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Thread: The benefits of drinking this

  1. #1 The benefits of drinking this 
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    A friend of mine is sort of a health nut and he wanted me to try this tea. It has Green tea, sea buckthorn and siberian ginseng. What would the benefits of this tea be?


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    Green tea is certainly good stuff. And if you get a good one it's absolutely delectable.

    No idea about the buckthorn. Many people swear by any and every variety of ginseng. Neither of them should do you any harm. They might be a good pick-me-up.


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    It's good for your heart (Siberian Ginseng) and women have a senstivity to omega 7 that men don't have (buckthorn), it'll be good for your joints, cosmetics & hormone balancing.
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    Nice i just tried it out and its pretty good though it does taste a little weird.
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    You can mix some Rooibos in there. Get a flavour of South Africa.
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    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Body_Fortress View Post
    It's good for your heart (Siberian Ginseng) and women have a senstivity to omega 7 that men don't have (buckthorn), it'll be good for your joints, cosmetics & hormone balancing.
    Do you have evidence for any of this?
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  8. #7  
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    OOOH goody. I like these Threads. ( Food and Drink I mean ). And all my favourite people Posting. H''mmm, I'm really missing MeteorWayne, is he still down South Jersey at the Tomatoe Tasting?? I worry about him, he has Stars in his eyes and I'm sure his keeping his interest in the latest Mars Robot happenings. We need a separate Poste MeteorWayne, say a Moderators Update in the General Interest Forum letting everyone know what has been achieved so far by Curiosity. Green Tea.? Yes, Australians are aware of its declared benefits. How come The Western World didn't know about Green Tea but knew all about guzzling Gin? Me thinks the old Capitalist Policy of keeping the lower Classes poor and Pregnant, and available as a source of cheap labour. We have Tea because of Greed. Chance to make some Stirling here old man, and they grow the bloody stuff for practically nothing. What's going to happen when all the workers of the World earn $1000 per hour, and there ain't no cheap labour anymore? Green Tea, $389 AU for five dipping sachets. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    The following link gives a dearth of information about green tea and identifies the active components and how they are believed to work in validating the several health claims attributed to this beverage.

    Green tea drinkers appear to have lower risk for a wide range of diseases, from simple bacterial or viral infections to chronic degenerative conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.
    WHFoods: Green tea
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    Sea buckthorn is a folk remedy of long standing although I'm not finding a lot of current studies to pull up.

    Here is a list of the active chemicals and a link to more info at drugs.com

    Chemistry

    Sea buckthorn contains carotenoids, tocopherols, sterols, flavonoids, lipids, ascorbic acid, and tannins.
    Flavonols in the leaves, fruit, or juice of sea buckthorn 1 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 are noted because of their antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity. Most occur as C-3 glucosides, rutinosides, and sophorosides.
    Flavon-3-ols found in the juice of sea buckthorn include (+) catechin (and +/- gallocatechin) and (-) epicatechin.
    Phenolic acids found in the leaves, juice, or fruit of sea buckthorn 1 , 14 include gallic, protecatechuic, p-coumaric, ferulic, p-hydroxybenzoic, and ellagic acid.
    Tocopherols and tocotrienols in the fruit or seeds of sea buckthorn, 1 , 8 , 15 collectively known as vitamin E, have antioxidant activity. α-Tocopherol has the highest antioxidant activity and is the most abundant tocopherol, comprising approximately 76% to 89% of the berry.
    Carotenoids found in the fruit of sea buckthorn 1 , 16 , 17 , 18 may decrease the risk for age-related macular degeneration and include α-, β-, and γ-carotene; lycopene; zeaxanthin; zeaxanthin dipalmitat; and β-cryptoxanthin palmitate. The antioxidant activity is more potent with extracted sea buckthorn oil because of higher carotenoid levels. Organic acids in the juice of sea buckthorn 1 have been identified as oxalic, citric, tartaric, malic, quinic, and ascorbic acid.
    Fatty acid composition differs between the seed oil and soft parts of the fruit. The seed oil contains linoleic, α-linoleic, oleic, palmitic, stearic, and vaccenic acids. The fruit contains palmitoleic, palmitic, and oleic acids. Sterols are found in 1% to 2% of the seed oil and 1% to 3% in the soft parts of the fruit as sitosterol, isofucosterol, campsterol, stigmastanol, citrostadienol, avenasterol, cycloartenol, 24-methylenecycloartanol, and obtusifoliol. 1 , 4 , 19
    More than 40 volatile compounds are in the fruit and leaves of sea buckthorn. 1 , 19 , 20 Steam distillation of the fruit yielded 8 aliphatic esters, 9 aliphatic alcohols, and 10 aliphatic hydrocarbons. The primary constituents of the volatile fruit aromas are ethyl dodecenoate, ethyl octanoate, decanol, ethyl decanoate, and ethyl dodecanoate.
    The tannins hippophaenins A and B have been isolated from the leaves of sea buckthorn. 21
    Complete Sea Buckthorn information from Drugs.com

    There has been increased interest in growing this crop in Canada.

    http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/speccrop/pu...rn_may2001.pdf
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    As always, I approach this from the view point of asking : what does proper scientific testing demonstrate?

    Green tea is known to be healthy and probably carries certain benefits to health. Not anywhere near the benefits that enthusiasts claim, but some small benefit. I would point out to Scheherazade here that the WHFoods web site is definitely over- enthusiastic about claimed benefits for certain foods. On their claims about the benefits of organic food, they are just plain
    wrong.
    Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, study finds

    Ginseng is a fad. There is no good science proving it to have any real health benefits.
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  12. #11  
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    Here we go again... skeptic, why is everything a fad to you... A lot of people here like to moan like old women. I'm gonna have a search for some good reads for everyone, but even if you read it, whatever your opinions were originally, they're not gonna change.

