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Do you buy organic? - Page 3

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
If I am in a random place, yes. If I am shopping where I normally do, I trust their judgment. That is why I shop there, and they certainly see more stuff than I do.

This is close to my approach as well. I always buy organic dairy and eggs however.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by norcaltransplant View Post
No. Sustainability would greatly benefit from technologies that increase crop yield, limit acreage devoted to farmland, and/or minimize fresh water use. Tossing poop instead of nitrogen based fertilzers onto crops does not make the world a happier place.

Ignorance is bliss. Poop is a nitrogen based fertilizer and one of the major complaints about crops grown with petrochemical based fertilizers is that they require far more water per acre.
post #33 of 56
I usually buy organic, but my doing so is somewhat incidental. My favorite produce vendors and the farms I buy meat and eggs from put out organic products. I don't go out of my way to buy crap stamped with the word "organic" as certified by either the USDA or CCOF. Some things I buy such as wild mushrooms or wild caught fish cannot, I believe be certified as such.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Grass-finished and grass-fed are two different things. The former indicating meat from a cow (or other variety) raised on grain for the majority of it's life, and then "finished" on grass during the last few weeks of life. The latter usually implies a diet of 100% grass, depending where you're getting it. While the difference in taste will be noticeable, grass finished beef is still certainly healthier than grain-fed, but still, not as potentially healthy a cow raised on 100% grass from birth to slaughter.
this is a definition i'm not familiar with. in my experience (and i've done a bit of reporting on it for the last 10 years or so), all meat is grass fed until the last 6 months or so. Then the difference is whether or not it is "grain-finished". most meat is ... that is the classic, well-marbled American steakhouse flavor (see colicchio v. irena or whatever her name is). grass-fed beef tends to be much leaner and to have a different flavor ... to me, it's almost like lamb. this is not a value judgment. just different (but boy do i like a well-marbled prime rib). there are also issues of animal husbandry involved as feedlots, where the cattle are grain-finished, tend to be pretty nasty places, both for the cattle and for the surrounding environment.
post #35 of 56
organics is a really complicated question. in the first place, you have to differentiate between whether you're talking about organic principles or the "organic" label as it is administered by the USDA. the differences are too great to get into in a single post, but a few stray thoughts from someone who has been involved in this issue for a long time: 1) "organic" in either context does not mean chemical free. it just means grown using approved chemicals. and sometimes products that are chemically identical can be organic-approved or not depending on how they were produced. like i said, it's complicated. 2) there is no evidence of any consumer difficulties--either long-term or short-term-- from eating non-organic produce. there are studies that indicate that some of the chemicals (sigh: both organically approved and not) can be harmful if you are exposed in large enough doses (another sigh: almost anything is harmful enough in large enough doses ... there's a saying in epidemiology that it's the dose that makes the poison). 3) this is not to say that organic is a scam. There have been and continue to be clusters of reported health problems among farm workers from exposure to agricultural chemicals (note that these tend to be in cases where they were used in non-licensed ways). 4) IF YOU STILL PREFER TO BUY ORGANIC, to complain about the price is hypocritical. Organic crop yields tend to be anywhere from 15% to 30% lower than conventional. The difference has to be made up somewhere since farmers don't get a break on land prices just because they're growing organic. so what do I do? in most cases, i buy on flavor. great flavor in produce only comes from careful farming and careful farmers do not overuse agricultural chemicals. in some cases, this means buying from organic farmers or the organic section, but most often not.
post #36 of 56
i buy organic celery....thats about it.
post #37 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
this is a definition i'm not familiar with. in my experience (and i've done a bit of reporting on it for the last 10 years or so), all meat is grass fed until the last 6 months or so. Then the difference is whether or not it is "grain-finished". most meat is ... that is the classic, well-marbled American steakhouse flavor (see colicchio v. irena or whatever her name is). grass-fed beef tends to be much leaner and to have a different flavor ... to me, it's almost like lamb. this is not a value judgment. just different (but boy do i like a well-marbled prime rib). there are also issues of animal husbandry involved as feedlots, where the cattle are grain-finished, tend to be pretty nasty places, both for the cattle and for the surrounding environment.
I'm under the impression that most cattle in America is raised on grain, to fatten quicker, unless stated otherwise, and finished on grain as well. The idea behind grass-finishing, or pasture-finishing as it's called within the industry, is to produce a product that will be geared more towards the conscious consumer. As more consumers seek meats produced in what they believe to be more humane and environmentally sustainable systems, more producers are entering the natural and organic markets to meet the rising demand. Pasture-finished beef is one of the fastest growing demand sectors in the entire food economy In 2007 the USDA established a standard definition for grass-fed meat that requires cattle have continuous access to pasture, and fed no grain. So, grass-fed, as I understand it, is 100% grass, and grass-finished is a bit of both. Undoubtedly, people will be confused by the terminology. Some comments indicated a need to distinguish grass (forage) fed and grass-finished categories; however, while participating in the grass (forage) fed claim listening session, the participants concluded the addition of a grass-finished category would only confuse consumers and lessen the meaning of a grass (forage) fed claim. The participants indicated the addition of another category to the claim would cause confusion in the wholesale and retail marketplace. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/E6-7276.htm
post #38 of 56
sorry, i don't think that's accurate. quoting from grass-fed beef 101:
Quote:
When considering the definition of grass fed beef, most beef animals have probably eaten grass at some point in their lives, but the important thing is that they're “finished”, or fattened on grass, rather than grain, for the 90 – 160 days before slaughter.
post #39 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
4) IF YOU STILL PREFER TO BUY ORGANIC, to complain about the price is hypocritical. Organic crop yields tend to be anywhere from 15% to 30% lower than conventional. The difference has to be made up somewhere since farmers don't get a break on land prices just because they're growing organic.
so what do I do? in most cases, i buy on flavor. great flavor in produce only comes from careful farming and careful farmers do not overuse agricultural chemicals. in some cases, this means buying from organic farmers or the organic section, but most often not.

