OK, let’s review:
HERE’S the link to the first post I wrote in this series laying out the three main players in the contemporary Nutrition Wars.
Now it’s time to share my experience with the last, but definitely not the smallest, Nutrition War partisan group. The Organics. I’ve had some pretty politically incorrect (from a fitness nutrition perspective) things to say about the Paleos and Plant-based only nutrition plans. And I’m going to say some things that will ruffle some fitness feathers about the Organics.
I should take a minute to say that, of the three, I’m probably the most sympathetic to the Organic cause and ideas. I fall in line with them more than I do with the Paleos and Plant-based Only Eaters. However, just like the Paleo and Plant-based Only Eating plans, I have some criticisms.
The idea behind organic eating is sensible. Nobody wants to ingest any amount of pesticides or artificially introduced hormones. That can obviously be dangerous. Where I jump out of line with 99.99999% of the fitness/nutrition industry is when Organics stop educating people and IN THE NAME OF EDUCATING PEOPLE proceed to engage in exaggeration to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression rather than tell them the PLAIN TRUTH.
EXAMPLE: The trainer, nutritionist, or general Organic fanatic (they’re really a form of domestic terrorist) who refers to sugar, high fructose corn syrup, starch, sweets, treats, desserts, dairy or whatever as POISONS AND TOXINS!!!
THE PLAIN TRUTH: A poison is something that when eaten is designed to terminate the organism that eats it. Trace amounts of pesticides and herbicides residual on food products is not good for you. BUT THEY ARE NOT POISON. Rat poison is poison. An Oreo is not.
You know what’s wrong with most Oragnics?
It’s easy to romanticize nature when you don’t have to deal with it. Farming and herding and agriculture is hard work. Go ahead and ask anyone over the age of 80 how easy it was working on the farm. Or better yet, just go try growing your own food and raising your own animals.
What I’m trying to say is that the average Organic proponent hasn’t got a clue how hard it is to produce foods utilizing fertilizers and pesticides. Let alone without them. Here’s some things to think about before you decide to live a subsistence lifestyle or start your own organic farm:
1. You need land – more than you think- to grow food and raise animals.
2. Some of the land you’ll have to clear of grass and weeds because they will compete with your vegetables for the nutrients. This will not be a one time event. Every few days you’ll have to weed again.
3. You’ll need to fence off some area for the animals because they will wonder off. And don’t forget housing them for inclement weather. And having a place to store some kind of feed (hay – organic, of course).
4. Which means you’ll have to fence off your garden because your animals will poop in it, trample it, and eat it before it ripens into anything you can eat.
5. Plan to create some form of natural compost pile so that you will have some kind of fertilizer to put in your garden as nutrients will get drained.
6. Plan on planting several types of crops that ripen at different times.
7. Plan on growing a lot of vegetables so that you’ll have something to eat during the non-growing months (That would be early Spring, late Fall, Winter).
8. Plan on learning how to put up (canning for the non-growing months) your vegetables.
9. Get used to blood. Unless you know a butcher to do your dirty work with your animals. Vegans get a pass on this one.
10. Be prepared to defend your plants from insects and vermin. There are no “All natural” pesticides that are anywhere near as effective as the stuff you want to ban.
11. Familiarize yourself with common molds and fungi that attack vegetables. The “all natural” herbicides are just as ineffective as the “all natural pesticides.”
12. Do not be disappointed when you find that chickens don’t lay uniformly sized and colored eggs. Even the same chicken lays different sized and colored eggs. Also, after a few seasons of laying the only thing that bird is good for is the pot.
13. Likewise, be ready for disappointment when your veggies aren’t uniform in size and color.
14. Be ready because sometimes you just have bad seasons and you’ll get very little return for your efforts. ESPECIALLY WITHOUT THE HELP OF FERTILIZERS, PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES.
15. You better really really enjoy physical labor because you’ll have plenty of it to do. Non stop and probably year round.
16. You better have another job to pay your bills and subsidize your farm because you’re going to need it. More on that later.
Sorry to be the wet blanket on your Organic Com By Ya Campfire, but thems the facts.
Now besides my buddy Bill and his awesome wife Jane being great life long friends they are two of the hardest working folks I’ve known. They have an organic farmer up in Canaan, New Hampshire. Like I said, Bill and Jane are two of the hardest working folks I know. They have to be. Because they don’t make a dime off of their organic farm. They both have to work full time jobs to subsidies their Certified Organic Farm.
Now that’s just Bill and Jane trying to subsist on their Organic Farm. They try to sell their produce at a break even rate, but alas the cost to produce organically is not feasible. They aren’t bad, lazy, or ignorant farmers. They are as good as anyone. They have to personally subsidies their own farm.
You see the predicament that were in. The bulk of the food we find at the grocery store has traces of pesticides, herbicides, and hormones on it and is subsidized by the federal government to keep the costs at a place that we’ve gotten used to paying.
Organic foods are costly because they represent the true cost of producing them. But most folks can’t afford that. And the subsistence/local farmers have to personally subsidize their farms. ALL FARMS ARE SUBSIDIZED. Either by the government or privately.
Knowing all this makes it hard for me to completely buy into the Organics ideas.
Next week: My solution to the Nutrition Wars.