    Most of my knowledge comes from books and journals, not the internet, so by the time people on here buy a book and read it to see if I'm right, nobody will care anymore

    EDIT: Right I found a good link to part of a book that discusses Buckthorn, I'll post it once I've read it, have to make sure it's credible.
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  13. #12  
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    Well, all I know about Buckthorn is that the berries are bitter, which conventional wisdom says means it might be dangerous. It's only a rule of thumb though.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Body_Fortress View Post
    Here we go again... skeptic, why is everything a fad to you...
    It is not that everything is a fad to me. My stance is simple. I look for the good science. if that is missing, then the probability is that the practice being discussed is not valid.

    This sometimes makes me unpopular. This is especially so when someone directs me to an internet reference and I tell them it is suspect. However, of all internet references dealing with health, food etc., probably at least two thirds are suspect. You need to look a little deeper than the surface, to find out if the web site is selling bulldust or good science.

    On the current topic, as I said, green tea is a healthy option, though not as much as some web sites will tell you. Ginseng is pretty much a fizzer. It has been well tested scientifically, and there is no solid evidence for real benefits emerging. Buckthorn I am not familiar with, and I will not comment until and unless I have some information based on good science.

    However, let me make a general statement about food and drink. The human body is very flexible nutritionally. Because we are omnivores and can get what we need from many sources. If we have a good balanced diet, and avoid excess of fats, sugars, salt, and refined starch, then we are doing pretty well. Any extra benefit from 'special' foods or drinks will confer very little benefit, and I usually tell people to concentrate on getting that balance in their diet, and not to worry about 'magic' foods.

    In fact, the two practices that give the greatest health benefits are :
    1. Do not smoke.
    2. Get plenty of healthy exercise.

    Diet comes a somewhat poor third after those two. It is still important, but it is easy to get a good diet without having to fuss about green teas, or special blends, or magical super-foods.
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    The link I've found is a good read, going through it now, some of the information is repeated over and over at the beginning, but it looks like it has streamlined, hopefully the latter half doesn't give bad advice.
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    From many years of raising performance animals (dogs and horses) the conventional thought is that nutrition begins prior to conception in that healthy parents are more likely to produce healthy offspring. We pay close attention to phosphorus/calcium ratios in the diet of pregnant and nursing animals and during early development of the young in particular. We also pay close attention to weight gain to ensure that growing bones and joints are not over taxed.

    The chief benefit of organic growing is to the future of the planet and future generations in the reduction of harmful chemicals that are utilized in the production of these crops. The retail price of organic apples and bananas is now on par and sometimes below the price of those produced by conventional means.

    I consider it sad to contemplate most of today's 'conventional means' of factory farming food and getting it to market but I do appreciate the challenges of the food industry in maintaining the supply chain when most people now reside in the concrete jungle, far from where food is 'produced'. Man, did they get bent out of shape when a reefer went down during the winter and there was no 'Baby Arugula' for a few days. Get over it, Martha, it's forty freaking below outside. Grow your own darn Arugula. Sheesh!
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    Would you please excuse me if I relate almost word for word a conversation had recently with an 84 year old Nursery ( Plant Nursery ), owner, inheritor ( from his father ) who inherited from his father. The said inherited property originally located in Yackandandra, north east Victoria, Australia, then relocated to the Northern Suburb of Regent/ Resorvoir, Melbourne, Australia. westwind, ( not the name he knows me by }, westwind, you want to stay healthy? Stay away from the Gardening outlets and Nurseries around MELBOURNE. In fact, stay away from any modern Plant and Seedling retail outlet and the accommpaning fertilising growing medium bagged up on pallets plant food, starters, spray ons, humus, compost feeders, weedicides, anything that the Stores are unloading on the general public for house and backyard growing and propagating. I f its suitable for Pot Plants then try feeding any of the results resulting produce to you hens, your goats, your pigs, your caged birds. And watch then die. At the best turn their nose up.

    It's all artificial son. All genetically engineered to put it's best face forward when you walk into the shop. Like the modern supermarket tomatoe. Try growing any flower or vegetable seedlings from modern retail outlets and then shake the roots out and plant them in virgin natural soil after kicking the weeds out. Add water. add water. And watch them all die.

    Outside their genetically modified growing medium, thats right, the stuff all plastic bagged up on pallets, that the retailers are going to sell you with the Seedlings, these seedlings will not prosper ore remain fertile enough to produce anything but disease prone struggling imitations of what they were really meant to grow.

    Basically that was what he said. I know what I am talking about son, I've had it all explained to me in the business. It's all got up to mahe profit with the least amount of failures for people now living the high life in high rise.

    Go ask yourself and find out if you don't believe me. Better still, buy some seedlings, plant them out in backyard virgin ground, and watch them struggle while you try to keep them alive and listen to all the excuses from your seedling supplier.

    So there it is folks. Like pretty flowers and artificial vegetables, make sure you get both Mediums together, genefically suited seedlings to genetically suited vegetable seedlings.

    You can still grow good produce. Healthy Produce that will bring the Bees back from the natural countryside to you garden, where they now refuse to come. Just get the shovel and wheelbarrow out from where they are rusting, go get natural horse, chook, and cow manure. some blood and bone from the Abbotoirs, compost some edible weeds that you see birds and anoimals picking at. Do not, until you are clear of all of it, compost any modern interpretation of original food and flower crops that are currently on the market and you have tried to grow in your garden. The contamination by genetically modified seedlings etc will still linger on.

    Sure, its a bit more trouble, Still, what makes you strionger, will not kill you. or give you Diabiates or cancer.

    Lets all say thanks to Jack, his Father, and Grandfather. westwind.
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    I think your plant nursery friend is not too far wrong, westwind. I start my own seedlings indoors under lights because I can't justify the expense of heating a greenhouse in this climate save for a short shoulder season when we can still get a late frost. I plant my hardy vegetables out of doors usually on the third week in May, although this year I started the lettuce, mesclun and arugula on June 16th as I was away on a trip and did not wish to overtask my house/critter sitters. I still have more greens than the two of us can consume and am racing the frost to eat all my bounty.

