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    Organic Food Shoppers - Part Of The .01 Percent
    By Hank Campbell | November 14th 2013 09:52 AM | 31 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

    View Hank's Profile
    Talking about "the 1 percent" has become a popular pastime, though usually the person doing the talking means someone else - outside TV commercials no one ever cops to being The Man.(1) Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement meant it about rich, which investment bankers, for example, so they dutifully ignored the opulent wealth of Kanye West and his $355 t-shirt, Balmain jeans, Givenchy plaid and gold chains when he visited to show support for their cause.

    While he buys t-shirts to wear for $355 he only sells his own brand to young fans for $120 each. See? He is such a giver and therefore not part of the 1 percent.


    Kanye West showing his support for the poor at Occupy Wall
    Street by bringing an entourage and $80,000 in accessories.
    Link: PrisonPlanet.

    It isn't just a money thing that has the have's and have nots - I have long said that food has its own 1 Percent too; in America and Europe the 1 Percent can afford to buy organic food and haughtily insist it is sustainable for everyone, because we all live in an area where food can be grown easily. We're lucky to have been born in places where food grows so well that, for the first time in world history, poor people can afford to be fat, and therefore that the Food 1 Percent can deceive themselves about organic food. Most of the world does not have that luxury.

    Organic food shoppers may be even more elite than they claim; persistent claims that food grown and sold using the modern 'organic' process is nutritionally different than traditional food  have long been debunked, so advocates have again taken up claims that they have fewer pesticides. Well, they don't. Without pesticides, pests would holocaust crops, anyone who has lived on a farm knows that - the same demographic that insists organic food has no pesticides are also against plants that produce their own pesticide naturally, so organic food uses lots of pesticides, they are just not synthetic. You'd still better wash your food, no matter what their marketing claims about a health halo.

    In reality, 99.99% of the pesticides that can be detected in the bodies of Americans are due to plants that produce them naturally, not synthetic residue from regular food eaten by we commoners. So organic food shoppers who insist they can afford food that has never used a pesticide are not just the 1 percent, they are the .01 percent - truly elite - because they can worry about things bordering on insignificant and do not need to care what food costs. If a farmer suffers 50% losses using no pesticides of any kind, the farmer simply charges twice as much and the .01 percent can afford to pay it. Like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who can redo an $11 million house and then start building a bigger one before they even move into the 'old' one, the Food .01 Percent are really out of touch.

    'No pesticides' is just not anything close to a real world scenario for 99.9% of America, and certainly not a way to feed 10 billion people worldwide.

    Organic food has grown to be a $60 billion industry so clearly that is not all 1 Percent-ers buying it. Just like young people who somehow spend $120 on a Kanye West t-shirt, a whole lot of poor people are trying to emulate their elites also; they are buying organic food because it makes them feel like better people, ethically and nutritionally. But they are not being told about the increased water consumption,  eutrophication, ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching, and nitrous-oxide emissions in organic farming. Traditional farming in America is environmentally terrific, in the last 30 years it has "dematerialized" agriculture to where farming produces far more food on far less land with far less environmental impact than ever dreamed about. (Science Left Behind. New York: Public Affairs, 2012, page 65)

    Most organic shoppers are instead being fooled. The .01 percent are convincing everyone else that organic food for commoners is healthier and better for the environment and farmers because it creates a big enough market to give them the food choices they want, like organic pineapples and organic onions and non-GMO rock salt and other things equally meaningless.

    NOTE:

    (1) 

    Comments

    I´m a former organic sheepfarmer, and I do agree in all You says here ! I´ts important to say the truth about this because it has become a political question.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Organic food shoppers may be even more elite than they claim; persistent claims that food grown and sold using the modern 'organic' process is nutritionally different than traditional food  have long been debunked, so advocates have again taken up claims that they have fewer pesticides. Well, they don't. Without pesticides, pests would holocaust crops, anyone who has lived on a farm knows that - the same demographic that insists organic food has no pesticides are also against plants that produce their own pesticide naturally, so organic food uses lots of pesticides, they are just not synthetic. You'd still better wash your food, no matter what their marketing claims about a health halo.
    My husband and I are former organic lychee, longan and mango farmers and I have to agree with many of the points you make here about organic foods often being overpriced and nutritionally overrated and organic consumers sometimes being misinformed about the nutritional superiority and environmental sustainability of some of these organic foods. Wikipedia gives quite a good description of what organic farming is supposed to be achieving :- 
    Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides , plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms, human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials.
    'Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972. IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as :-

    "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved..."— International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements'

