T Nation

Organic Opinions Please

Just curious to know what you all think of organics. I pretty much buy all organic as much as I can, meat produce, dairy, eggs. However, I find that since I started living the protein laden T-life, it’s really expensive to do this. My thinking has always been that in the long run it is probably cheaper than a tumor. Would just like to know if the folks here think the extra expense is really worth it.

I watched one of those investigative report type shows one night and there findings were that while you do avoid some of the risks involved with the pesticides and chemicals, you are then suseptiple to a bunch of other problems associated with the lack of chemicals. Or basicaly save your money cause you’ll just be exposed to somthing else.

Before I started on a weight training program, I was mostly vegeterian, but only because I was too much of a cheap bastard to buy meat.

But now I’m buying just about everything organic now, especially meat. It only costs about 30%-40% more. Cancer rates are skyrocketing, and it is clearly linked to pesticides and other chemicals used in factory farming of animals and produce. I recently heard Howard Lyman speak about his experience as a dairy farmer and cattle rancher. He learned the hard way, a tumor changed his life. Read about it at www.madcowboy.com

And to Stumpy: Don’t believe everything you see on T.V. – Howard Lyman was sued by cattle ranchers for his remarks on Oprah. Lyman truthfully told how the cattle industry feeds the remains of animals to cows, turning them into carnivores. Lyman & Oprah won, because there is no libel if it is true. But realize that there are people out there who will always try and to discredit healthy farming practices, for the sake of profit.

Is eating organic worth it? You sure bet it is!

The only problem that I have with organics is that the rate of Salmonella and E coli is higher with organics. Fecal matter is the leading cause of Samonella. What do you think they are using for fertilizer?
When I was in Germany, they would use manure and they would splatter it on their crops. The visual (think helicopter blades) and the smell (it would smell for miles) is something I will never forget.

i definitely buy organic/free range eggs, meat and dairy. i can taste a difference, and i’m especially disgusted by what they feed factory-farmed cows and pigs–manure, other animal byproducts, cardboard, and lots of chemical-soaked soy. also, while i’m a firm believer in the food chain, i still believe we have a responsibility to treat our food sources humanely, which rules out a lot of factory farming techniques.

also, a lot of organics are grown by smaller farms, with local ties, which is something i like to support.

Please use the term “factory farm” with care. Yes, some national dairies exist; but lately, the term “factory farm” has been bastardized by people ignorant of the dynamics of the farming community and those within the farming community who have been behind the technological curve. I grew up in rural Wisconsin outside Madison, and in my experience, most people that claimed foul when large dairy farmers considered moving in the area were the small farmers which were unwilling to change. Note, not all small farmers are such but many fit the description. In fact, the government imposes more restrictions upon large farms, and in many instances, due to this increased monitoring, large farms contribute less pollution and cause less harm to the environment than summation of small herds equaling in herd size. Obviously, my dichotomic statements are simplified, but just keep in mind the source of the information one uses when damning “factory farms”.

I buy a half a beef from friends of mine once a year. I hunt and usually get a deer or an elk every fall so the bulk of my red meat is non factory farmed. I still buy pork and once in a while a nice steak from the butcher shop. I buy all my chicken now because it got to be too much work growing my own. Even if you live in the city you can buy half a beef if you look around. Sometimes there are ads in the paper. Talk to the guy and ask what he fed the beef. It’s a lot cheaper than buying the organinc stuff with the extra yuppie markup at the store.

Heres my 2 Canadian Cents (I suppose worthless then!) on Organics. I would say to you save your coin…Rationale: Regardless of the amount of groceries you buy, you will not be able to truly significantly reduce the level of potentially pathogenic substances entering your body. The air you breathe (especially in urban areas), the water you drink and bathe in, and of course, all other ingested foods (candy, dining out, even protein powder) are NOT “organic” and you will not be able to ensure they are chemical and pesticide free. Also, being pesticide free does pose additional problems. The “hazard” of cancer is indeed a serious one, but the “risk” of cancer from non-organic food is indeed small, especially when weighed against less expensive and more effective ways for you to prevent a tumour. Bottom line: consider the “relative risks” that exist all around you and take action that provides the best bang for buck. For instance, a simple act like taking a bit more antioxidants and eating less grilled foods is cheaper and less fancy, but ultimately may be more effective than spending a lot of money on food that is labelled organic. Lastly, I can appreciate you want to live longer, and my advice is to risk assess all the zero cost options (e.g. always wearing seat belt and not speeding) that will lead to life extension before proceeding.

I agree 100% with my Canadian friend, Using No Way. Good, sensible observations. Fast food and processed foods have many more “health hazards” than non-organic produce.

Using organic produce (meat,fruit veggies)is great, if you can afford it. Its great to support the small local farmer, however you have to eat. So do it when you can, but if you can’t do not lose any sleep over it. Its better to eat regular everyday veggies and meat than none at all.

Just curious…why is grilled food bad? thanx

I look at it more from a quality perspective. Organic meats and eggs just taste better to me. The meat seems to taste meatier, and the eggs more eggy, if that makes any sense. I really like the Golden Circle Farms eggs - really tasty, and extra omega-3’s too.

I don't think organic vegetables are worth it, though. I can't tell a big difference in quality. I make sure that I wash them thoroughly to get rid of any "stuff" that gets on them.

Hi Al,
Good question re: grilling and cancer risk. Basically, during the grilling process, carcinogenic nasties are created, called Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). Hope that gives you enough to research more deeply into this yourself.

Just an observation for those with at least an acre of land – We paid 3.00 each for chickens, and let them run loose. They stay on the property, and produce about .6 eggs per hen per day. We used to have 13, but over the last year we are down to 7, so we will have to get more. Anyway, the eggs look better, taste much better, and we don’t feed them anything but laying mash – the rest of their food is bugs, worms, frogs, etc. If you have the space, it is really close to free eggs. Oh, and you don’t have to have a rooster for them to lay.

Organic, farm fresh eggs, are amazing. I get them from a neighbor once in a while. The color of the yolk is unbelievable. Give them a try some time.

Home grown roasting chickens raised on bugs, etc are incrediabley tastey also…much better than the corporation mass raised stuff.

I prefer organic produce/products and wild game but in Southern California we have significantly better choices than many parts of the country. For a little fun, you may want to read Ted Nugent’s cookbook “Kill it and Grill it”. In faith, Coach Davies