    My carrots are very nicely sized, crisp and juicy and I use recycled freezers for my raised beds to eliminate the need to wage war on the mice and voles. I fill the greater portion of these large beds with composted horse manure and then use a fresh bed of peat moss each year to start the seeds in and use perlite (a heat expanded volcanic rock in granular form) to cover the seeds in their shallow trenches. I take the time to individually space my carrots seeds one inch apart and my first thinning is actually usable baby carrots. My second thinning is medium snack size carrots, leaving now four inches of space for the final harvest to size up to their full potential.

    Every couple of years, I shovel all of the dirt out of a couple of the freezers for use in the flower beds and refresh these ones as above. It seems to be working for me. I also cover the freezers with row cover until the plants are literally pushing the covers up to the point that the wind lifts the weighted covers off. The row cover protects from insect pests, retains warmth and moisture and actually moderates the temperature during hot weather by shading the plants.

    I started a few tomato plants indoors this year and as we had a very volatile spring, I kept them indoors and finished them in containers on the southwest upstairs window. We had ripe tomatoes from June 5th until mid-August. I have a couple of Tumbling Tom plants in baskets in the back greenhouse that are still producing a few treats for me even yet.

    Here's a photo of my indoor tomatoes:



    And another of my 10 heads of lettuce, transplanted seedlings from the mesclun bed. You can see the freezers and row cover that I use quite clearly.



    This is one of my lettuces in a bowl that is 13 inches across, centered on the kitchen island that is 26" wide as a scale for reference.



    My apologies for this enthusiastic display but I do enjoy sharing what I have learned from years of gardening in a very short and unforgiving growing climate.
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    Just came across another tip about Siberian Ginseng. I've a refresher exam coming up next week so going through lots of notes right now.

    Siberian Ginseng has a vasodilator action, which makes it very good for Arteriosclerosis.
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    There appears to be a lot of information on Siberian Ginseng at the following link, including a number of contraindications about some who should not use this herb and under what conditions.

    A significant list of supporting research references as well.

    There undoubtedly are some benefits to many of the folk medicines that we are only now beginning to be able to explain the mechanisms behind because of our ability to isolate the various constituents and examine their interactions by means of double blind tests and studies.

    Siberian ginseng

    Overview:

    Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also known as eleuthero, has been used for centuries in Eastern countries, including China and Russia. Despite its name, it is completely different from American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), and has different active chemical components. The active ingredients in Siberian ginseng, called eleutherosides, are thought to stimulate the immune system.
    Traditionally used to prevent colds and flu and to increase energy, longevity, and vitality, Siberian ginseng is widely used in Russia as an "adaptogen." An adaptogen is a substance that is supposed to help the body better cope with stress, either mental or physical.
    Until recently, most scientific research on Siberian ginseng was done in Russia. Research on Siberian ginseng has included studies on the following:

    Siberian ginseng
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    For scheherazade. Thank you for reading my Poste and commenting on the need to understand the biology of Plant Growing. You understood the implication (s), of corrupting the natural needs of seedlings and prospering growth to a natural maturity. In the name of Marketing with the final appraising of Profit Margins, legally allowable but fraudently misleading. Seeing your imaging of your obvious interest and attentive love of getting things right gives me back my faith in the abilities of dedicated humans. Well done young fella. I'm not one to seek friends on The Science Forum as other members would be aware, but in your case I'll make a concession. You are now my friend scheherazade. No need to put it in writing. A hand shake will do.
    This may encourage new younger Members that it is hands on learning or experimenting that impresses westwind, results good or bad is not the main action. Just do it. Look, see, wonder. Don't waste your bloody life like I wasted mine. Don't talk unless you are seeking informationabout what you are doing with your life........ westwind.
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    Sadly, I have to call bullsh!t on a lot of the recent posts. It is a widely accepted folk myth that how you grow food crops affects their nutritional value. But the science does not agree.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903221122.htm

    I
    f you eat a lettuce, you are eating something that is healthy and a very good part of a balanced diet. It matters not a hoot whether the lettuce is grown in a conventional market garden, hydroponically, organically, or by your darling wife in your backyard garden. A lettuce is a lettuce and is good food regardless. There is no health distinction based on how it is grown.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Sadly, I have to call bullsh!t on a lot of the recent posts. It is a widely accepted folk myth that how you grow food crops affects their nutritional value. But the science does not agree.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903221122.htm

    I
    f you eat a lettuce, you are eating something that is healthy and a very good part of a balanced diet. It matters not a hoot whether the lettuce is grown in a conventional market garden, hydroponically, organically, or by your darling wife in your backyard garden. A lettuce is a lettuce and is good food regardless. There is no health distinction based on how it is grown.
    Science is welcome to eat their studies, IMO. I'm not arguing that the nutritional content is different at the time of harvest but I am making the case that by the time they get to market here, there is a decided difference in taste and texture. Our local growers are finally getting some infrastructure in place and we now have screaming fresh veggies for several months of the year and locally grown potatoes 10 months of the year. Right now, the local cabbage, carrots and beets are right as you enter our store and people are gravitating to them like locusts.

    Several of my friends have grown hydroponically under lights and given it up as they determined that the end product was insipid compared to plants grown under natural light. During the winter, we bring in a product called 'Living Lettuce' which arrives with it's little root ball still attached, having been hydroponically greenhouse grown in a much milder climate. This product sells well during the snowbound months despite being a premium price.

    As for carrots, my crisp, juicy freshly pulled specimens have been thinly sliced and served with a light, sweet, white wine with my lady friends. Last time I had a peach with any flavor was several years ago in B.C. from a roadside stand when I was traveling through. Tomatoes? The store bought ones are lovely and red, but no flavor.

    Interestingly, my horses won't eat store bought lettuce but they will eat the trimmings of the ones I grow. I wonder why that is? Possibly pesticide residue. Lettuce is one of the crops that requires protection from pests and disease when it is grown commercially, one of the 12 worst foods for residue if memory serves and horses are very sensitive about what they eat.

