Organic S

A rather mind-blowing fact about organic food

Organic LOrganic vegetables are much higher in carcinogens than are vegetables grown sprayed with pesticides, asserts Richard Muller, Prof Physics, UC Berkeley in the US, author “Now – The Physics of Time” in this post.

He writes:

This fact was discovered by Bruce Ames who was, at that time, the chair of biochemistry at UC Berkeley. The discovery was easily understood.

To grow foods without pesticides, you have to pick those subspecies that are “naturally resistant” to insects and fungus. That invariably means that they have higher levels of “natural” poisons in their skin and in their flesh.

So those farmers who picked the plants that didn’t need pesticides were picking plants that (to use Ames’ terminology) were surviving by engaging in chemical warfare.

Non-organic foods are grown using pesticides that are extensively tested by the FDA to be non-cancer inducing (or at least minimally so). Moreover, they are on the outside of the skin, not in the meat itself, and so can be washed off easily.

I eat many organic foods because they often taste better; they are frequently grown by farmers who care more about taste than appearance.  I don’t delude myself into thinking that they are healthier.

Bruce Ames, by the way, is the inventor of the “Ames test” — the most widely used method to determine if materials are mutagenic.

His professional publication describing the above is Science, Volume 236, Issue 4799 (Apr 17, 1987), 271-280. 

Nobody disputes his scientific findings, but those who favour organic food often ignore them. They fool themselves into thinking that natural poisons are somehow better than mild human-manufactured pesticides.