a jot of difference. Personally I still believe organic food is a lifestyle choice based firstly upon the ability to pay for it and secondly the desire for a feel-good factor, namely that you've not bought the cheapest option available in the shop therefore it must be better quality. Define quality however you want (as the figures quoted in the links suggest plenty do this already) but I don't see this study being ground-breaking or moving the debate onwards in any particular direction.

    Unfortunately there are far too many loudly shouting voices at the fringes of both the organic and non-organic sectors to allow a sensible debate with sound science to provide a truly tested answer, but then these voices tend to have a vested interest in the outcome of such a debate anyway. So to answer your final questions; personally I doubt anyone really cares enough any more about such small aspects of their food as food stories roll off the front pages on a weekly basis anyway. The damage caused by smoking and alcohol is far more widely reported and understood by the general public with little sign of resultant changes in behaviour and I suspect that the promotion of this study would do little to alter many perceptions, especially if legitimate doubts are also raised in to it's findings.
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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    "Pesticide residues were found on conventional crops four times more often than on organic food" - does this mean that up to a quarter of organic crops are treated with pesticides, or that conventional farming within pesticde label restraints ensures that the end product is nearly always reside free? Either way looks like a thumbs down to Organic production if pesticide residues are found on any organic produce.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28270803

    It says "funded by the EU and the Sheepdrove Trust, an organic farming charity"

    Have they even done any new research and testing?
    It reads like all they did is sift through existing studies - presumable weighting in favour of the desired result.
    we should be amazed the BBC has presented this as something new and significant.
    But aren't, because it's depressingly inline with their obsession of promoting stories with a green agenda.

    The TV clip at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28275464 starts with someone chopping veg while asserting non-organic food is contaminated with preservatives and pesticides.
    Well that is one big lie but goes practically unchallenged.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    It's all bollocks. People have been eating food which has been treated with chemicals for many years. People are living longer than in the past. Perhaps a statutory dose of chemically treated food should be enforced for everyone?

    Joking apart, 99% of people will buy on price. Yes, there are those 'Holier Than Thou' sorts who believe that it is much better to feed little Tristan and Arabella on organically produced crops. Let them keep thinking that. I will continue to consume my own vegetables, when I have them in the garden, which I treat with chemicals and are wonderful to eat.

    I am old enough to remember slugs in lettuce, carrot fly ridden carrots, and so on.

    All good wishes to the organic farmers on here - they have a deluded but happy small minority to whom they can sell their produce.

    As for me, I will continue to provide for the main market.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by WHF View Post
    "Pesticide residues were found on conventional crops four times more often than on organic food" - does this mean that up to a quarter of organic crops are treated with pesticides, or that conventional farming within pesticde label restraints ensures that the end product is nearly always reside free? Either way looks like a thumbs down to Organic production if pesticide residues are found on any organic produce.
    It's either organic farmers cheating or I would guess more likely stuff drifting from non organic neighbours? Don't know. I do buy a lot of organic stuff and it's mainly because you have a set of standard which you know the food was produced to. I wouldn't buy a standard or 'free range' chicken as I'm not happy with how they are produced. I would buy an organic one if I didn't know the exact source. As it is, I raise my own which are not organic but produced to standards and fed on feed I am happy with. I'm happy to eat our neighbour's lamb and he's not organic but again, I'm happy with how he raises it. The rest of our meat comes from Eversfield as I know pretty much how it's raised and killed and which farms supply them. I buy milk from Riverford as they are just up the road and I know I can ask them anything I wish to know and they will tell me. Also it's one of the few sources of non-homogenised milk around here.

    I think the point is that we should all try to buy food direct from neighbours where we can, organic or not. If I'm buying from the supermarket, I'll usually buy organic as I can hopefully have some idea what has been applied to it so I guess that makes me an idiot. It's all about choice. If you happy eating more pesticide residue, it's your life and maybe there is no harm in it. I'm not particularly keen on that so will pay a bit more and grow what I can myself.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Newcastle have for a few years been actively pursuing an Organic theme.
    Details escape me at the moment, but a lot of Pro Organic work has been carried out at Nafferton.
    To say I was unsurprised by the results is an understatement.