    Why should I put all my faith in science, skeptic? How many times have they changed the Canada Food Guide, as one example?
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    Hail and well met, westwind. Any friend of nature is a friend of mine. I embrace much that science has much to offer but I do fear that sometimes we are too quick to 'throw the baby out with the bath water'.

    My horse friends....

    Last edited by scheherazade; September 6th, 2012 at 08:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Why should I put all my faith in science, skeptic?
    A 400 year success rate is a good reason. Although I dispute the word 'faith'. Science is not about faith. More than anything else, it is about empirical testing. The results of those tests are the reason to accept good science.

    Nothing else in the history of humanity has come close to science in terms of 'getting it right'. For this reason, I reject mythology, philosophy, religion, superstition, divine revelation, or any other alternative that is not based on solid, down to Earth testing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Why should I put all my faith in science, skeptic?
    A 400 year success rate is a good reason. Although I dispute the word 'faith'. Science is not about faith. More than anything else, it is about empirical testing. The results of those tests are the reason to accept good science.

    Nothing else in the history of humanity has come close to science in terms of 'getting it right'. For this reason, I reject mythology, philosophy, religion, superstition, divine revelation, or any other alternative that is not based on solid, down to Earth testing.
    Allow me to rephrase the question then: "Why should I put my trust in science?"

    In my opinion, the 'science of nutrition' is far too entangled with politics for trust. Whose interests are being served? Follow the money....

    We have a food industry and we have a medical industry, and sadly, as you point out, we have all manner of spin-off industries taking advantage of people's fears and desire to do better for themselves.

    I mentioned the Canada Food Guide earlier.....

    The politics of food guides - Health - CBC News
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post

    In my opinion, the 'science of nutrition' is far too entangled with politics for trust. Whose interests are being served? Follow the money....
    It is all about which references you follow. I agree about the entanglement, though you have only admitted this for one side of the argument. There is just as much misdirection from, for example, the organic food industry. The same principle applies. Organic food is a multi-billion dollar industry, and several "research institutes" have been set up by that industry, with the express purpose of generating "data" to help promote organic food.

    You need to look for references that are, as far as possible, removed from commercial or ideological bias. That is not always easy. However, research from reputable universities or institutes, or government sponsored research groups, are usually pretty sound. If you want to study nutrition, find works written by people with medical degrees, and a specialty in nutrition, rather than those who are just pushing their own hobby horse.

    As I keep pointing out, it is not complicated. The basics of nutrition are easy enough for anyone to learn and understand. The problem comes from biased groups pushing non scientific ideas.
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    Interestingly, my horses won't eat store bought lettuce but they will eat the trimmings of the ones I grow. I wonder why that is? Possibly pesticide residue. Lettuce is one of the crops that requires protection from pests and disease when it is grown commercially, one of the 12 worst foods for residue if memory serves and horses are very sensitive about what they eat.
    It may very well not be the pesticides but some other feature of the growing conditions. We have a book from a bloke who used to be the guru for organic farming and gardening in South Australia. One page has a picture of compost heaps side by side in various stages of decomposition / maturity. He pointed out that his rabbits pointedly avoided the bright green grass growing on one of them, much preferring the shorter, not so bright green fodder on the older heap.

    He hadn't had the grasses or the heap materials tested but he speculated that these grasses would have contained more active nitrogen compounds (say nitrosamines and the like). And that grazing animals had an instinctive aversion to such fodder despite the human propensity to think that rapidly growing greens with lots of nitrogen looked like a good deal. He was warning against over-fertilising soils with raw manures or incompletely composted mixed materials when growing leafy vegetables.

    As for the horses not liking store bought lettuce. Commercially grown lettuce is grown extremely fast - all lettuce should be. But that process in itself makes it very easy to overdose nutrients at any stage in the cycle, and lettuce doesn't live long enough for any errors of this kind to balance out as it might do for longer lived fruiting plants like melons and tomatoes or greens like cabbage and kale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post

    In my opinion, the 'science of nutrition' is far too entangled with politics for trust. Whose interests are being served? Follow the money....
    It is all about which references you follow. I agree about the entanglement, though you have only admitted this for one side of the argument. There is just as much misdirection from, for example, the organic food industry. The same principle applies. Organic food is a multi-billion dollar industry, and several "research institutes" have been set up by that industry, with the express purpose of generating "data" to help promote organic food.

    You need to look for references that are, as far as possible, removed from commercial or ideological bias. That is not always easy. However, research from reputable universities or institutes, or government sponsored research groups, are usually pretty sound. If you want to study nutrition, find works written by people with medical degrees, and a specialty in nutrition, rather than those who are just pushing their own hobby horse.

    As I keep pointing out, it is not complicated. The basics of nutrition are easy enough for anyone to learn and understand. The problem comes from biased groups pushing non scientific ideas.
    The 'bias' seems to be anywhere that there is profit to be made or 'job security'. Truly independent and informed opinions are not that easy to come by and the fact of the matter seems to be that individual nutrition needs vary and there is no single 'cookie cutter' pattern, only some common sense guidelines.

    The organic industry is indeed becoming more 'industry' than 'organic' as they venture into processed foods, IMO. Organically grown fruit, veggies and meats make sense to me. Once we start churning out processed foods the concerns regarding salts, sugar, fats and white flour are the same be they organically sourced or otherwise.

    I suppose I'm just cynical from several years of working in the food industry and observing all of the marketing ploys, and strategies as all the big players change their ingredients, labels and package weight and size chasing after their market share. My shopping list gets shorter by the month, lol, as I eliminate formerly decent products when I observe that they have changed the formulation.

    Different growing conditions certainly make a difference in apples. In a two week window, I had opportunity to try Gala apples from Canada, Chile, and the US. Similar in flavor, size and shape but quite different in texture and juiciness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Interestingly, my horses won't eat store bought lettuce but they will eat the trimmings of the ones I grow. I wonder why that is? Possibly pesticide residue. Lettuce is one of the crops that requires protection from pests and disease when it is grown commercially, one of the 12 worst foods for residue if memory serves and horses are very sensitive about what they eat.
    It may very well not be the pesticides but some other feature of the growing conditions. We have a book from a bloke who used to be the guru for organic farming and gardening in South Australia. One page has a picture of compost heaps side by side in various stages of decomposition / maturity. He pointed out that his rabbits pointedly avoided the bright green grass growing on one of them, much preferring the shorter, not so bright green fodder on the older heap.

