Re: The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.

[Note:  This comment comes from a reader of Dave Farber’s IP List.  DLH]

From: Richard Bennett <richard@bennett.com>
Date: May 13, 2017 at 4:42:53 PM EDT
To: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>
Subject: Re: [IP] The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.

This is a good practice that should be encouraged. Organic food is basically a scam because it’s not more nutritious that conventional GMO food, and it’s much worse for the environment that food grown with modern methods. Stanford did a monster analysis on the nutrition issues, and there have be numerous studies on the environmental impact. 

It comes down the fact that organic is less productive than conventional farming, so it takes more acres of land for organic to produce the same output. This means more water, more CO2 from tractors, and more runoff. Organic food has to be fertilized with manure, which doesn’t have precise doses of nutrients. So farmers have to over-apply, which leads to runoff. Modern farming methods called “precision agriculture” apply water, pesticides, and nutrients on-demand and in the doses needed. This stuff is all enabled by IT, GPS, and networking in general.

Organic is also horrible at carbon sequestration because its only effective weed control methods are manual pulling and plowing, while GMO farmers can use zero-till methods with herbicide-tolerant plants. 

Many people mistakenly believe that organic food is pesticide-free, while it isn’t. Organic farmers are permitted to use a broad panoply of pesticides from the OMRI registry and even to use synthetic pesticides in low doses when all else fails. As one would expect, naturally-derived pesticides are less effective than synthetics, hence higher doses and greater environmental impact. 

So the best solution for people who want to eat organic is to apply the organic label to conventional foods. This allows consumers to overpay and enjoy the placebo effect without harming the planet.  

Bravo.

RB

The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.
By Peter Whoriskey
May 12 2017
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-labels-said-organic-but-these-massive-imports-of-corn-and-soybeans-werent/2017/05/12/6d165984-2b76-11e7-a616-d7c8a68c1a66_story.html

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