Tuesday, January 09, 2007

But why is nobody asking why?

I’ve read and seen the news story, reported in various quarters, about David Milliband asserting this week that “There is no evidence organic food is better for you than conventional food,” and seen the standard replies from the Soil Association et al, predictably saying well actually they think it probably is..

BUT it seems very strange to me that nobody is asking why our Secretary of State for the Environment has suddenly popped up to share his opinion on this matter, seemingly out of the blue. I didn’t notice a recent clamour of people questioning whether there was any evidence that organic food was better than conventionally grown produce – did you? So isn’t it slightly suspicious that Mr Milliband should decide to try to convince us that there isn’t?

I think so.

If I was a cynical person, I’d be looking out for more bizarre, seemingly random ‘public service’ announcements of this nature in the next few months, quickly followed by yet another public consultation pantomime on the subject of GM foods – courtesy of Her Majesty’s Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - sponsored by Monsanto.

7 Comments:

Tim said...

I think there are two issues.

1) Is organic food better for you, i.e. objectively healthier? As far as I know, no-one has done a twenty or thirty year blind trial with a group fed only organic/fed only non-organic. I could see that, if they did, there may be no discernable health benefit to organic, in fact, bearing in mind the effort non-organic farmers go to control diseases and pests, it is possible that non-organic might even be better for you. (I seem to remember reading somewhere about a widespread outbreak of madness in Central Europe in the Middle Ages which is ascribed to LSD growing in a mould on grain.)

2) Is organic food better? I would say definitely yes, I think it tends to be better in flavour and texture and for my money, that is a good enough reason to prefer it.

I don't know what provoked Milliband to pipe up but the man keeps bad company, so I have no problems doubting his honesty or motives.

But today of all days, following Blair's latest on global warming, I think we should be glad that we live in a country which has some of the world's most expert industrial farmers, because we are going to bloody well need their skills if we are all going to be hope for science and technology to fix global warming.
12:09 AM, January 10, 2007

Tim said...

I think there are two issues.

1) Is organic food better for you, i.e. objectively healthier? As far as I know, no-one has done a twenty or thirty year blind trial with a group fed only organic/fed only non-organic. I could see that, if they did, there may be no discernable health benefit to organic, in fact, bearing in mind the effort non-organic farmers go to control diseases and pests, it is possible that non-organic might even be better for you. (I seem to remember reading somewhere about a widespread outbreak of madness in Central Europe in the Middle Ages which is ascribed to LSD growing in a mould on grain.)

2) Is organic food better? I would say definitely yes, I think it tends to be better in flavour and texture and for my money, that is a good enough reason to prefer it.

I don't know what provoked Milliband to pipe up but the man keeps bad company, so I have no problems doubting his honesty or motives.

But today of all days, following Blair's latest on global warming, I think we should be glad that we live in a country which has some of the world's most expert industrial farmers, because we are going to bloody well need their skills if we are all going to be hope for science and technology to fix global warming.
12:12 AM, January 10, 2007
Tim said...

Why do I keep repeating myself?

I said, why do I keep repeating myself?
1:06 AM, January 10, 2007

Gill said...

LOL, I dunno, but I do know that Blogger is playing up this week. I couldn't post to it for most of yesterday and it was refusing to load much at all last night.

I might, if I get chance, have a comb through the DEFRA site today and see if I can glean more clues as to what was behind Milliband's statement. I must admit, the Monsanto link was just a wild guess. Maybe the pressure came from elsewhere.

Either way, it's sure to be about money and it gets my goat that global big business dictates politics to this extent, then they have the nerve to tax UK people for silly Milliband's huge salary, and all the rest. Never was the 'render unto Caesar' sentiment more necessary.

As for the rights or wrongs of the argument, well personally I'd rather, on balance and given an affordable choice, eat something that's been grown as naturally as possible because I do think it makes a difference. And you can get 'science' to back up whichever argument you want to make, so that wouldn't affect my decision I don't think.

But *if* we're on the brink of an ecological disaster (and I still have my doubts about that which I might blog later) and *if* food around here gets as scarce as threatened, I don't think anyone will care whether they're eating organic or not, as long as they're eating - intensively farmed food being infinitely better than no food at all.

So I can't see Milliband's bizarre statement being based on fears of future food scarcity. Nope, it'll be about the moolah. It's just that the sneaky, devious so&sos don't have the front to tell us that and the journalists are as bad for not asking. I mean, is it just me, or is it the first question that springs to mind? And yet it was totally overlooked by them, cos they've all got their noses in the same trough and they think (maybe rightly) that the dumbed down British public is stupid enough not to wonder why.

Ranty ranty rant.. ;-)
9:49 AM, January 10, 2007

Paula said...

You might like to listen to physicist and environmental activist Vandana Shiva http://www.planetaryvoices.org.uk/reclaiming_our_earth.html
3:56 PM, January 10, 2007

Gill said...

