Talk:Organic food

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This Food woo related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


This article seems to be a bit of an overreaction. All things considered, isn't it pretty reasonable to assume that an apple that hasn't been sprayed regularly with all sorts of -cides, then coated in wax to make it stay fresh longer would be at least somewhat healthier than one that has? Or that a chicken reared on fresh food and air would be superior to one kept in a cage and fed on a steady diet of growth hormones? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 15:04, 28 February 2008 (EST)

I don't know what it used to say back in February but it seems reasonable now. I'd like to see citations for quite a few of its claims, though, and perhaps something about the current food crisis (with organic's lower yields in mind). Actually seeing as I live in Totnes I could do something with this article, there are entire organic-only shops here. Totnesmartin 05:17, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

The problem with organic farming as a skeptical topic is that it really isn't that bad an idea; a completely negative article on the subject is just unwarranted. It's not that it's woo in and of itself; the woo factor comes in when people make assumptions about things being "organic" and "natural" that are unwarranted. There's really quite a lot to say on it, both pro and con, so let's do that. EVDebs 13:07, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
On the "woo" aspect, I would think, is the marketing and the US govt (extremely loose) requirements for what is and is not "organic". --Waiting for Godot 13:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Pesticide retention[edit]

For people who intend on using the knowledge, practically, I have seen charts on which fruits and vegetables do and do not retain pesticides (I've heard bananas are always safe, where foods like grapes are not), but I don't have official numbers, nor do I have the article at hand nor know if it's reliably sourced. It would be a worthy addition to this entry if this information were included. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

You wil be accused of Chemophobia for pretending pesticides are harmful. --Vladimir Putin 12015.jpg Brasov ] (talk) 16:53, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Why has your comment not already been deleted?--Token Conservative (talk) 23:11, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Bruce Ames and natural pesticides[edit]

Could this or this be added to the article?--Krejtalk 16:16, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Also, what do you guys think about his research on vitamins and aging?--Krejtalk 16:21, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I think in order to have a real opinion on the gentleman's work, I'd need to some research on pesticide retention in different plants, which I imagine depends on the plant and the pesticide. And I'm not familiar with, well, anyone's work on vitamins and aging.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:12, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Jerome Rodale[edit]

More should be here about the roots of organic farming. All we have now is 'Organic farming was pioneered by alternative medicine promoter Jerome Rodale (né Cohen) blah blah etc.'   I'm not about to write it myself (yet?), but sooner or later something should be added about Albert Howard, the "father of organic farming". He might have been a bit amused by the appellation himself, considering that his "Indore method" of soil-building and pest control was just one method of organic farming, and he'd probably agree that using only natural substances in farming and nothing more, while blundering about the work in credulous ignorance and following the herd of whatever cult appeals to you that way would be like bricks without mortar. Howard was big on pragmatic empiricism. Things get murky. You might say Rodale was the Marianne Williamson of organic farming, and Howard was like Schucman and Thetford. Or Jesus. Ultimately Satan of course, since Schucman, Thetford and Jesus were all tools of Satan :)   . But they're only analogous in congruence of form, not essence, since A Course In Miracles can be empirically disproven by any maniac with a machine gun, and An Agricultural Testament is more scientific than Archimedes. If my attitude rubs people the wrong way, I'll paste the cut-out silly bits into the Uncyclopedia.

Overly Negative?[edit]

While organic food may not have proven health benefits, it does reduce some forms of environmental impact. Depending on the location and the crop in question, this can lead to some organic crops clearly coming out ahead.--TiaC (talk) 10:53, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Also would like to add that this article is very US centric. Organic farming isn't the same worldwide.-- (talk) 20:25, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

General comment[edit]

Probably 'many people' would prefer to have 'as few "extra chemicals", herbicides/pesticides, hormones etc' added to the food as possible as it 'seems generally safer/less likely to induce problems in them through accumulation or adverse reactions etc', even if they think 'so-called organic food is an overpriced malarkey promoted by people out to make a fast buck.' This is a perfectly rational position.

Has anyone tried to link orgone to organic food? (talk) 14:57, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

The problem with that argument is that organic food doesn't mean "extra chemical free", but what types of chemicals are used. If the "organic" chemicals were safer/more effective, the entire industry would already use them. CorruptUser (talk) 18:46, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I would say the "rational" position would be to want as few harmful effects and as many helpful effects as possible. Whether this means fewer or more "chemicals" should be decided through scientific testing. I would definitely not make a blanket statement such as "fewer chemicals is always preferable". Frederick♠♣♥♦ 07:24, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
You want extra DDT, or the chemicals that affect male fertility? (Or ergot-infestation, to balance things out)
Is the converse of 'organic food' is 'inorganic food'? (talk) 18:16, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
How did you get me wanting "extra DDT and chemicals that affect male fertility" from me saying "as few harmful effects and as many helpful effects as possible"? Frederick♠♣♥♦ 17:04, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Extrapolating from the reverse of 'fewer chemicals.' (talk) 16:29, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