    He hadn't had the grasses or the heap materials tested but he speculated that these grasses would have contained more active nitrogen compounds (say nitrosamines and the like). And that grazing animals had an instinctive aversion to such fodder despite the human propensity to think that rapidly growing greens with lots of nitrogen looked like a good deal. He was warning against over-fertilising soils with raw manures or incompletely composted mixed materials when growing leafy vegetables.

    As for the horses not liking store bought lettuce. Commercially grown lettuce is grown extremely fast - all lettuce should be. But that process in itself makes it very easy to overdose nutrients at any stage in the cycle, and lettuce doesn't live long enough for any errors of this kind to balance out as it might do for longer lived fruiting plants like melons and tomatoes or greens like cabbage and kale.
    Very interesting comments and observations, adelady.

    I have also noticed that horses will avoid eating grass that is near a compost pile that is less than a couple of years old and when the hay growers overwinter any livestock on their stubble fields, the horses are not very keen on hay that comes off of them the following season. They ignore the sweet clover that grows in the road allowance until it is well past the bloom and then suddenly find it desirous after it has been frosted a couple of times. Trembling Aspen and Balsam Poplar leaves also seem to appeal to them after they have turned color and started to drop.

    Possibly this may be a strategy of the plants to ensure that they have propagated before they become animal fodder?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Hail and well met, westwind. Any friend of nature is a friend of mine. I embrace much that science has much to offer but I do fear that sometimes we are too quick to 'throw the baby out with the bath water'.

    My horse friends....


    Wow those horses are nice. What ages? How big?
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    Food is food. Good quality is good quality.

    I agree that processed food is often not good, due to those high levels of fats, sugars, salt, and processed starch. It is better to start with the basics and cook your own food. However, it makes no difference nutritionally whether the basic food is grown organically or conventionally. As I said, a lettuce is good food regardless.

    There has been a lot of research on this 'difference'. The multi-billion dollar organic food industry churns out loads of unscientific bulldust to tell everyone how much better organic food is. What a load of rot! Good science shows that, when we compare like with like, organic and conventional food are both equally good for us.

    I have a bit of a dislike for the organic food industry. I regard them as con artists and swindlers. They sell stuff that is no better than conventional and charge mega bucks in premium for the label. It is very common for organic food to be twice the price or more compared to its conventional counterpart, and there is no nutritional advantage whatever. Is that a swindle or what?
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    Originally posted by Body_Fortress:


    Wow those horses are nice. What ages? How big?
    The overo dun pinto mare is 15:1HH and was born in 1999 and the chestnut mare is 15HH, born in 2003, both mares approx. 1000lbs using a weight tape.

    Thank you for the compliment. They are very personable and well adjusted specimens of their breed, which is more than some might say of their owner, lol...
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Food is food. Good quality is good quality.

    I agree that processed food is often not good, due to those high levels of fats, sugars, salt, and processed starch. It is better to start with the basics and cook your own food. However, it makes no difference nutritionally whether the basic food is grown organically or conventionally. As I said, a lettuce is good food regardless.

    There has been a lot of research on this 'difference'. The multi-billion dollar organic food industry churns out loads of unscientific bulldust to tell everyone how much better organic food is. What a load of rot! Good science shows that, when we compare like with like, organic and conventional food are both equally good for us.

    I have a bit of a dislike for the organic food industry. I regard them as con artists and swindlers. They sell stuff that is no better than conventional and charge mega bucks in premium for the label. It is very common for organic food to be twice the price or more compared to its conventional counterpart, and there is no nutritional advantage whatever. Is that a swindle or what?
    I can understand your dislike for those who are indeed milking the organic movement for the profit and I agree that there are plenty who are attempting to do just that. There are some sources that are attempting to educate the public on where best to spend their organic dollar and when they are just as well off to buy conventionally grown produce.

    Those who are genuinely going the extra mile of getting properly certified, following all proper procedures and guidelines and managing their crops without use of pesticide or harmful chemicals very often incur extra expense and in some cases their prices are justified. Farming is hard work. Very hard work in the case of some fruits and veggies that are hand harvested. I picked raspberries for a few weeks as a youngster to help ends meet and I couldn't eat them again for decades. We had to pull any moldy ones off while we were harvesting the ripe ones. Uugh......

    Regarding prices, I have observed that organic apples and organic bananas are now frequently on par for price and the organic bananas have been a few cents cheaper per pound several times this year.
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    Scheherazade

    You have not taken the message far enough.

    It does not matter who is growing the organic food and selling it. It is no better than conventional food.
    There is no nutritional advantage in organic - any organic food.

    Quality varies, of course. There is high and low quality organic food, and there is high and low quality conventional food. But the level of quality is independent of whether it is organic or conventional food. The best conventional food is on a par with the best organic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    You have not taken the message far enough.

    It does not matter who is growing the organic food and selling it. It is no better than conventional food.
    There is no nutritional advantage in organic - any organic food.

    Quality varies, of course. There is high and low quality organic food, and there is high and low quality conventional food. But the level of quality is independent of whether it is organic or conventional food. The best conventional food is on a par with the best organic.
    And what of the quality of the land after conventional farming compared to organic farming? I believe that this is the primary purpose that those who are serious about organic farming choose this more labor intensive manner of tending the land.

    The products of conventional agriculture have been implicated in polluting our water supplies.

    Fertilizer/Pesticide Contamination

    When pesticide or fertilizer contamination of surface or groundwater occurs, it is the result of either point-source or non-point-source pollution. Point source pollution comes from a specific, identifiable place (point), such as the movement of pesticides into water from a spill at a mixing and loading site. Nonpoint source pollution comes from a wide area, such as the movement of fertilizers into streams after broadcast applications to crop areas. Most pesticide and fertilizer movement into water is across the treated surface (runoff) or downward from the surface (leaching). Runoff water may travel into drainage ditches, streams, ponds, or other surface water where the pesticides and fertilizers can be carried great distances offsite. Pesticides and fertilizers that leach downward through the soil sometimes reach the groundwater.

