The Myth of Organic Food


We are manipulated by advertising every day in ways that we don’t know.

Advertisers who want to sell us things clamour for the right to use certain buzz words in their product placement.  And a recent example of this is the use of the term “free range” when speaking about eggs.  The idea is of course that people will support farmers who let their chickens roam free, rather than keeping them up in a battery, and buy their eggs.

Have you ever had three term “free range” defined?

Well, according to the Australian egg board, a farm qualifies as free range if they have up to 20,000 chooks per hectare.  Given that a hectare is 10,000 m², this equates to a density of two chooks per square metre.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know how freely a chook may roam if it can’t go more than half a metre without bumping into another one.

And it’s the same story with “organic” food.

We go into supermarkets and we see ordinary bananas, and then in a packet all by themselves they “organic” bananas.  And these days we even have “organic” butter.

Can anyone tell me what this means?  I honestly have no idea.

You see, all bananas are organic.  By “organic” I am simply referring to its formal chemical definition.  All chemistry is divided into two broad categories – organic and inorganic.  Organic chemistry refers to carbon compounds (the chemistry of living things) and inorganic chemistry refers to metals, salts, and everything else.

Well, bananas are carbohydrates, and by any definition of the term, carbohydrates are organic.

Does “organic” means pesticide free?  Well, then simply say it is “pesticide free” Does it mean that they are grown without the addition of any fertilisers?  If this is indeed the case, I don’t understand why they think that would make them any better – in fact, the opposite is the case.

By the way, most fertilisers are actually made from air, believe it or not, but that’s a story for another day.

So, “organic” bananas and butter are no different from non-– organic bananas and butter (how can a banana de non-organic?).

In fact, I know of a bloke who runs a fruit shop, and when some of his produce is starting to look a bit old, he puts it in a separate tray, doubles the price, and calls them “organic”

So next time you see something advertised as “organic” why don’t you ask the person who is selling it what it means?  I’d be curious to hear some answers.

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