"Fewer chemicals" can be good or bad depending on which chemicals we're talking about. My point is that a blanket opposition to "chemicals" makes no sense. Everything is chemicals. If the chemicals affect male fertility, then fewer of those, whatever they may be, would be good. If the chemicals are vitamins A and B, then taking them out of food would be bad. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 19:04, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Uh... you do realize that vitamin A toxicity is a thing, right? CorruptUser (talk) 19:16, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Everything is toxic in a large enough concentration. Even if it just falls on you and squishes you. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:23, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Yeah but a lot more people die from vitamin A overdose than, say, over-hydration. CorruptUser (talk) 19:32, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, too much Vitamin A is bad, but taking it out of food entirely is also bad. My point was that simply asking for "less chemicals" doesn't make sense, because things like essential vitamins are chemicals. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 21:21, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
I read 'the proverbial somewhere' Polar Bear liver contains toxic amounts of Vitamin A.
There are 'chemicals' which make sense - some preservatives and others - but some do seem to have negative consequences (the food colours which apparently affect children's behaviour, flavour enhancers which disguise poor quality food etc)..
Is the converse of 'organic food' 'inorganic food'? (talk) 16:20, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
What's wrong with "scientifically tested food"? "Organic" is a superstitious dogma, it doesn't demand the examination or testing of foods and additives, it only demands that they be "natural". I could put hemlock and poison mushrooms in food and it would still be organic.
Whether I got salt from the ocean or I mixed sodium and chlorine in a beaker, I would still have the same chemical, but according to the organic philosophy, the latter would be unacceptable even though it is chemically identical to "natural" salt. Organic food is a rejection of common sense in that regard. It does not allow for anything synthetic, even if it has been demonstrated to be safe, even if it is chemically identical to "natural" substances.
I'm against harmful substances in food as much as you are, but going organic isn't the way to prevent it. Scientifically examining substances on a case-by-case basis is the only way to make sure that they are safe. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 18:33, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
I think you will just find is made from chemicals  :-p -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:42, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
"Going organic" means preventing harmful substances as in not adding them in the first place, duh! If you know a better way of prevention please tell us. (talk) 15:01, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Sure. Just test the shit to make sure it's safe. It doesn't matter whether it was made in a lab or mined from the earth or fished from the sea, we need to test it scientifically regardless of its origin. Things aren't safe just because they're "natural", and things aren't dangerous just because they're synthetic. I am totally against adding harmful substances to food. But I'm also against calling something harmful solely because it was synthesized in a lab. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 06:31, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Not sure if webshite or not[edit]

I'm not sure about reverting a few recent edits. Is Mother Earth News a webshite? And the comment that people that prefer organic foods are healthier, isn;t that because those people are health conscious, not because they eat organic? CorruptUser (talk) 18:35, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Mother Earth News has a bunch of naturopathy/herbal shit and anti-GM articles, so I would say yes to the first question. The second thing is definitely something to take into account, but I don't know anything about the study, so I don't know if they did take that into account. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 04:50, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Alright, reverted the edit then. CorruptUser (talk) 04:54, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

This should be Talk:Food[edit]

Our grandparents and ancestors called it just "food". Now it seems food is "unscientific" unless it's been sprayed with toxins, radiated or denaturalized by a Monsanto gene. Give us a break, readers aren't retarded. (talk) 14:59, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Strawman somewhere else, you eco-Talib!--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 15:26, 1 March 2016 (UTC) 15:26, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not like the good old days when crops were sprayed with manure and ground-up animal bones. Mmmm. Annquin (talk) 17:11, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
This comment is way too stupid not to be intentional trolling. Edibility is not determined by the "scientificness" of food and having genes doesn't make food less natural.  :-p -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:57, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


Honeybees fly literally for miles (up to five kilometers in normal conditions, further during a dearth) to forage for nectar and pollen. Because bees are furry, statically attractive little animals (useful for pollen collection), their bodies readily gather all sorts of environmental particles. If you don't see what that entails, click the link and read the article. Happy to have helped, Alec Sanderson (talk) 14:32, 5 February 2017 (UTC)


Organic farming may well create jobs - but how many of them will be seasonal/low skill/low wage rather than 'diverse to suit the skillset and abilities' of all those seeking employment? (talk) 18:15, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

"This has three drawbacks: (1) Manure comes from farm animals, which means any crops grown with it can't be called vegan;" How is that actually a drawback? "(2) higher shadow land use, as mentioned above;" I am a "conventional" farmer, in a country where manure slurry is conventionally used as part of mixed farming to fertilise own- or neighbouring farm tillage or arable land; I have never heard anyone use the term "shadow land" - as though somehow we are all hiding the fact that we are making efficient use of resources! " and (3) manure particles can wind up on the final product, resulting in increased risk of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella or E. coli." Yah, but no. This is why we have quality control and traceability schemes for agriculture, and on tillage or pasture it doesn't make a damn difference. You do have farms in internetland, right? Oaty McOatface (talk) 23:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

The term "shadow land" appears in an earlier section of this article, which cites this: . As far as contamination risk for manure-fertilized produce, there is this: . --Tracer (talk) 05:38, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Nitrate leeching[edit]

The Nitrate Leeching subsection under "Drawbacks" cites the following study: This study does not appear to say or support any of the statements being made in the "Nitrate leeching" section. --Tracer (talk) 05:27, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

to quote the referenced study "The results of our study indicate that use of organic fertilizers in orchards significantly reduces harmful nitrate leaching". The article is about the process by which the leaching is reduced. I have thus ammended the leeching section to represent that. Really all references to leaching should be removed or listed as an organic benefit or an actually supporting reference found (not for orchards presumably). It was a clear case of someone not reading the referenced article past the first few paragraphs and seeing what they wanted to see. --[KC] Jan 9 2019


Something I've noticed, which would constitute a reason organic food can be less nutritious, is that organic products seem less likely to be supplemented with vitamins, minerals, etc, than non-organic. I've mainly noticed this with plant milk, where non-organic products are normally supplemented with B vitamins and calcium but organic products don't include "chemicals" such as vitamins and minerals. I'm not sure if this is true of other commonly supplemented products like flour and salt, but might be worth a closer look. --Annanoon (talk) 10:41, 1 April 2020 (UTC)