“The edibility of GMOs is a very interesting point. The very idea of a food being edible is really quite a simple one--a food is edible if you are better off eating it than starving. But that doesn't mean GMOs are a good idea.
Both human health and the biosphere are jeopardized by the bugs and diseases which adapt to GM'ed crops. And this is already happening. Even testing GM'ed crops is a danger to the environment, and government oversight is woeful thanks to the powerful big food lobby.
This renders your comment -- much like the Stanford study in question here -- unfortunately beside the point.”
Gary Sandahl on Sep 10, 2012 at 17:28:06
“Bugs and diseases do adapt to GM crops, that is simply evolution. They have also adapted (in 2 separate ways!) to CROP ROTATION in corn rootworms. One variant has evolved to lay it's eggs in soybean fields expecting corn next year and the other has developed a 2 year diapause- the eggs simply don't hatch until exposed to 2 winters and corn has been planted again. And yes, weeds are developing resistance to herbicides but we still have 20 years of 4 fewer trips of tractors through the fields in endless cultivation cycles for weed control and all the CO2 released thereby. And all the 'superweeds' evolved naturally- no release of transgenes is causing it. Just because insects evolve around crop rotation, doesn't mean we shouldn't use it. Just be smarter and adapt as well.
It is beside the point for you sadly because you are not looking the data and thinking about it. Listen to your argument in the second paragraph. It starts with your conclusion, it doesn't build up to it from facts. A classic error in the study of Logic. It is like the accusation, 'so when did you stop beating your wife?'. When you start with the answer you already hold dear, you aren't looking at data.”
TwoZeroOZ on Sep 10, 2012 at 12:38:53
“As per usual, no links to support such wild claims....”
“Ah, when you wrote "herbicide" I read it as pesticide. Of course an organic farmer would never use an herbicide. Sorry for the confusion.
I'm pleased to meet a farmer! I meant my comment about credentials exactly as I wrote it--that your comments would be more interesting if we knew who you were. I'm a writer and an agrijournalist who interviews farmers all the time. Most of the ones I've met are very encouraging about their organic efficiency.
“Hmm... in one comment you say that approved-for-organic chemicals are damaging, and in another you mention that "organic farmers cannot use herbicides...so they rely on tillage." How can both be true?
Your comments would read more forcefully if they were accompanied by credentials.”
Gary Sandahl on Sep 10, 2012 at 17:48:31
“Credentials? Um. What are yours?”
HazelPethigFan on Sep 7, 2012 at 19:19:54
“the chemical pesticides used on organic farms are insecticides and fungicides. there are no organic herbicides approved for use. therefore to get rid of weeds on organic farms there is a huge reliance on tillage, fuel and labor. the increased tilling makes the soil on organic farms very prone to erosion. my credentials??. i am a farmer with an MSdegree in an ag science. and your credentials are what exactly?”
“It very much depends on the crop. There are some lettuces which are "super tilled" to control weeds, and there you may have a point. But an organic orchard would use no more fuel than a conventional, and maybe less. An organic dairy--no more fuel. Organic strawberries--no extra fuel.”
TwoZeroOZ on Sep 6, 2012 at 15:08:37
“Spoilage and waste differences between organic vs conventional results in organic produce having a higher carbon footprint.”
“Reading the comments, I notice that many readers make a point here that I missed in my original post, and that's the concept of, as economists put it: external costs.
People love to say that integrated pest management and organic food is more expensive, but often the true costs of it are being pushed (sometimes literally) downstream. If hospitals are spending lots of money fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria, we can thank the prophylactic use of antibiotics in conventional meat. Just because the cost isn't on the supermarket sticker doesn't mean it isn't real.”
BluebirdofUnhappiness on Sep 5, 2012 at 19:52:37
“Antibiotic resistance is not just an effect of antibiotics in meat, tho it certainly is a contributing factor. All antibiotic misuse is.”
HazelPethigFan on Sep 5, 2012 at 19:14:26
“and the result of increased fuel use on organic farms versus energy efficient farms using GMO results in more pollution and global warming from organic.
so yes you are right, we must look at all external costs”
JstDarla on Sep 5, 2012 at 18:42:14
“Quit eating red meats 10 years ago and went to just range free chicken or turkey when I feel I need meat. I couldn't understand my health at that time with many allergies and muscle problems. After finding out hormones, antibiotics and pesticides were on my allergy list causing these problems from what I was eating. After eating right all those problems went away. I garden, eat organic on most things and shop my local fresh markets. I know organic makes a difference. Thank you for your article, hope more listen and start showing big agra they need to stop they are killing this beautiful planet.”
