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Old 22.09.2011, 15:45
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

I remember reading somewhere that before the introduction of pesticides etc about 1/3 of the worlds crops were lost to disease, pests etc. After the introduction of the chemical treatments that loss did not change. I do not know if this figure is still accurate but I do know that one of the reasons that insects eat our food crops is because their traditional food sources found in the hedgerows have diminished by factory farming methods. One thing that many Organic farmers do is to plant companion plants for the insects to feed on so that they mostly ignore the food meant for us.

You could also expand the argument here to include crop rotation which does not happen with factory farming as much leading to soil depletion which will lead to the ability to produce less crops in future. Not sure if that is getting too OT though.

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What do you say to those who say that because organic food yields significantly less that conventional agriculture, that we owe it to the world's poor to use all of our technology and skill to maximise the limited land we have to produce the most food?
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  #62  
Old 22.09.2011, 15:48
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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Good post and genuinely interested in your view...this isnt meant to be argumentative...

What do you say to those who say that because organic food yields significantly less that conventional agriculture, that we owe it to the world's poor to use all of our technology and skill to maximise the limited land we have to produce the most food?
Kenya has enough over-production to supply food to a good number of the starvation hotspots in bordering countries, however getting it to the hotspots is near impossible due to roads, vehicles and rebel or even government attacks. There is enough food in the world to eradicate a good part of poverty, however organizations and governments supposedly responsible for equitable distribution are simply incompetent, corrupt or don't give a damn in reality.

On the global scale, lower yield due to Swiss Bio farming is so miniscule it is of no significance whatsoever.
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  #63  
Old 22.09.2011, 15:52
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

7.1.3 Conclusion
The substance can cause skin and eye irritations upon contact. Long-term
exposure to the substance can cause chronic eye effects. There is insufficient
data to assess the carcinogenic properties of the substance.

Hydroxybiphenyl was found in two toilet paper products in concentrations of
0.9 to 6.1 mg/kg. This is below the acceptable level for fruit and vegetables.
The level is also below the permitted limit under the Cosmetics executive
order. The level corresponds to approx. 0.13 to 0.9 mg per roll of toilet
paper.

7.2.3 Conclusion
The substance may cause skin and eye irritation upon contact with quantities
of 1- 5 g/kg. The available data shows that the substance can cause effects to
skin and organs upon long-term skin contact. The substance shows no signs
of sensitisation, mutagenicity, cancer or reproductive toxicity.
Isopropyl myristate is found in concentrations of between 1.2 and 37 mg/kg in
3 paper handkerchief products. The level corresponds to approx. 0.03 to 0.9
mg per packet of paper handkerchiefs

7.3.3 Conclusion
Only small amounts of data were found on the toxic effects. The data found
indicate minor skin and eye irritation.
Isopropyl palmitate is found in 2 paper handkerchief products in
concentrations of between 2.7 and 2300 mg/kg. The level corresponds to
approx. 0.07 to 60 mg per packet of paper handkerchiefs. Presumably there is
no risk at these concentrations.
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  #64  
Old 22.09.2011, 15:58
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

My conclusion:

Some toilet papers, particularly recycled, make my ass sore and some others don't.
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:00
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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All change starts with a small step. If we can do it now, then hopefully a few more will join "us", so that the few become many, and eventually few will become most. Then maybe in a few years it'll become cheap enough for a majority and it'll become the standard way of doing things.
How can it? If it got cheap enough that everyone could afford it (I'm thinking the large populations in Asian countries) then that means either millions of people have died of starvation or the standards by which one gets a "BIO" label have dropped.
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:12
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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How can it? If it got cheap enough that everyone could afford it (I'm thinking the large populations in Asian countries) then that means either millions of people have died of starvation or the standards by which one gets a "BIO" label have dropped.
As I understand it, it makes perfect economic sense. But of course that doesn't mean I'm right

Demand increases for product O(rganic) and decreases for product C(onventional).

Higher returns/profits for O producers and diminished returns/lower profits for C producers.