    However as you correctly point out above :-
    ...they are not being told about the increased water consumption,  eutrophication, ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching, and nitrous-oxide emissions in organic farming. Traditional farming in America is environmentally terrific, in the last 30 years it has "dematerialized" agriculture to where farming produces far more food on far less land with far less environmental impact than ever dreamed about. (Science Left Behind. New York: Public Affairs, 2012, page 65) 
    I think that both organic and conventional farmers are going to have to keep trying to improve their farming methods to minimise the environmental impact of soil erosion, waterway run-offs and emissions which have been shown to be such a significant factor behind the increased occurrence of global toxic blue green algae blooms and the associated health risks of BMAA from cyanobacteria polluting our lakes, waterways and oceans and ultimately ourselves. 

    Instead of operating under two separate umbrellas I think that 'organic' and conventional farmers need to start sharing the best practices from both farming methods to protect both the health of the environment and the people buying their products, who also need to be better educated so that they are less likely to become victims of expensive fads. 

    Genetically modifying plants and organisms (GMOs) to be more hardy and require less spraying of water, fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and to then have a less adverse impact upon the environment must also be a good idea, as long as these GMOs are very carefully tested and screened for unanticipated problems before being generally released. Knowing that specific GMOs are better for the environment would hopefully then encourage people to buy them, with or without GM labeling.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    I grow fruit and vegetables without any pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. No problem. Pest damage on some things, sure, but there are alternative uses for those products, and they go into processing or animal-feed streams. Not really much more expensive on average. Some of my products are way more expensive, but often are higher in quality (picked the day you buy them). Others are cheaper than local, traditional big-box grocery. Your articles seem to paint with too broad a brush, all while you accuse organic advocates of the same. Thanks for balancing crap with crap.

    John Mackey, is that you?

    Consensa B....is that you?

    Of course it is, you and hank hill are love birds.

    You were so nice to me on Twitter the other day. I had hope. It brightened my day. Now, you're back to being mean, again.

    *Sigh*

    I try, Gaelan. I try. But, sometimes, I just don't think you're the right troll for me.

    You work too late and are up too early.

    We disagree on quite a bit and I stand up for what I stand up for....just as you do.

    If you dont like the "consensa" crap...I'll stop. I am only kidding around on that btw.

    I work hard, and I work late... but I sleep in!!! :-)

    Hank
    I don't know you, but he stands up for science and so do I. So can you give me the short version of what you stand up for?
    Yeah, stand up for science! You're an opinionator lurching at some consensus or another and chagrined to hell and back that someone doesn't accept wholecloth whatever dribble is on the page.

    The findings of the paper you site as the resource for your .01 claim states that they did not test for all known synthetics, was based on only males 25-30 and was done 30 years ago. Dont you have something newer to drum up an article with? You are truly squirming the bottom of the barrel for this article.

    So, when you blast the .01% of whom became such because of a methodology that did not screen for every known pesticide to determine that ratio.....is that your science?

    Hank
    I've written about a hundred articles here on the junk mythology of the naturalistic fetish related to organic food. Yet they are all just some "opiniator lurching" because you don't want to learn about science, you want to have your personal beliefs validated. Fair enough, science is definitely not the place for you, read Natural News or that Mercola site and enjoy the shot of dopamine you get.
    Never heard of those sites and quite frankly it doesnt matter. You seem to know me pretty well after ignoring all of my pertinent comments regarding this very article.

    Please address my statement above about whether this is "your science"....to use raggedly old research, underrepresentative of the population and a study which did not test for all known synthetic pesticides?

    You do all of the science.....how many drugs in the last decade have been pulled off of the shelves after they were supposedly safe? FDA and CDC dont keep track......why?

    And of your special science....this seems very appropriate

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0076632

    And, still waiting for any response on comments on this article. Thank you kindly.

    I'll not be using anymore pejorative or slights towards you anymore...sorry for all that crap.

    So MrCampbell, with no response, twice, to my exposure of your tiny little game.....that is where you taie a study that did not test for all synthetic pesticides and rail against organic consumers as if the results of a 30 year old paper based on males 25-30 years old that didnot test for what the paper was trying to expose......WOW......

    ahem.... ..so, with no response from you, your answer is "YES, this is how I do science. By manipulation and deceit!"

    Science is as science does.

    Hank
    What is there to say? If a sample was not done last week, and it didn't conclude what you want, it is invalid? In science, researchers are still debating papers from 1905 - and they still get cited because they are the standard. He's 85 years old, give him a break that he is not publishing the same paper over and over and over again.

