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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Organic foodstuffs
« on: 05/06/2007 10:14:28 »
I was in Tesco the other day as I wanted some carrots for my horses. There, among the "ordinary" fruit & veg was an array of organic thingies. Compared to the ordinary stuff, the organic veggies looked pallid, they were smaller, twice the price &, to be honest, didn't look particularly palatable.

For instance, the organic carrots were tiny compared to the ordinary ones. They were a pale orange colour, and felt soft & squidgy to the touch. They reminded me more of those tinned baby carrots.

Is there any real benefit to buying organic foods or is it just trendy media hype?


 

another_someone

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Organic foodstuffs
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/2007 18:42:05 »
I am beginning to think that the label organic has passed its sell by date (it only ever could have had a limited life expectancy).

I used to buy organic because, whatever the merits or otherwise of the actual process, it was a premium product produces on a small scale to meet the needs of a niche market.  That has now changed as it is ever more becoming mainstream, both in cost, and it terms of market size, and is now having to be produced on as large a scale as any other intensively farmed product.
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #2 on: 06/06/2007 11:22:13 »
Perhaps purchasing veg and meat from a local farm would be better. Of course, it isn't necessarily organic, but this way you can be more selective over your choices, and I think that on a global environmental scale, this option is greener. Organic stuff here in Germany (at least in the bit I live in) is still very expensive, and is still shipped in from all over the world. Local farm produce sold in village markets in the black forest - cheeses, sausages and so on - are made on site, and so have a low impact on the environment. Many pesticides and fertilisers used (I hear recently) are environmentally sound, and so for me, the issue is more of supporting local producers to reduce transportation than "organic" ones. Even organic products have to be chilled, they can be coated to mainatain appearances and so are not necessarily all that organic. They are also often packaged differently, and marketed for the "niche" as another_someone cited. Local produce uses either very little, or no packaging, further reducing its impact.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #3 on: 06/06/2007 11:34:26 »
You've hit on another of my pet hates - excess packaging. The government says the average household generates x amount of waste per year. No we don't; it's the bloody packaging foisted on us!

I bought an XD card for my camera. It's only the size of my thumbnail, but came in a box large enough to hold a medium-sized paperback book. The card itself was sandwiched between 2 layers of plastic the size of the box. Also in the box were 2 sets of instructions (each containing 6 pages half the size of the box (surely the only instructions needed are "Push the card into the slot")), 2 guarantees, & a pair of cardboard 3-D specs (WTF!).
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #4 on: 06/06/2007 13:02:34 »
I agree - I think it's criminal! My real concern is over plastic packaging, not paper/cardboard, although the energy that goes into the whole thing is so wasteful, and ultimately unnecessary.
 

another_someone

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Organic foodstuffs
« Reply #5 on: 06/06/2007 13:14:33 »
Not sure if the energy cost of paper is really much less than of plastic - rather depends on how the paper is manufactured (including the investment in the growing of trees - will all the usual agroindustry costs involved there, as well as shipment and processing).  And, ofcourse, paper is not always suitable for everything, and then you have paper packaging that is plastic coated to reduce permeability.
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #6 on: 06/06/2007 13:30:41 »
I was also thinking of my own capacity to make use of the wood based packaging as a source of fuel for my own stove, so although the carbon is released, I'm reducing my use of oil for heating. If (IF) the wood for the packaging comes from a sustainable resource, then it's (potentially, although probably not) carbon neutral. I don't have many uses for second hand plastic!
 

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Organic foodstuffs
« Reply #6 on: 06/06/2007 13:30:41 »

 

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