Brilliant, thanks Paula. What a woman. I especially love what she says about water and the enclosure of commons and so many other things. Also globalisation. "Nothing can be produced locally under a globalised economy." And she brings the issues of medicine and agriculture together.. very good listening. "Freedom is the oxygen we humans breathe and I can feel it becoming depleted."
9:25 PM, January 10, 2007
Gill said...

"The most terrorised person in today's world is the American farmer."

Blimey, that's a shock.
9:38 PM, January 10, 2007

7 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

I think there are two issues.

1) Is organic food better for you, i.e. objectively healthier? As far as I know, no-one has done a twenty or thirty year blind trial with a group fed only organic/fed only non-organic. I could see that, if they did, there may be no discernable health benefit to organic, in fact, bearing in mind the effort non-organic farmers go to control diseases and pests, it is possible that non-organic might even be better for you. (I seem to remember reading somewhere about a widespread outbreak of madness in Central Europe in the Middle Ages which is ascribed to LSD growing in a mould on grain.)

2) Is organic food better? I would say definitely yes, I think it tends to be better in flavour and texture and for my money, that is a good enough reason to prefer it.

I don't know what provoked Milliband to pipe up but the man keeps bad company, so I have no problems doubting his honesty or motives.

But today of all days, following Blair's latest on global warming, I think we should be glad that we live in a country which has some of the world's most expert industrial farmers, because we are going to bloody well need their skills if we are all going to be hope for science and technology to fix global warming.

12:09 am, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

I think there are two issues.

1) Is organic food better for you, i.e. objectively healthier? As far as I know, no-one has done a twenty or thirty year blind trial with a group fed only organic/fed only non-organic. I could see that, if they did, there may be no discernable health benefit to organic, in fact, bearing in mind the effort non-organic farmers go to control diseases and pests, it is possible that non-organic might even be better for you. (I seem to remember reading somewhere about a widespread outbreak of madness in Central Europe in the Middle Ages which is ascribed to LSD growing in a mould on grain.)

2) Is organic food better? I would say definitely yes, I think it tends to be better in flavour and texture and for my money, that is a good enough reason to prefer it.

I don't know what provoked Milliband to pipe up but the man keeps bad company, so I have no problems doubting his honesty or motives.

But today of all days, following Blair's latest on global warming, I think we should be glad that we live in a country which has some of the world's most expert industrial farmers, because we are going to bloody well need their skills if we are all going to be hope for science and technology to fix global warming.

12:12 am, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

Why do I keep repeating myself?

I said, why do I keep repeating myself?

1:06 am, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

LOL, I dunno, but I do know that Blogger is playing up this week. I couldn't post to it for most of yesterday and it was refusing to load much at all last night.

I might, if I get chance, have a comb through the DEFRA site today and see if I can glean more clues as to what was behind Milliband's statement. I must admit, the Monsanto link was just a wild guess. Maybe the pressure came from elsewhere.

Either way, it's sure to be about money and it gets my goat that global big business dictates politics to this extent, then they have the nerve to tax UK people for silly Milliband's huge salary, and all the rest. Never was the 'render unto Caesar' sentiment more necessary.

As for the rights or wrongs of the argument, well personally I'd rather, on balance and given an affordable choice, eat something that's been grown as naturally as possible because I do think it makes a difference. And you can get 'science' to back up whichever argument you want to make, so that wouldn't affect my decision I don't think.

But *if* we're on the brink of an ecological disaster (and I still have my doubts about that which I might blog later) and *if* food around here gets as scarce as threatened, I don't think anyone will care whether they're eating organic or not, as long as they're eating - intensively farmed food being infinitely better than no food at all.

So I can't see Milliband's bizarre statement being based on fears of future food scarcity. Nope, it'll be about the moolah. It's just that the sneaky, devious so&sos don't have the front to tell us that and the journalists are as bad for not asking. I mean, is it just me, or is it the first question that springs to mind? And yet it was totally overlooked by them, cos they've all got their noses in the same trough and they think (maybe rightly) that the dumbed down British public is stupid enough not to wonder why.

Ranty ranty rant.. ;-)

9:49 am, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Paula said...

You might like to listen to physicist and environmental activist Vandana Shiva http://www.planetaryvoices.org.uk/reclaiming_our_earth.html

3:56 pm, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Brilliant, thanks Paula. What a woman. I especially love what she says about water and the enclosure of commons and so many other things. Also globalisation. "Nothing can be produced locally under a globalised economy." And she brings the issues of medicine and agriculture together.. very good listening. "Freedom is the oxygen we humans breathe and I can feel it becoming depleted."

9:25 pm, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

"The most terrorised person in today's world is the American farmer."

Blimey, that's a shock.

9:38 pm, January 10, 2007  

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