    Surface and Groundwater | Agriculture | US EPA
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    That is a separate issue and would require a separate thread.

    I am away for the next 11 days (going scuba diving with some real sharks).
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    That is a separate issue and would require a separate thread.

    I am away for the next 11 days (going scuba diving with some real sharks).
    Enjoy!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    That is a separate issue and would require a separate thread.

    I am away for the next 11 days (going scuba diving with some real sharks).
    May I ask what type of sharks you expect to encounter? Will you be swimming in the open or possibly using a cage? Do you do underwater photography?

    I rather expect these are organic sharks and not cultivated?

    Have a great adventure and perhaps you will grace us with an executive summary upon your return.
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    For scheherazade. In my previous Poste I did not mention the invironmental factors concerning the requirements of earthworms in the health of the growing soil. Not only earthworms, but all the beneficial actions of necessary soil bacteria. All this standardisation of commercial growing conditions for Market Place seedlings and Produce is, I fear, at the disaster levels for naturial soil conditioners. Bacterial Enzymes interacting with litter and and other normal breakdown top soil debris, plus the absense of earthworms to areate and irragate into the soil itself, will set up conditions for more Genetically altered plastic food producing frankinstine plants. How many Earthworms can you find in your so called mediums available today? Look in your grandmas potting plants. I'll eat without salt all the worms you can find. This state of affairs has to be stopped. Or watch our Bodies fall apart. westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    May I ask what type of sharks you expect to encounter? Will you be swimming in the open or possibly using a cage? Do you do underwater photography?

    I rather expect these are organic sharks and not cultivated?

    Have a great adventure and perhaps you will grace us with an executive summary upon your return.
    I have just got back. All my encounters with sharks were in open water - no cage used. Yes, I do take photos, but no claim for photographic expertise is made by me. Need to spend a lot of time going over my photos, but just to kick off, here is a couple of sharks I swam with. These are bull sharks, widely regarded as the worst man-eaters. I found them to be pussy cats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    For scheherazade. In my previous Poste I did not mention the invironmental factors concerning the requirements of earthworms in the health of the growing soil. Not only earthworms, but all the beneficial actions of necessary soil bacteria. All this standardisation of commercial growing conditions for Market Place seedlings and Produce is, I fear, at the disaster levels for naturial soil conditioners. Bacterial Enzymes interacting with litter and and other normal breakdown top soil debris, plus the absense of earthworms to areate and irragate into the soil itself, will set up conditions for more Genetically altered plastic food producing frankinstine plants. How many Earthworms can you find in your so called mediums available today? Look in your grandmas potting plants. I'll eat without salt all the worms you can find. This state of affairs has to be stopped. Or watch our Bodies fall apart. westwind.
    I can honestly say that I have never encountered an earthworm in any potting medium that I have purchased or any started seedlings from a nursery but that would be by design because they sterilize most of the potting mediums to reduce transmission of soil borne disease to the started plants. They are not supposed to remain in their starter medium for too long otherwise they shall require that a fertilizer be added, be it one of selected commercial minerals or manure tea etc.

    Living this far north, earthworms are quite uncommon save where they have been introduced by avid gardeners. Most dig up their worms and bring them in to overwinter but my mother has a very sheltered back lawn and they seem to survive in that. The robins always come to her yard after a rain and have their fill so it must be a healthy population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    I have just got back. All my encounters with sharks were in open water - no cage used. Yes, I do take photos, but no claim for photographic expertise is made by me. Need to spend a lot of time going over my photos, but just to kick off, here is a couple of sharks I swam with. These are bull sharks, widely regarded as the worst man-eaters. I found them to be pussy cats.

    Thank you posting the picture, skeptic. I enjoy seeing marine life and under water photography but I have never really cottoned to the notion of being in the water with critters. Probably because it is not an element that I was raised with. Other folks are uncomfortable in the forest and are fearful of moose, bears and wolves but these things I have knowledge of and so they do not cause me unease.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    You have not taken the message far enough.

    It does not matter who is growing the organic food and selling it. It is no better than conventional food.
    There is no nutritional advantage in organic - any organic food.

    Quality varies, of course. There is high and low quality organic food, and there is high and low quality conventional food. But the level of quality is independent of whether it is organic or conventional food. The best conventional food is on a par with the best organic.
    I take your point that from the stance of basic nutrition, the body views conventional and organic produce to be the same. To my way of thinking though, they are NOT the same from the perspective of pesticide residue on the foods and the stewardship of the farmland for future generations.

    For that reason, I do give consideration to which products that I buy organic versus conventionally grown and grow a fair amount of my own veggies as well. Organic Gala apples were on special last week and they were the same price and less than some of the conventionally grown varieties. Puts a smile on my face!
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    If organic and conventional food is the same price, then it matters little which you buy.

    Pesticide residues are a bugaboo promulgated by the multi-billion dollar organic food industry. They do not matter. Reason : by the time conventional food gets to be sold, the biodegradable pesticide residues have fallen to a level where they no longer matter. This is something checked by government agencies on a regular basis through chemical analysis of pesticide residues.

    On the other hand, organic food contains much larger amounts of natural pesticides than conventional food does, and those natural pesticides are just as toxic to us as synthetic. I am aware of a case where a number of people were put into hospital with cucurbitacin poisoning after eating organic zucchinis.
    Zucchini growers deny cover-up - National - NZ Herald News

    Overall, the chances of chemical poisoning from organic versus conventional food appears to be higher with organic, but not sufficiently so to warrant any paranoia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    If organic and conventional food is the same price, then it matters little which you buy.