    You also seem to be arguing that natural chemicals should be ignored in high-dose protocol studies, which makes no sense. 

    And you're saying Bruce Ames, one of the early heroes of the environmental movement and creator of the Ames Test, who showed that chemicals can cause DNA damage and therefore cancer, is some sort of nobody who wrote an outlier paper, rather than the guy who has helped get actual harmful synthetic chemicals banned. 

    The only people who have disputed that paper are in the fear and doubt business - they do no science, they note what they considered flaws, which can be done about every paper ever written. That is why it's the same strategy used by creationists against evolution and vaccine haters against medicine, it requires no actual research. No one has refuted that paper, the only thing they can do is claim 'epidemiological data' that cancer rates have gone up and "suggest" it is synthetic pesticides, all the while ignoring that cancer rates have also 'gone up' to due better diagnosis.  And pesticide workers have higher cancer rates - which applies to pesticides used by organic farmers also. You're cherry picking your facts to suit your agenda.

    I am going to take his 60 years of expertise over an anonymous anti-science detractor on the Internet, thanks.
    I am calling it into question because of its age....there must be some new science on this topic......AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the inadequacies inherent of NOT checking for ALL know synthetic pesticides (Why not) (which ones excluded).

    Answer those questions before you blast 1% of 1%. You didnt even mention that the methodology of the study calls question to laying that against the entire population.

    Okay, your story is about the organies aged 25-30 who are all male....hmmm.

    Hank
    Again, you have not read the paper, you read someone's claim about the paper, who also did not know what they were talking about. The FDA assayed 200 chemicals it considered 'most important' and that study was done on men ages 25-30. It is not that all the studies reviewed used the same group, and the idea that some super chemical outside the top 200 impacts women more and would make it important is ... bizarre.
    And so you dusted off a copy of last centerues research into an area with notably more done since. And you took this incomplete work, admitted by the authors themselves, to castigate what you consider a sizeable minority.....

    And you get paid for this obfuscation and petty snideness, all while claiming the science is yours and not anyone else's......WOW.

    Btw, how about Matt Ridley calling all of you warmists "witchdoctors"?

    Alo pot this is the kettle caaaaalllin......

    "I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist."
    Richard Fenyman exclaimed that....

    How appropriate to you....WOW!

    CRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIiiiiIIIIIIIICK EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTSSSSSS

    Organic shoppers are the reason why there are natural organic food products being sold.

    Ahem.....have you read your resource for your 99.99% claim? Paper written in 1990 and the claim of 99.99% comes of a population subgroup of ONLY men aged 25-30 during the years of 1982-1984 and the test did NOT include every known synthetic pesticide AND FINALLY YOUR WRITERS CONCLUDE THAT THEIR GUESS IS "A REASONABLE ROUGH ESTIMATE."

    WAAAAAHHOOOOW!!!

    YOUR ENTIRE ARTICLE IS BASED ON FOOD 30 YEARS AGO ON A GROUP OF PERSONS THAT IS MARGINALLY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WHOLE AND.......

    THEY GUESSED THEIR CONCLUSION.

    THANK YOU

    This article is destructive, and not in a good way. I grow my own greens, garlic sweet potatoes, strawberries, squash, apples,cherries etc. and have gardened for years, sold at farmers market, traded and bought mostly organic for many years. I have never made much money and would probably be labeled lower middle class. Health is a priority for me, the environment generally is a priority, and especially the health of my own neighborhood's environment. Eating well is a priority. I buy many things at the thrift shop and repair what breaks, but I will pay top dollar for excellent and amazing fresh food. If I can get a bargain on something good I will, but if it's a choice between industrial crap and good fresh food then corners will be cut elsewhere. Maybe it's because we live in the country, but I know many people who deal with this in a similar manner. The Corporate worlds' need to urbanize is a monumental mistake in light of its effects on self sufficiency and quality of life. As to the safety of pesticide residues and gmo garbage. The government lies and industry lies to protect profits. The people in charge of ag policies and corporate ag are the same people. They switch jobs around and appoint each other to important positions and screw the public relentlessly for the bucks. If you want to believe them,drink the Kool-Aid and eat poison that's your business, but don't spend too much of your unnaturally short life whining about the increasing health care costs. They are driven in large part by the epidemic of many cancers, diabetes, endocrine diseases, cardiac problems, autism, and out of control obesity engendered by poor farming and dietary practices promoted by industry and government since world war two. There are multiple causes for our society's deteriorating health and the deteriorating environment but attitudes such as yours are a huge part of the problem. Wake the fk up.

