The Organic Conundrum

I was watching an old episode of Penn & Teller’s B***S*** on Youtube when I stumbled across one on organic food. I tend to find the show wildly inconsistent but occasionally interesting. Intrigued I clicked in…(Serious language warning!)

So, there’s an old Chef joke that goes like this…

Q. What does organic mean?

A. Whatever Congress says it does!

Buh-dum! Thank you I’ll be here all week.

In all seriousness I’m old enough to remember the Congressional debate over organic labeling and to be blunt it was every bit as nasty and unpleasant and ridiculous as you might imagine for legislation/sausage making coming out of Washington.

It was interesting watching the Penn & Teller show above because I was never sure what they meant by organic? I noticed it was always being purchased at some sort of chain grocery store, so that means it’s in a larger supply chain than, say, what you’d get at a farmer’s market and that’s an important point.

Truth is that any time fruit or veggies are being shipped, with the combination of elapsed time from pluck to bite and the weird things that have to do to them to make them stable enough to ship, pretty much guarantee there will be very little remaining nutrition on board.

We’ve been making a real effort to get all our produce from local farmers and let me say it has been night and day. It’s shocking how much better it is than anything you buy at any grocery store no matter how green, organic or frou-frou.

As an aside I thought the whole thing of having folks do blind taste tests bordered on the absurd. Taste is certainly an important factor but hardly the only one. I’ll take a slightly less tasty/poisonous fruit or veggie every day over it’s tastier but deadlier cousin.

By that ‘logic’ Eli’s cheesecake must be the best food in the world because it’s delicious, right? I’m trying to be as obtuse in my argumentation as they were being. I will note for fun and to pick an uneccessary fight that while I am sympathetic to Libertarians I have always wondered if it was an elaborate joke cooked up to identify those dropped on their heads as small children?

But that’s just me.

What say you? Are GMO crops safe? Am I a dirty stinky hippie if I have questions about them? And if so, do I have to punch myself?

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