    Pesticide residues are a bugaboo promulgated by the multi-billion dollar organic food industry. They do not matter. Reason : by the time conventional food gets to be sold, the biodegradable pesticide residues have fallen to a level where they no longer matter. This is something checked by government agencies on a regular basis through chemical analysis of pesticide residues.

    On the other hand, organic food contains much larger amounts of natural pesticides than conventional food does, and those natural pesticides are just as toxic to us as synthetic. I am aware of a case where a number of people were put into hospital with cucurbitacin poisoning after eating organic zucchinis.
    Zucchini growers deny cover-up - National - NZ Herald News

    Overall, the chances of chemical poisoning from organic versus conventional food appears to be higher with organic, but not sufficiently so to warrant any paranoia.
    Interesting article. skeptic. Apparently the presence of the natural toxins was attributable to unusual weather conditions which means that both conventional and organic plants could potentially be affected. There are a number of other plants that most people should be aware can contain natural toxins or develop them afterwards due to improper storage. Potatoes need to be stored away from light or they will turn green in very quick order. For that reason they are only put on display when they are anticipated to be sold shortly and we cover any left on the table at night with heavy, quilted shipping blankets to keep off the light.
    From your link:

    Other vegetables that may contain natural toxins are taro, rhubarb, green potatoes, kumara and red kidney beans.
    With extreme weather becoming more common, I expect that the industry shall have to monitor all produce more closely. Perhaps you have more inspectors in New Zealand. Canada and the U.S. are currently reducing the number of human inspectors in favor of more 'remote monitoring' due to budgetary constraints so that does little for my already skeptical opinion of the service.

    As for the organic/conventional debate, I have found the organic green onions keep much better for me and because apples are so much exposed to chemicals when conventionally grown, I will continue to buy organic.

    I had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman who used to pick organic peaches and he told me about watching them spray the 'conventional' orchards in bio-chem suits wearing gas masks and no one was allowed in the orchard afterwards for at least 24 hours.

    Presumably they are using more benign chemicals in this day and age? As for the 'safety levels' of miniscule amounts of pesticide residue, some people eat a lot of produce, and the jury is still out regarding long term cummulative effect depending what one reads. It's not like the industry is going to be actively looking for any problems that might affect the bottom line.

    I respect that you have confidence in your food supply chain, while I have observed enough anomalies working in corporate grocery that I believe none of what I hear and only half of what I see.

    (Although we have had several frosts already, my lettuce was protected by several layers of row cover and today I brought in the last three head lettuce, though I still have some mesclun and arugula doing fine, also under protective cover. My neighbor remarked that the last of her lettuce had gone too bitter to enjoy but mine has stayed sweet, possibly different varieties.)
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    Cucurbitacin levels in zucchini rise in response to stress. The most common source of such stress is insect attack, and cucurbitacin is a natural insecticide. I have lost it now, but I had a reference to a study that showed substantially higher levels of natural insecticides in organic crops. This makes sense when you consider that a lack of effective insecticide sprays means more insect attack, and the organic crops responding by making more natural insecticide.

    On spraying conventional crops and space suits.
    The only time modern synthetic insecticides are significantly hazardous is at the time when they are applied, and the immediate dose is high. It is the old principle of "the dose makes the poison." So it is important to take care when spraying. I wonder how much care is taken when an organic gardener sprinkles his 'natural' derris dust to kill insects, since derris dust is now known to cause Parkinson's Disease?

    However, modern sprays are non toxic at lower doses, and biodegradable. This means that you can buy conventional crops with confidence, knowing that any insecticide residue will be too low to harm you. That is less true of organic crops, since the production of natural insecticides, like cucurbitacin, continues as long as the cells of that crop are alive. Meaning, until you cook them. This leaves insecticide levels high. Thus, organic crops have a higher risk of poisoning you than conventional. Although, as I said, the risk is still low enough not to get worried about.

    The short conclusion is that there is no health risk from conventional crops. They are just as wholesome as organic, in spite of the bulldust spread by the people making millions of dollars from misinformation about organic.
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    My neighbor remarked that the last of her lettuce had gone too bitter to enjoy but mine has stayed sweet, possibly different varieties.
    Bitterness in lettuce usually develops in response to water stress - which might just mean too much sun for an hour or two on one hot day. They're pernickety, which is why they often do better under the shade of tomatoes or climbing cucumbers or beans.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    My neighbor remarked that the last of her lettuce had gone too bitter to enjoy but mine has stayed sweet, possibly different varieties.
    Bitterness in lettuce usually develops in response to water stress - which might just mean too much sun for an hour or two on one hot day. They're pernickety, which is why they often do better under the shade of tomatoes or climbing cucumbers or beans.
    That's interesting adelady. My friend is a gardening mentor with many years experience but she is on water delivery and her pump system was being problematic this summer so she was relying pretty much on mother nature. We did have a cool year with quite sufficient moisture for most crops and even in my raised beds (recycled freezers) I had to water very little. I use the row cover to retain moisture, protect from frost and insects and to moderate temperature during the heat.

    In this climate, we cannot grow tomatoes or beans out of doors.
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    Thank you for your reply on Cucurbitacin levels, skeptic.

    Interesting that all farming was 'organic' not so many decades ago, lol, and we don't seem to have died out as a species.

    Those of us who grow without chemicals have observed that insects are attracted to stressed plants. Give them proper spacing and appropriate watering and rotate where you grow.

    Interesting that I did not see a single aphid this year. Not one. Wonder if it has anything to do with growing everything from seed and not even stepping into any of the commercial displays of stressed plants brought north for sale? Poor things are usually infested (visibly crawling), stressed from the change of habitat and left in the care of persons who have not been given any training in the care of living plants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post

    Interesting that all farming was 'organic' not so many decades ago, lol, and we don't seem to have died out as a species.
    A somewhat irrelevant comment. I could just as easily point out the substantial increase in longevity and health in the last 50 odd years, when organic farming has become a minority part. Of course, the improved human health and life span have other causes. But it is clear that conventional food has done no harm.