Just to add to your fourth point: Farmers can practice sustainability, and use little to no chemical fertilizers on their crops, yet still not be defined "organic". The whole process of USDA "organic" certification can be rather costly, and just because a farmer does not have this recognition, does not mean his farming practice and quality control is inferior to the farmer who has been granted the title. The key is to find a reliable farmer, and just ask him how he grows his crops. There are quite a few farms around me that aren't technically considered organic, however, they probably use less pesticides than that Earthbound Farm "organic" stuff you find at the supermarket.

Also, if you're concerned about sustainability, buying a plastic container full of organic spinach that had to travel at a constant 37° F from California to Connecticut, from harvest to sale, is sort of a contradiction to the whole term itself.
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
sorry, i don't think that's accurate. quoting from grass-fed beef 101:

Which part? What you quoted is the definition of grass-finished beef, which I agree with.
post #41 of 56
agree absolutely. more than 25% by weight of all of the pesticides used in california last year were organically approved (copper sulfate). and if you think "organic" means small ... Earthbound Farms is up to something like 40,000 acres.
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Which part? What you quoted is the definition of grass-finished beef, which I agree with.

the part that says all cattle have been fed grass at a certain point. the distinction they're making between grass-fed and grass-finished is based on the fact that there is no official definition for grass-fed, so some grain-finished beef is sold as "grass-fed" since, for most of its life, it was. grass-finished more accurately describes the difference.
post #43 of 56
I never really used to care until my parents started getting one of those baskets of organic vegetables delivered to the door by a local farmer. They had it delivered once a week, it would last the entire week and I believe they paid somewhere in the region of $20 for it. The most remarkable thing I remember was the taste of the potatoes. They were unlike anything I'd had before - nutty, earthy and packed full of flavor. I now buy produce at a farmers market in NYC where it actually seems to be pretty comparable (if not cheaper) to buying from a crappy supermarket.
post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
the part that says all cattle have been fed grass at a certain point. the distinction they're making between grass-fed and grass-finished is based on the fact that there is no official definition for grass-fed, so some grain-finished beef is sold as "grass-fed" since, for most of its life, it was. grass-finished more accurately describes the difference.

I think that may have been written prior to 2007, when the USDA did officially define grass fed as:

Grass (Forage) Fed - Grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage consisting of grass (annual and perennial), forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. Hay, haylage, baleage, silage, crop residue without grain, and other roughage sources may also be included as acceptable feed sources. Routine mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be included in the feeding regimen. If incidental supplementation occurs due to inadvertent exposure to non-forage feedstuffs or to ensure the animal's well being at all times during adverse environmental or physical conditions, the producer must fully document (e.g., receipts, ingredients, and tear tags) the supplementation that occurs including the amount, the frequency, and the supplements provided.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getf...TELPRDC5063842
post #45 of 56
I don't go out of my way to go organic. If it is competitively priced, maybe. My cousin and his father died of cancer and brain tumors respectively. They both were to manly to wear masks whilst spraying pesticides on fruit crops/orchids. The son died before his father - probably due to harsher/more chemicals being used now-days.
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