    Paste this into Google Search
    newcastle university organic farming

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    It's either organic farmers cheating or I would guess more likely stuff drifting from non organic neighbours? Don't know. I do buy a lot of organic stuff and it's mainly because you have a set of standard which you know the food was produced to. I wouldn't buy a standard or 'free range' chicken as I'm not happy with how they are produced. I would buy an organic one if I didn't know the exact source. As it is, I raise my own which are not organic but produced to standards and fed on feed I am happy with. I'm happy to eat our neighbour's lamb and he's not organic but again, I'm happy with how he raises it. The rest of our meat comes from Eversfield as I know pretty much how it's raised and killed and which farms supply them. I buy milk from Riverford as they are just up the road and I know I can ask them anything I wish to know and they will tell me. Also it's one of the few sources of non-homogenised milk around here.

    I think the point is that we should all try to buy food direct from neighbours where we can, organic or not. If I'm buying from the supermarket, I'll usually buy organic as I can hopefully have some idea what has been applied to it so I guess that makes me an idiot. It's all about choice. If you happy eating more pesticide residue, it's your life and maybe there is no harm in it. I'm not particularly keen on that so will pay a bit more and grow what I can myself.
    Residues will be in the soil from previous years when non organic, it can also be when retailers get organic veg "mixed up " with non organic.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    Residues will be in the soil from previous years when non organic, it can also be when retailers get organic veg "mixed up " with non organic.
    True. I'm not so fussed about veg to be honest. With meat, I want to know where it comes from, what it ate, how it was kept and also how it met its maker. There are plenty of ways to do this with meat so we have no excuse for buying some potentially brutalised animal which was killed in a way we may not be happy with. In the supermarket, you often have no way of knowing if that is the truth.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Paste this into Google Search
    newcastle university organic farming
    It's good to see they're doing some worthwhile research. The university has just built two or three of the ugliest buildings ever seen in a British city centre, just opposite to the football ground. Business school and student apartments in chuck-it-up glass brutalist style. There's more on the research at the end of this link ( http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/new...rganic-7411542 ) - his main crop potatoes look sound, at least.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    True. I'm not so fussed about veg to be honest. With meat, I want to know where it comes from, what it ate, how it was kept and also how it met its maker. There are plenty of ways to do this with meat so we have no excuse for buying some potentially brutalised animal which was killed in a way we may not be happy with. In the supermarket, you often have no way of knowing if that is the truth.
    a "brutalised " animal would be inedible.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    a "brutalised " animal would be inedible.
    Depends how you define brutalised I suppose. Perhaps not the best word as it implies violence. What I was getting at is keeping an animal in a setting that is far away from it's ancestors natural surroundings and not really paying any heed to its natural and instinctive habits and behavior, purely to make more money.

    Most farmers have seen cows turned out in the spring express such joy and abandon that it is one of the best parts of your year. If you can kid yourself that they should be denied that and should be in sheds all year 'for their own welfare' then you have gone wrong somewhere. What's the next stage of this process? Remove their legs so they don't risk lameness and can stay plugged in 24/7?

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    I would just state first of all that I respect every type of farmer who produces food to a high standard, even if its not my way.

    In today's UK where we (and especially kids) have generally a rather poor standard of diet compared to one or two generations prior, I do think that the composition of diets is a much more pressing issue than the organic/non-organic debate.

    My own non-research based opinion would be that I would expect there to be more chemicals in conventional fruit and veg than in organics. I would also expect that some varieties which would be high in consumer satisfaction perhaps would not be available in organic form due to their lack of suitability for an organic production system, which could restrict quality and choice. I have never bought on these opinions.

