The Real Value Of Organic Food?

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by Patrick Appel

This is where the organic movement and I part ways:

Organic may or may not produce enough food to feed the world. It may or may not produce healthier food. It may or may not save the environment. Scientists will always grapple with these questions. None of these debates really matters. What matters is that organic does one thing that no other method of food production can claim to do: it works from the premise that nature has an economy all its own, an economy that transcends facts and figures, places nature ahead of short-term profit, and operates according to a logic that cannot be quantified. For those who believe that food should be produced without strict adherence to a balance sheet, comparative studies like the FSA's will mean next to nothing. What we're talking about here is spiritual, not statistical.

Food health, feeding the world's population, and the environment "don't really matter?" My problem with the spiritualization of food is it removes science from agriculture in the same way creationism removes science from evolution. I don't have a problem if you want to have a spiritual experience with your cheeseburger, but please don't pretend that this resolves or makes irrelevant substantive agricultural debates.

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