Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2 Out Of 5

For The New York Times, this could be progress. In response to the recent Stanford University study finding no appreciable nutritional or food safety benefit to organic foods, The Times posted five short essays on its Website debating the question “Is Organic Food Worth the Expense?”

Offerings from New York University professor Marian Nestle, Mother Jones writer Tom Philpott and activist Raj Patel are what you’d expect: The cost of organic food is coming down, yields are coming up and, oh yes, “industrial” agriculture is destroying the globe.

But the remaining two essays are refreshingly realistic. Science blogger Christie Wilcox calls organic farming “an idyllic fallacy,” noting its costs in deforestation and carbon emissions. And Skeptical Environmentalist author Bjorn Lomborg offers some startling health statistics, concluding that avoiding pesticides might save 20 cancer deaths a year while a price-related decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption could trigger 26,000 additional cancer deaths annually.
To which HOTH says, “Touché!” 

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