    As for beef and dairy, differences between organic and non-organic are bound to be negligible. It is purely a marketing tool, which is fine by me, as long as they dont make false claims. Also, interestingly, as a former organic producer once told me, he found the organic standard inspection to be a piece of cake compared to red tractor. What it has in common with red tractor though is that it is pretty much a load of cobblers.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Depends how you define brutalised I suppose. Perhaps not the best word as it implies violence. What I was getting at is keeping an animal in a setting that is far away from it's ancestors natural surroundings and not really paying any heed to its natural and instinctive habits and behavior, purely to make more money.

    Most farmers have seen cows turned out in the spring express such joy and abandon that it is one of the best parts of your year. If you can kid yourself that they should be denied that and should be in sheds all year 'for their own welfare' then you have gone wrong somewhere. What's the next stage of this process? Remove their legs so they don't risk lameness and can stay plugged in 24/7?
    Cattle generally live outside when possible.
    You seem to prefer chicken , which is raised in totally unnatural surroundings, without exercise or sunlight.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Depends how you define brutalised I suppose. Perhaps not the best word as it implies violence. What I was getting at is keeping an animal in a setting that is far away from it's ancestors natural surroundings and not really paying any heed to its natural and instinctive habits and behavior, purely to make more money.

    Most farmers have seen cows turned out in the spring express such joy and abandon that it is one of the best parts of your year. If you can kid yourself that they should be denied that and should be in sheds all year 'for their own welfare' then you have gone wrong somewhere. What's the next stage of this process? Remove their legs so they don't risk lameness and can stay plugged in 24/7?
    Even organic dairy farms will bring their cows in over winter though.
    If it's cold & wet, the grass simply doesn't grow, so you'd have to supplement feeding, just to keep them healthy & try to maintain production & fertility. The ground around water & feed troughs gets muddy & gateways gets plodged up with the twice (x3?) a day milking traffic.
    Yes the cows love to run around & kick up their heels when they're let out in spring, but they also just stand & look miserable (well our lot do!) when it's cold & wet!
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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Newcastle have for a few years been actively pursuing an Organic theme.
    Details escape me at the moment, but a lot of Pro Organic work has been carried out at Nafferton.
    From http://www.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/business/nafferton

    Nafferton’s dairy herd was also split with half of the herd certified organic on 1st April 2006. This followed a transition period of 9 months of organic veterinary management and 6 months of organic dietary management.To facilitate the milking of the split herd, a new milking parlour was installed at Nafferton during 2003, as well as additional housing and slurry capacity. The new facilities enable the two herds to be managed concurrently and milked simultaneously, thus aiding a direct comparison of the two herds whilst maintaining the separation required.


    I believe the conventional herd use one side of the milking parlour, while the organic cows use the other!
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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_TM View Post
    From http://www.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/business/nafferton

    Nafferton’s dairy herd was also split with half of the herd certified organic on 1st April 2006. This followed a transition period of 9 months of organic veterinary management and 6 months of organic dietary management.To facilitate the milking of the split herd, a new milking parlour was installed at Nafferton during 2003, as well as additional housing and slurry capacity. The new facilities enable the two herds to be managed concurrently and milked simultaneously, thus aiding a direct comparison of the two herds whilst maintaining the separation required.


    I believe the conventional herd use one side of the milking parlour, while the organic cows use the other!
    Could that be construed as Cow Racism, and also a violation of their Human (Cows) Rights to choose which side of the milking parlour they use????

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone_Waller View Post
    It's good to see they're doing some worthwhile research. The university has just built two or three of the ugliest buildings ever seen in a British city centre, just opposite to the football ground. Business school and student apartments in chuck-it-up glass brutalist style. There's more on the research at the end of this link ( http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/new...rganic-7411542 ) - his main crop potatoes look sound, at least.
    Beginning to wonder.......more searching for research work that supports the views held by the department rather than new and ground breaking research.
    Gee
    Last edited by 4wd; 14-07-14 at 01:07 PM. Reason: (fixed quote block)

