All That Fits to Print… for Big Agra

The New York Times put out an article called "What You Think You Know (but Don't) About Wise Eating" on New Years Eve, December 31st, 2012.  It is a free article and can be seen here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/what-you-think-you-know-but-dont-about-wise-eating/?smid=fb-nytimes.

This article did not have any content and was mostly full of fluff, its' author, Jane Brody made many accusations that were of the classic FUD type, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.  A tactic that is commonly used by salespeople and headhunters to scare you into submission of taking a low paying job and working lots of hours.  Jane is akin to the people holding whips making Jews work on building pyramids for the ancient Egyptian Pharo.

I honestly thought that she would at least reference some research put out by the "scientific community" to support her claims, but she did not make even one such argument.  I will go over each of her arguments and summarize her points:

Cured Meats

The article criticizes those who avoid meats cured with nitrates and nitrites, who opt for meats that are cured in a natural way using herbs and spices as being more risk-prone to contamination to bacteria.

Well, first of all, those who are health conscious do not eat cured meats in the first place, they eat meat less frequently than others, and do not eat meat that comes from the other side of the world.  So eating meats that are cured "naturally" isn't part of a wise diet in the first place, nor is it sanctioned by the organic-food eating community.  What the author simply did was take a rare event and say it is mainstream and somehow try to link it to "eating organic" food, sorry, simply not true.  And yes, if your meat is cured using herbs in India or China, and then shipped to the United States, well, then yes, you have a high chance of contamination.

The article also says that many of these meats that are labeled "nitrite and nitrates free" still contain nitrites and nitrates.  Well, you can blame the FDA for its lax food labeling requirements for this one, not the organic food community.  Many food producers aka "corporations formerly known as farmers" pay lobbyists in Washington, DC to push for those standards!  (And of course those same lobbyists pay writers and newspapers for placement of articles in media and movies that further their agenda.  And if you don't think that movies don't have product placement, tell me, how many movie characters are smokers?  Mr. Heisenberg from Breaking Bad "Has cancer, but he never smoked"… think about it)

Meat Glue

The article says that the enzyme transglutaminase, also know as meat glue is classified by the FDA as "generally recognized as safe".  And that means that any concerns with its use in gluing meat together is warrantless.

Okay, yeah, perhaps it is safe, but what about the fact that meat glue is used to take the meat that is sitting on the floor of a slaughterhouse to be "glued" together to make your burger? The problem with that kind of meat is that it is dirty and is not your typical grass-fed beef cut.  So yeah, perhaps "transglutaminase" may be safe, that is only analyzing a small part of the story when looking at products that have been "glued" together using "meat glue".  Again, not hitting the actual problem.

Oh, and if you eat artificial crab meat, you might as well eat gummi bears.  Wait, they feed that to cows because they cost less than GMO corn.  Still think Organic is a hoax? Sounds like the author is using a little bit of projection in her article.

Trans Fats

Yeah, trans fats are not good for you, we know that, but what does this have to do with eating organic food?

Organic or Not

The article says:

I find an ever-widening array of food products labeled "organic" and "natural."

First of all, a product labeled as "organic" is completely different from a product labeled as "natural".  You can thank the FDA for this discrepancy and read more about it here on the FDA website.  Look for the word "Natural" and "Organic" on this page: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp

The article says:

Might manure used today on organic farms contain disease-causing micro-organisms?

Yes, might is the right word, because we don't know unless the farmer keeps a clean feed and does things the right way.  However, we do know that GMO and non-organic farms do have pesticides and other chemicals in their feeds and fertilizers.  And we do know that chemicals and pesticides increase levels of cancer-causing agents in our food.

The article says:

Also questionable is whether organic foods, which are certainly kinder to the environment, are more nutritious.

Really? Well, organic foods are certainly kinder to the environment, but saying it is "questionable" that they are more nutritious is not really saying anything.  Almost anything can be classified as "questionable", however, unless you provide any research from the Industry funded University system we cannot "know" for sure, or even make a good guess.

The article also attacks organic food producers, aka farmers saying that they disavow genetic modification which improve's a crop's nutritional content, enhances resistance to pests and diminishes its need for water.  How about the fact that GMO corn causes cancer? Remember that research that just came out on rats being fed GMO-corn for their entire natural lives got cancer? See the research paper here: http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm  Yeah, I know, some "scientists" came out and refuted the study saying it was flawed.  Did you read their accusations?  Among them was that the study was flawed because they used rats with a higher tendency of getting cancer.  But those rats were still shown to get Cancer because of the GMO Corn at a much higher rate than those of the control group! Don't believe me? The link is a few sentences before this one…

Genetic Modification

You mean shooting a bunch of seeds with radiation and selecting a few that have some "good" properties is beneficial to us? Or shooting the DNA of an insect into a tomato is somehow healthy to us? What happens when you mix a horse and a donkey? You get a mule, and what is the characteristic of a mule that everybody knows? They are STERILE.  That's right, if you mix two different animals of a close species together you get a sterile animal, imagine if you go even further and pick two different organisms that have completely different DNA? Think… words don't lie, don't be a jackass and eat GMO!

Farmed Salmon

Go over to the PETA website and watch some of their videos to see what "fish farms" actually look like.  Saying that most of the salmon consumed nowadays is farmed is like saying most of the beef consumed in this country is at McDonalds.  Yes, it is probably true, but that doesn't make it a good thing.  In my life I have learned that if something isn't good for you, then don't eat it.  Yes, that means eating less, but higher quality foods.

http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/vegetarianism-general/1539199788001.aspx

go to minute 1:50, and listen to how they describe the "conditions" for fish in farms and see them for yourself!

See more of an actual fish farm on this video describing "Kosher" fish.

Conclusion

I did not hear any convincing arguments against organic food in this new york times piece.  Of course, the title was very provocative, and most people never really read an article, they only see the title and tell their friends "I heard that organic food is no better for you than GMO food", they don't say "I read an article blah blah blah".  Try it for yourself, ask one of your friends what they think of GMO, then ask them, "what scientific study can you cite to support your arguments?"  I don't know about you, but I can cite many studies to support my arguments, and most of those studies can be correlated with actual individuals that I have met and known in my life and are usually spot on…

 

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