Saturday, December 16, 2006

NY Times and Organic Agriculture

Two articles in the Times today seem to me to be relevant to the organic agriculture debate: one describes the effects of iodine deficiency; the other describes how vodka sellers are getting $60 per bottle by packaging it in bottles that look like perfume. How do they relate:
  • there's a fervency of belief in organic agriculture that can lead to mythology. The iodine article reminds us that just because we eat foods from nature doesn't mean that they're sufficient for our nutrition. We need to add iodine to our diet in most parts of the world because the food doesn't contain enough for mental development.
  • some of the marketing of organic food (full disclosure, I own stock in Whole Foods) is the developing of tastes that have nothing to do with good nutrition or even with good taste. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Vodka is just another example of it. Farmers in developed countries should push this all they can, as the vineyards have. Most of us could care less about wine tasting, but we spend more money for the higher priced bottle for special occasions anyway.

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