    Hank
    Then why is this 'destructive'? I grew up raising all of my own food, including the meat, and never sold anything, it was all just for subsistence, and I hunted for the same reason. Nowhere in here do I say you shouldn't grow your own food or eat what you like, I criticize Big Organic. 

    And if you research the issue, you know I am right - with dozens of synthetic ingredients, pesticides, and $15 a dozen eggs, you know that large farms are being large farms, and paying lobbyists to get laws passed that favor them. You, an actual organic farmer, can't afford to get certified organic while Big Ag and its giant revenue can be. The bulk of the supposed organic food people are buying is no different than any other food except in minor process ways, it is even sold by the same companies as conventional food. And if you are buying it in a Whole Foods, that gets it from China, there is about a 25% chance it is conventional food.

    Blaming traditional farming for obesity is as silly as blaming a spoon.
    Mixing smug social commentary in with your evidence undermines your argument and your credibility. Make your case without the snot.

    Agreed - from their own words, Kanye West and other mega-rich entertainers did not visit Occupy Wall Street asserting the belief that they are not part of the 1%. Rather, they visited to show support for the OWS cause, a cause that many wealthy people also support. As well, stating that celebrities are "out of touch" because of the pace at which they have homes built" is really an unsupported opinion that has no place in this article.

    I will say that this article is extremely informative and I learned a lot - kudos. I will be passing it along to my family and peers.

    Articles describing the scientific basis, or lack of one, for the claims of organic food supporters are common on science blogs. If you want to pass something on to your friends, you can do better than this one.

    Here's the truth:

    Farmers kill. Pesticides are your friends. And we've never had such an abundant, safe supply of food.

    And none of this is due to "organics."

    Some of my reasons for consuming Organics: better farming methods, humane treatment of animals, the taste of food, the ownership by non-corporate farmers, the pprohibition of organic farming in some countries by the non-organic lobby, not using Monsanto's mono culture proprietery genetically modifyed seeds, none contamination of adjecent lands then suing the organic farmer for infringing on a patent, keeping animal waste from contaminating vegetable fields and not processing food which is 80% responsible for our major illnesses etc.
    When I look at the composite of the industrial farming industry your 'scientific' reasons fail to convince me. I believe
    you have to see it from a more wholistic perspective to comprehend the totality of motivations of using Organics.
    By your logic I could say that consuming corn syrup, eating twinkies hot dogs etc is an artifact of a modern food
    industry and it should continue because it feeds so many of us. And youd be wrong. Two of us founded the food-coop
    Organic movement in MN, gave it a philosophical foundation and cultural-ethical tinge which went national and international (Germany, UK, France ). One of our principals was to find an alternative to the US industrial agro business and open new avenues of research for better health. We did this in the late 60's to early 70's. a time
    when Adel Davis was the only blue print we had. When our reaserch was finished and our fist Organic stores, distribution systems, farms,finance etc were in place we left it to the people to decide its fate. Then we went started other social projects. So far 30+ yrs later our efforts have crossed generations to carry that banner. Both of us are extraordinarily proud to have all of our kin and neighbors eating more wholesome food. One of us has finished the blueprint for the replacement of the entire US healthcare sysytem.Our new model deals with hospitals, FDA, HMOs, big pharmaceuticals,prosthetic device mnfg,managemnt system, doctors, nurses, legislative system etc, As the cost of healthcare rises and no real alternative on the horizon Im offering my new model for our country/world to follow and improve. I will continue to serve our country and contribute the best methodologies/road maps my mind can offer.
    So far all of our extrapolations in the 60-70s to today has proven to be the correct path. Peacefully, without directly competing with the larger part of society and a well researched blueprint to follow can change our world for the better.

    Hank
    The article is about beliefs that are based in food wealth. You have the choice to have all of the sanctimony because you were lucky enough to be born in a place where food grows cheaply. That doesn't help poorer nations at all. 

    But thanks for making my point that it is rose-colored glasses. You and some friends formed a co-op. Well, great, that feeds the world, we should all just form co-ops. Except even Russia couldn't make that work, and they have even more arable land than the US does.
    Kayne west ..lets see his accesories...Big joke..i am wondering if this will be hijacked by the Rich People...as Zizek said...we dont need star studded features.

    And in one repudiatory breath, your entire facade of .01% comes tumbling down. How pathetic, that you must dig the annals of dustbin to find last centuries best works where and when CURRENT literature exists.

    Baffoonery isnt even close to describing the above article in contrast to this....

    http://caff.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Annals_Response_Final.pdf

    And, you have the time and resources to know this.