O producers use this to expand and improve efficiency/productivity and thus increase their supply.

Alternatively, C producers need to compensate for their losses, perhaps by increasing costs.

If supply for O increases, producers will lower prices in order to attract a higher demand and sell all of their available product for marginal profit.


Then again, economics was never my strong point...

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Old 22.09.2011, 16:20
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

My comment is basically that BIO methods for meat and fruit/veg don't produce food efficiently enough to feed the future population on this planet.
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:23
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

Organic production on a large/global scale is possible we just need to have the will do do it. In many of the poorer nations where traditional farming methods are still used Organic is the way things are still & always have been done it just does not have a fancy label attached.

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How can it? If it got cheap enough that everyone could afford it (I'm thinking the large populations in Asian countries) then that means either millions of people have died of starvation or the standards by which one gets a "BIO" label have dropped.
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:31
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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My comment is basically that BIO methods for meat and fruit/veg don't produce food efficiently enough to feed the future population on this planet.
Fair enough, perhaps a complete and immediate conversion to organic methods would be unable to support future (or even today's) populations given that they produce less efficiently than conventional methods. Difficult to prove, but plausible.

But over time, technological innovation and production efficiency should improve, perhaps at an even greater pace than population growth (or as development theorists might hope, anyway). I also doubt that a complete turnover to organic systems, if even feasible, could be achieved.

From the standpoint of chronic hunger in the world, I do think there stands a nutritional benefit for conventional methods but my argument is, at what environmental and other social costs?
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:32
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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My conclusion:

Some toilet papers, particularly recycled, make my ass sore and some others don't.
Same here. Not a fun feeling on your ass crack.

So I avoid the recycled ones and aim straight for the pink fluffy highly processed TP.

The French ADORE their pink TP.
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  #71  
Old 22.09.2011, 16:33
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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My comment is basically that BIO methods for meat and fruit/veg don't produce food efficiently enough to feed the future population on this planet.
True. But the reverse that using more chemicals is going to solve the problem is also not necessarily a true statement either.

I didn't say I was anti-GM. Indeed, I specifically said that I was not anti-GM. What I said was that I was anti-chemicals...

Bio is the new
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:40
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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Organic production on a large/global scale is possible we just need to have the will do do it. In many of the poorer nations where traditional farming methods are still used Organic is the way things are still & always have been done it just does not have a fancy label attached.
Until someone convinces the farmers to get rich and flood their fields to farm prawns for the Western market - but the prawns get unhealthy so are fed huge amounts of antibiotics but they still die.

The family have invested all their money in this and now they have nothing but before they would have been harvesting their crops and keeping the seed for next year's crop.
And the soil's ruined for ever anyway.

So, they can never go back to what they had before - simple organic farming.

And don't get me started on the evils of Mansanto who convince these third world farmers to buy their seed which produces infertile crops so the farmers have to keep buying seed from Mansanto each year.

Who was it who said industrial farming was better? Better for shareholders may be.
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Old 22.09.2011, 16:49
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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In many of the poorer nations where traditional farming methods are still used Organic is the way things are still & always have been done it just does not have a fancy label attached.
I wonder - if they could actually choose - whether those "poor nations" would opt to stay bio, or would choose to have enough non-bio food to be able to feed themselves properly.

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Fair enough, perhaps a complete and immediate conversion to organic methods would be unable to support future (or even today's) populations given that they produce less efficiently than conventional methods. Difficult to prove, but plausible.
Easy enough to get a feel for, however: look at where significant surpluses of food are produced, and note the farming methods employed; repeat exercise for where there are acute or chronic food shortages. Compare. Simples.