“Hang in there!
There are many who still believe that monoculture is the only way to avoid planetary starvation. But only in the short run has monoculture shown to be more efficient. Time will (unfortunately) demonstrate that monoculture, and the chemicals and modifications necessary for its use are not efficient in the long term. Punctured tractor tires from GMO grain stalks are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The pendulum has begun to shift back towards more sensible decision making, and it will continue to do so.”
jonoruf on Sep 6, 2012 at 00:11:33
“The issue that needs to be discussed is the fact that meat production, particularly beef, is the second leading emitter of greenhouse gases.
Billions of people have the ability to vastly reduce their meat consumption.
“Yes! Especially since science has done such a bang up job of telling us what is healthy. From the beginning of my adulthood until now, nutrition journalism has flip-flopped more times than a politician. First it was "fat free" and then "carb free" and now we've landed somewhere less certain, just as we all weigh quite a bit more.
When we teach our children to cook to sustain themselves, we'll be far ahead of science.”
“Absolutely. But I'd frame it a different way. Your local Whole Foods is not in imminent danger of disappearing, threatening your access to kale on non-farmers-market days. But brick-and-mortar bookstores are, in fact, threatened.
B&N used to be the "big bad" enemy, but they're not anymore. They provide plenty of shelf space for new authors. The king is (nearly) dead. Long live the king.”
“I hear you! Stock is one of the safest things to cool because it has a high specific heat, and you probably aren't going to dip a lot of serving spoons into it as it cools. The dishes most likely to create a problem are, say, a lasagna as part of a buffet. If the food is handled by many, that's where the troubles arise.
The only time I've worked to cool stock is when it's late at night, and I need it to cool enough so that I can turn in for the night. I've put pots of stock outside in the snow to get them down to room temperature. So far no raccoon has discovered them...”
“Ah! This is a good question, with a nerdy answer.
Bacteria won't grow in your food when that food is hot or cold--it's those middle temperatures where bacteria thrive. Room temperature is the danger zone.
The food in the warm dish that you're trying to cool is indifferent to cooling slowly or quickly. In fact, for a dish which has had multiple serving spoons dipped into it, quickly is safer. HOWEVER, the rest of the food in your refrigerator is not indifferent. The risk of putting that hot dish into the fridge is that it will warm up the surrounding items. If you're destabilizing your other chilled foods for an hour with a steaming hot pot in their midst, that could be dangerous.
And that's why the advice out there is vague. Because it's a bit complicated. The advice to cool to room temp. first is meant to help save the entire contents of your fridge, and not just the dish you're cooling.”
jefke on Aug 5, 2012 at 17:25:00
“The bacteria have to get to your food to be able to multiply. If you don't own a restaurant, you really don't have to worry too much about contamination. Just let the food cool outside your fridge and then put it in the fridge. I have been cooking meals three times or more per day for decades and have never been sick from leftovers. I make stock every week to make soup. There's all this alarmist literature about cooling the stock immediately with ice water or horrible maladies will fell you. Nonsense! Ijust let it cool to lukewarm (so right through the very dangerous middle temps) on the kitchen counter and then I put it in the fridge. Never a problem. Just use common sense and don't contaminate the food.”
hp blogger Penny Will on Aug 5, 2012 at 11:55:50
“Excellent to know. I've always wondered why there was conflicting advice about this and your answer was nice and clear.”
“True! But frequent stirring is the same. Microwaves don't really have multiple powers. At lower powers, they merely cycle off for some portion of the cooking time. It isn't very high tech, but it works.”
“I love this! Yes, some of us who had terrible breast feeding problems got the worst deal ever--suffering in pain for weeks, while even your own husband starts to think you're a masochist, then feeding formula and feeling terrible about it. Good times!”
“That's good news for conservation. But when I visited the Ueno Zoo some years ago, the Panda enclosure was small, dank and depressing. If I were a Panda, I might not often start a family there, either.”
“This is every writer's dilemma, isn't it? In my opinion, the book itself trumps platform. Unless you're a household name, a publisher would rather have a solid hook / premise than a wishy-washy book and a solid platform.
In the diet/cookbook category, you can often sell a book on proposal. So maybe you don't need to finish it yet?”
LisaTener on Jul 2, 2012 at 16:10:52
“Great point. You can't expect your platform to sell a lousy book, or even a mediocre one--unless you're a celebrity everyone wants to read about! Even then, you'll do better with great writing. Get support to make the writing compelling, if you need that.”