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    Cattle generally live outside when possible.
    You seem to prefer chicken , which is raised in totally unnatural surroundings, without exercise or sunlight.
    My chicken aren't, which is kind of my point.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_TM View Post
    Even organic dairy farms will bring their cows in over winter though.
    If it's cold & wet, the grass simply doesn't grow, so you'd have to supplement feeding, just to keep them healthy & try to maintain production & fertility. The ground around water & feed troughs gets muddy & gateways gets plodged up with the twice (x3?) a day milking traffic.
    Yes the cows love to run around & kick up their heels when they're let out in spring, but they also just stand & look miserable (well our lot do!) when it's cold & wet!
    I'm not saying all cattle should be out-wintered in the UK, I've already mentioned that above. Dairy cows in particular would, I expect, need longer housing than beef cattle. But there are beef breeds who can cope better than others and grazing systems which could allow longer outdoor grazing periods. The fact is that most folk choose the big continentals and let them walk backwards and forwards through the same gateway 50 times a day.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    A crank or crackpot cannot be expected to carry out good basic unbiased research work.

    If someone claims that organic wheat, as an example, has an inherent advantage over conventional wheat in terms of a particular nutrient quality, I want to know why.

    High protein bread wheat will obviously have a higher Nitrogen content, whether it be organic or conventional. And wheat where septoria and other fungal diseases are not properly controlled ( more likely to occur with organic wheat) will have a higher level of toxins and a musty smell - and be bad for you.

    And a comparison of farming systems should include a ratio of unit of output per unit of input. Given the cost of land, labour and machinery, organic systems will perform relatively poorly.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    A crank or crackpot cannot be expected to carry out good basic unbiased research work.
    .
    I would prefer the term 'paid researcher'
    But we seem to have an increasing problem with research being taken seriously when they set out from the start to provide evidence for whatever pet theory.
    - then some sections of the media present it as the latest known fact and evidence.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    My chicken aren't, which is kind of my point.
    Well youn only have one, so keeping it outside wont be a problem except for mr fox.
    99.9% of chickens never set foot outside.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    A crank or crackpot cannot be expected to carry out good basic unbiased research work.

    If someone claims that organic wheat, as an example, has an inherent advantage over conventional wheat in terms of a particular nutrient quality, I want to know why.

    High protein bread wheat will obviously have a higher Nitrogen content, whether it be organic or conventional. And wheat where septoria and other fungal diseases are not properly controlled ( more likely to occur with organic wheat) will have a higher level of toxins and a musty smell - and be bad for you.

    And a comparison of farming systems should include a ratio of unit of output per unit of input. Given the cost of land, labour and machinery, organic systems will perform relatively poorly.
    After 15 yrs growing organic wheat, i have yet to see a disease problem. Cell walls that have not been expanded and weakened by Nitrogen keep pathogens at bay far better.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    After 15 yrs growing organic wheat, i have yet to see a disease problem. Cell walls that have not been expanded and weakened by Nitrogen keep pathogens at bay far better.
    Well you only grow quarter of an acre so you can afford to hand weed it. 99% or organic wheat is disease ridden and has a yield of 1kg per acre.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    I'm not saying all cattle should be out-wintered in the UK, I've already mentioned that above. Dairy cows in particular would, I expect, need longer housing than beef cattle. But there are beef breeds who can cope better than others and grazing systems which could allow longer outdoor grazing periods. The fact is that most folk choose the big continentals and let them walk backwards and forwards through the same gateway 50 times a day.
    I've never seen big continental cattle walk through gateways 50 times a day. Usually hard enough getting them through a gateway once for dosing or gathering!!
    Maybe I'm missing something???

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    I've never seen big continental cattle walk through gateways 50 times a day. Usually hard enough getting them through a gateway once for dosing or gathering!!
    Maybe I'm missing something???
    My neighbour's do but that's probably because they've got nothing much to eat.

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Well you only grow quarter of an acre so you can afford to hand weed it. 99% or organic wheat is disease ridden and has a yield of 1kg per acre.
    ????????????????????????????????

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    Re: Clear differences between Organic and Conventional... Organic is better..!?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    Well youn only have one, so keeping it outside wont be a problem except for mr fox.
    99.9% of chickens never set foot outside.
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????

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