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But over time, technological innovation and production efficiency should improve, perhaps at an even greater pace than population growth (or as development theorists might hope, anyway).
That doesn't sound like "bio" or "organic" to me

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From the standpoint of chronic hunger in the world, I do think there stands a nutritional benefit for conventional methods but my argument is, at what environmental and other social costs?
I don't know. You should canvas opinions from people like these about their views on the "environmental and other social costs". Better be quick tho

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Old 22.09.2011, 16:58
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

As pointed out earlier there is not a global food shortage, bio or otherwise, there is an unequal distribution of food. In many countries where famine is rife the problem is not the farming method but farmers being unable to farm due to conflicts or corrupt regimes. The problem depicted in your attached photo goes way beyond the organic farming debate.

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I wonder - if they could actually choose - whether those "poor nations" would opt to stay bio, or would choose to have enough non-bio food to be able to feed themselves properly.



Easy enough to get a feel for, however: look at where significant surpluses of food are produced, and note the farming methods employed; repeat exercise for where there are acute or chronic food shortages. Compare. Simples.




That doesn't sound like "bio" or "organic" to me



I don't know. You should canvas opinions from people like these about their views on the "environmental and other social costs". Better be quick tho

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Old 22.09.2011, 17:12
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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Bio is the new
I am one of those hippies, I guess. I frequently buy bio products without rationalizing too much, just acting on a hunch (natural=good).
I'm learning so much from everyone on this thread. Perhaps 'll be able to make more informed choices in the future.
I wonder if anyone has seen this film. It was a huge eye-opener for me. Agriculture is discussed at the 20th minute onwards.
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Old 22.09.2011, 17:35
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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I wonder - if they could actually choose - whether those "poor nations" would opt to stay bio, or would choose to have enough non-bio food to be able to feed themselves properly.
And why not both?

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Easy enough to get a feel for, however: look at where significant surpluses of food are produced, and note the farming methods employed; repeat exercise for where there are acute or chronic food shortages. Compare. Simples.
Surpluses of food are produced everywhere, developed and developing countries. Where it is distributed after the production is the problem related to your emotion-mongering image below. And where chronic food shortages exist, both methods are employed; organic methods either by traditional farmers who have known no other way or by recent green initiatives and conventional methods usually where corporate interests are at play.

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That doesn't sound like "bio" or "organic" to me
Why not? The concept of bio or organic are not anti-technology and have more to do with the inputs, tools and methods being used. Improved efficiency can be simply a matter of finding ideal conditions for growth, seed hybridization and the like and perhaps using green energies to realize them.

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I don't know. You should canvas opinions from people like these about their views on the "environmental and other social costs". Better be quick tho

"People like this" obviously have their priorities, it doesn't mean that they wouldn't find social and environmental costs to be important to their own well-being.
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Old 22.09.2011, 17:38
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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As pointed out earlier there is not a global food shortage, bio or otherwise, there is an unequal distribution of food.
So this should be a simple question to answer, then... "Where and how are the "food surpluses" being produced that makes up for the areas and techniques that experience "food shortages"?
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Old 22.09.2011, 17:42
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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So this should be a simple question to answer, then... "Where and how are the "food surpluses" being produced that makes up for the areas and techniques that experience "food shortages"?
Quite simple: everywhere. Sometimes just miles away from the impoverished areas. Then packaged and distributed globally to more marketable areas where they are often bough and either overconsumed or wasted.
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Old 22.09.2011, 17:46
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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That doesn't sound like "bio" or "organic" to me
There's nothing in bio that is against progress or research. In fact there is a lot of reserach going on to improve the yields of bio crops. Such as moving away from varierties that were basically selected to work well with pesticides and thus don't do so well when planted without, and move towards varieties that do quite well be themselves.
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Old 22.09.2011, 17:55
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Re: What do you buy that is Bio / Organic?

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But over time, technological innovation and production efficiency should improve, perhaps at an even greater pace than population growth (or as development theorists might hope, anyway). I also doubt that a complete turnover to organic systems, if even feasible, could be achieved.

I would also like to point out that only a small fraction of the human population would be present if it wasn't for the Haber-Bosch process for making synthetic fertilizer. I'm not too sure of the official rules of Bio/Organic production so I'm not sure if it fits the requirement, but all-in-all most of us wouldn't be here, and the world would be very different without it.
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