    The most important point, of course, is the result of proper scientific studies, which show no health benefit from eating organic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post

    Interesting that all farming was 'organic' not so many decades ago, lol, and we don't seem to have died out as a species.
    A somewhat irrelevant comment. I could just as easily point out the substantial increase in longevity and health in the last 50 odd years, when organic farming has become a minority part. Of course, the improved human health and life span have other causes. But it is clear that conventional food has done no harm.

    The most important point, of course, is the result of proper scientific studies, which show no health benefit from eating organic.
    I would suggest that we have inadequate long term studies to prove the case either way.

    We do have increased life expectancy, attributable to several causes, and a number of health issues, obesity, diabetes and alzheimer's to name just a few, that are grounds for further investigation of our growing and eating practices.

    Scientific studies are frequently at odds with each other, as witness how eggs (organic or otherwise) have been vilified and since reinstated.

    It's all about the money, in my opinion, and it is unfortunate that there are some who are exploiting the organic interest purely for monetary purposes and muddying the waters.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post

    We do have increased life expectancy, attributable to several causes, and a number of health issues, obesity, diabetes and alzheimer's to name just a few, that are grounds for further investigation of our growing and eating practices.
    Obesity, diabetes and Alzheimers may all be related to eating too much fat and sugar, and getting too little exercise. You may note that I have agreed with reducing fat and sugar intake and increasing exercise. It is not an issue related to organic vs conventional food.

    Your comment about money.
    Yes, often that is the case. Where the dollar leads, bullsh!t follows.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    An interesting article came out just today. Comparing 'industrial organic' to conventional industrial agriculture seems to be where much of the dialogue is coming from.

    Kristin Wartman: Organic Agriculture: Fifty (Plus) Shades of Gray

    In terms of organic versus non-organic meat, the Stanford paper says that there is no difference in nutrition between the two. Again, research has shown that there are significant differences when it comes to pasture-raised meats. A report put out by Animal Welfare Approved states that ruminants raised on pasture alone have milk and meat that contains three to five times the amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Various studies have shown that CLA is protective against cancer, can lower levels of LDL cholesterol, prevents atherosclerosis and reduces blood pressure. The Compassion in World Farming report found that pasture-raised beef has a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids and a more favorable (lower) ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids compared with intensively-raised beef. The report also states that pasture-raised beef contains more vitamin E and beta-carotene than conventionally produced beef.

    Just as the quality of animal products depends largely on what the animals were fed, the nutrition content of vegetables is dependent on the quality of the soil in which they were grown. Vegetables grown in mineral-rich, healthy soil (that hasn't been depleted by chemical fertilizers, lack of biodiversity and little to no crop rotation) have been found to be far more nutritious than vegetables grown on monocropped, intensive farms. Various studies have shown that the nutrient density of vegetables, including many crucial vitamins and antioxidants, have dramatically decreased over the years with soil depletion due to industrial farming methods. Again, the Stanford paper does not discern between vegetables grown on an industrial-organic scale versus those grown on biodiverse, multi-crop farms.
    Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?: Scientific American
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    All of which is irrelevant. The only relevant fact about grain fed cattle source beef is that is has more fat, which is, of course, bad. Here in NZ, all our beef is grass fed, though not organic*, and has less fat than that rubbish which is so frequently eaten in the USA.

    The thing is that beef is not an important source of omega 3 fatty acids. So having a bit more or less matters not at all.

    In the same way, anyone who eats a reasonably balanced diet has ample vitamin E. Having a bit more or less is totally and utterly irrelevant. Let me quote the figure for vitamin C. The average person needs 50 mgms of vitamin C per day. But the average westerner eats up to 5 times that amount. The surplus is just expensive urine.

    The key factors in diet are not to eat too much fat, sugar, salt, or processed starch, and get a good variety of all types of food. If this rule is followed, there is no significance in the reference above. It has actually been known for a long time that organic food has slightly more vitamin C, and E compared to conventional. But this is not scientifically important, since a good balanced diet gives more than we need of both.

    *I would like to emphasize that the distinction between grass fed and grain fed is not the same as the organic/conventional distinction. Here in NZ, we fertilise our grasslands with super-phosphate to get more healthy grass growth. This practice means that our beef farms cannot be called organic, though they are grass fed animals. The definition of organic is based on silly dogmas, not on good science, or even good practice.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    There has been an influx of the 'conventional' producers into the organic sector of late, buying out brands and market share and diluting the organic principles. A fair amount of conventional growing has been going on under the guise of organic. It should come as no surprise that testing industrial organics against conventionally methods will yield results that say there is little to distinguish the two. It is a marketplace strategy as old as time.

    Buy out the competition. Retain their brand and market share and milk it until your purposes have been served.

    This is not a 'scientific' issue. It is a political issue of the marketing economy.

    Further, the study did note one major personal health reason for supporting organic: limiting one's ingestion of pesticides. But the paper's key finding -- at least, as reported by the mainstream media -- is that organic foods do not contain significantly higher levels of nutrients than conventional foods, and that's what made the headlines.
    While the analysis by the Stanford researchers seems fairly conclusive, the implications of its findings are actually extremely narrow given the infinite variety in agricultural practices. The range of products produced under an organic label range from those produced on an "industrial-organic" scale to those produced by small and mid-scale farmers who go well beyond the USDA's standards with their methods.

    At one end of this scale are companies like Horizon Organic, which sells USDA-certified organic milk. Horizon is owned by Dean Foods, the sixth largest food company in North America. Large food corporations of this scale wield immense power to influence organic standards. Walmart, which sells the Horizon brand and is the largest retailer of organic milk in the country, has been involved in multiple lawsuits over the use of the word organic on various product labels and in the case of Horizon's organic milk, whistleblowers found it was actually being produced in large-scale factory farms without adhering to organic standards, like access to pasture. Instead, the Cornucopia Institute found that Dean Foods was confining as many as 10,000 cows to large buildings and feedlots and operating "phony 'organic' feedlot operations."
    Time for me to feed the organic hay to the horses and turn in. Thank you for the discussion, skeptic.
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