Sunday, 26 December 2010

Morning Scepticism: Organic

Let's say there's something about organic farming that makes for better food. Why can't these processes be isolated and incorporated into other farming processes? Likewise, if there's something harmful about a particular farming process, why can't that be removed or replaced instead of wishing the whole system to go away? This is one of the problems I have with advocates for organic food, it's so often put forward as a false dichotomy between the worst in industrial farming or organic. It's the same with those who seek herbal remedies instead of conventional medicine, if there's actually something in a herb that works then why can't that active ingredient be isolated and incorporated into medicine? It seems its not a clash of efficacy but one of principle, you either accept organic farming practices or you want to poison earth and the people on it with *shudder* chemicals.

1 comment:

Monado, FCD said...

It's always a matter of trade-offs. Plowing is environmentally destructive because it makes erosion easier. Reducing plowing means herbicides to control weeds or a lot of mulching, which probably means more hand-work. Food is cheap because we've squeezed the labour out of it, replacing it with machine work and cheap fuel.