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Photo 2014 copyright by Rochelle Lesser.
Boy was I taken back by a recently published article at Slate, "Organic Shmorganic", written by Melinda Wenner Moyer. Of course, why should I be surprised? No one wants to do the research and present all the facts. Just more journamalism.

But, what a great teaching moment for me since I run a foundation that funds research in comparative oncology (aids both people & companion animals) and cancer treatment for working dogs. I am all about health, of course, and constantly on the lookout for ways to educate.

The school psychologist in me knows that it is those irresistible photos of kittehs and puppies that draws folks in, so come past the orange doodad and meet my new Golden pupper sweetie, named for angel Gabriel, but really a devil in disguise. I just used this cutie to get my point across, posting the following to mine and my foundation's Facebook page.

My Gabriel is so predictable. He has way too much to say when he is hungry or over-tired and cranky ... just like a baby. That is when the bitey behavior comes out, the paper shredding, the attempted soft crate & cushioned mat destruction. Then he gets relegated to the metal crate with a bully stick & antler ... and nothing that can easily be destroyed. Yet, first a handful of tiny treats are thrown in so that he still thinks the crate is the cat's meow. It was just definitely one of "those" mornings lol.

I get the most wonderful behavior, though, whenever food is involved ... which has the bonus of making training so much fun. At mealtime, his West Coast Canine Life muffins (whole food home baked diet) are cut up into cubes and are used to work on fast recalls, sit, down, stay, wait, and for fun, give paw. For variety, I have bonus dessert sessions with some unique treats that I make as fun Hors d'oeuvres. It sure makes me feel good to provide The Kid with healthy, raw, grain-free, nutricious whole foods as treats.

My latest fun Hors d'oeuvres:
1. I buy organic strawberries for myself but cut off the top 1/3 of them which includes the greens to use for Gabriel. I cut them into smaller pieces and they are fabulous as treats.
2. I take a stalk of organic celery and spread either a little organic creamy peanut butter (peanuts only for ingredients) or mild creamy goat cheese (merely goat cheese as ingredient). According to Suzi Beber, goat cheese is so much easier on the digestive system (for both us and our dogs). Amazing how many treats you can make from one stalk of celery lol.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I use organic whenever I am dealing with the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen Plus", and yet am pleased that sometimes it is okay to go with conventionally grown produce, seen in the "Clean Fifteen". You can learn more about the Environmental Working Group's research here.

It was disturbing recently when I read an article online that claimed that there wasn't any discernable difference between organic and conventional foods (titled "Organic Shmorganic").

Are these pesticides harmful to your kids? As any toxicologist will tell you, it’s the dose that makes the poison. In other words, just because both conventional and organic produce are sometimes laced with pesticides doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing anyone any harm.
But, the Environmental Working Group was right on it, providing this excellent response.
Moyer featured EWG’s “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” in her Slate piece, including critiques of it by pesticide industry consultants, but she didn’t bother to ask us for our take on the issue, or to speak to any scientists who do have serious concerns about the risks pesticides can pose to children.

In light of her omissions, mistakes and general lack of curiosity, Melinda Wenner Moyer’s article has to be seen for what it is – a cautionary example of a writer who dove headlong into an important and complicated subject without much effort to gather all the facts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)


    In order to be walked on, you have to be lying down. Brian Weir

    by schoolpsyc on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:28:05 AM PST

  •  Well, at some point (7+ / 0-)

    we are going to have to transcend the arguments about whether organic is as "good" for us as conventional produce.

    Reality is, stopping the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides on farms is "good" for water, habitat, animals and the entire global eco-system upon which we are all dependent.

    I don't know why that is not more widely discussed.  We are literally polluting ourselves to death and all we can think about is whether the cost of greens justifies buying USDA Organic.

    Thanks for this post.  Good on ya.

    Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

    by Mi Corazon on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:45:43 AM PST

    •  Thanks for noticing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, RiveroftheWest

      since I always wonder if I will have a chance to get folks interested in reading one of my diaries.

      I shudder to think what the world will look like in centuries to come. There will be no coastal regions, the climate will be dangerous ALL the time, and probably much of what we enjoy today will be too contaminated to eat.


      In order to be walked on, you have to be lying down. Brian Weir

      by schoolpsyc on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:49:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet puppy and Dirty Dozen (3+ / 0-)

    He really is a cutie! I've heard that dogs can detect cancer in a patient by smelling their breath. Could Gaby learn to do this?

    I'm really on a tight budget, so I only buy strawberries when they're on sale and not organic ones.  So I soak them in a solution of Veggie Wash and water.  They seem a lot cleaner this way, do you think this is an effective way to make them safer? I also use this on grapes, apples, etc.

  •  Umm...yeah. (2+ / 0-)

    It's just about impossible to determine whether a bit of produce was raised organically or not, just looking at analysis. This may be offensive, but it's true.

    The nutritional content of "organic" and conventional foodstuffs is identical. This is established and replicated fact.

    The pesticide issue is a little less clear, mostly because we don't have any #'s on 5 of exposures that come from ingested food, opposed to % that's environmental. Obviously an organic diet isn't going to reduce pesticide exposure from mosquito spraying, and a complete conversion to organic farming isn't going to reduce groundwater contamination from the same source.

    I've been through the process of getting a farm certified organic, I know the OMRI standards, and I don't bother buying "organic"- because I know that the label doesn't mean anything.

    Read the actual Rule sometime- there are holes that you can, and many many people have, drive a truck through.

    The "Organic" label, in the US, is a marketing thing, nothing more.

    •  Unfortunately, that's true. The organic farm (0+ / 0-)

      that my family is starting follows the rules, but the official standards are so meaningless now that trying to qualify for the "organic" label is meaningless.

      Instead, we sell locally, get to know the customers and invite people to visit and see the growing operations for themselves. That means more, for now, than any label does.

  •  well, that's the thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    we don't have the equivalent of a jenny mccarthy to link pesticides to, say, autism (is there any suspicion of a link?) -- but in a world where Faux Noise makes the rules, don't we need one?

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:07:04 PM PST

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