My Feelings About Organic

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Organic is good as long as you can eliminate all the other toxins in your life which I feel is impossible. The air we breathe is toxic. If you eat meat, was that steak you just had raised on organic grain? Was that beef steer injected with a growth hormone? How about the water you drink? I'm sure you wouldn't think of drinking tap water with all the chemicals added such as chlorine and fluoride to help save your teeth. OK, so it's spring water you purchase as the local grocery market instead. Does that mean that there are no chemicals leeching into the spring through the ground? The plastic bottle that the water came in, does it contain any toxins that could harm you? My point being, some people carry organic to the extreme! Now I'm not saying organic is a bad thing! I guess the best part of it is the fact that you can live organic and die healthy :)
Rich
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On 6/3/10 11:08 PM, EVP MAN wrote:

See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_organic.html . See also my signature below.
--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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On 6/4/2010 11:44 AM, David E. Ross wrote:

I'm an organic chemist and your site makes a lot of sense to me. As a chemist, I know that some of the most dangerous substances known to man are things like botulism, aflatoxin and ricin, that are found in nature and can be considered as organic.
I also spent a few years working on food packaging materials and know that in spite of all the supposed dangers in packaging, people are poisoned by the toxins in the food itself, not the packaging.
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Is urea an artificial substance, or one found in, and produced by organisms, Frank?
Do you think an agronomist would think of malathion as an organic pesticide, Frank, hmmm, do ya, Frank?
I can hardly wait to hear from an "organic chemist". What was you degree? An AA?
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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On 6/4/10 1:58 PM, Billy wrote [in part]:

The urea granules in a sack in my garage are artificial. The urea on my patio -- urine from my tortoise -- is natural. BOTH are organic.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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You didn't make that clarification. You just said it was artificial. The urea that goes on my plants isn't artificial.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 13:38:13 -0400, Frank

Frank,
"Organic" is not the same as an organic molecule with carbon or carbon chains. The gardeners here misuse the word "organic." When "organic" is used in this newsgroup, I think what they really mean is "natural." If a "natural garden" exists it is unknown, untouched, and not seen by man.
True or False: The Gulf oil spill is a massive organic event.
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Urea isn't artificial. Most people excrete it everyday, you may be different.
Then you blend the technical language of chemistry with the common language that most people communicate in. Ever talk to a lawyer and notice that common words suddenly take on a different significance?
Malathion has carbon to carbon bonds, which to a chemist means that it is an organic molecule. Talk to an agronomist, and they'll tell you that it isn't organic, because it doesn't occur naturally. The chemist and the agronomist are talking in two different technical languages, most of us don't speak technically without qualifying the framework in which we speak first.
Organic 3. denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole
--
This definition in your exposition seems to have escaped you, as you
confuse the technical with the common.
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Your usual nitwit response. He's trying to be helpful. Nobody's perfect like you ;)
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In article

I think it is not an issue concerning perfection but and attempt to live with a small impact on the world about. The question becomes why bother if we can do what we please with just adding energy in its many forms. However to a simple observer the energy cost (true cost) may not be sustainable so lowering energy into the equation of calories on a land commons or not matters. If the soil / land provides does it not behove us to try to aid the process ? Cover crops vs 5/10/10 and then there is a little matter of the web of life. Are we a part or just lost raiders . I favor traditional gardening practices and study that but fail often as the web of life can't be digitized. Still the lighting bugs are out in force and tomorrow a trip to Longwood gardens . Going to be hot but on the way home a offer of tea was offered.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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On 6/4/2010 4:30 PM, Bill who putters wrote:

free but the government made them spend more of their endowment and when stock prices went down, they began charging admission. It will be very hot there tomorrow but it's worth it.
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In article

Why do you take so many words to say nothing, Frank. You seem to be running away from my last response to you, so now you want to change the subject? What misinformation do you have for us now, Frank?
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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On 6/4/2010 4:50 PM, Billy wrote:

Who cares? I'm just trying to annoy you. Do you think the world hangs on your posts?
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Juvenile.
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From what I gather from the posts is if you want to go organic and die healthy, just piss on your plants after a few beers and let nature take care of the rest. Organic is a bunch of clowns trying to make tons of money by using the word organic! Eat organic, eat non organic, drink, smoke, bang the cleaning lady every once in awhile, just do your thing and die happy! After all, dying happy is far better than dying healthy! :)
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Frank wrote:

It isn't a nitwit response.
The quibble over urea is quite silly as it is both natural and synthetic.
The synthesis of urea after it had long been regarded as natural was one of the turning points in the change of the meaning of "organic" used by chemists. Once it meant compounds produced by living things, now it means compounds of carbon.
As for the criticism of the page for confusing the neophyte Billy has a better point. It would be better to explicitly explain both meanings of "organic" rather than leaving it at the point of showing that "organic" in the modern chemist's sense is not necessarily natural. Saying that the word can be defined in different ways is less helpful than actually explaining what both of those ways are.
In support of David Ross making the point that "natural" doesn't mean safe (and warm and fuzzy and what grandma used to do) is well worth while in the context of gardening and also when faced with a barrage of products that have been greewashed.
But this will not make one bit of difference as both of you will find something else to throw at each other once this issue has died.
David
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On 6/4/10 11:32 AM, Billy wrote:

The neophytes were already confused. They have long been confusing "organic" with "natural".
The quote from Lewis Carrol's "Through the Looking Glass" at the top of my cited Web page is quite relevant to this discussion:

The last sentence of my first paragraph on that page is equally relevant:

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Jun 3, 11:08pm, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

NOTE: There's an economic factor here, as you no doubt have surmised. Every con artist in the food business labels products "pure", "natural", etc. -- totally meaningless terms. Anything to entice the clueless purchaser.
That's not questioning the bona fides of REAL organic producers, such as the growers who truck their produce into our four weekly farmers' markets. They are very closely supervised and monitored.
Just saying that "organic" is widely misunderstood and probably often misapplied.
A little research into the nomenclature could yield some interesting information! Presumably the below is the gold standard.
National Organic Program www.ams.usda.gov/nop 202-720-3252
Persephone
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2010 02:08:35 -0400, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Did you know that pure water can be toxic? Too much water will kill you and many plants. I am not an "organic" gardener, but given a choice I will try the less toxic method first, sometimes ending up using the method that is most effective. "Organic" products often take longer to work and some folks might not give it a chance. Be careful with any product and follow the directions carefully.
Tap water (in the USA) is safer than bottled water. There is simply less chance of contamination from the tap. I would not have believed people would buy bottled water by the case. The bottling companies are laughing all the way to the bank.
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(EVP MAN)

Organic is a term that is sometimes abused and used for dubious purposes. You can view it as a source of reverence and semi-worship. You can also view it as being a good marketing edge in a commercialised world.
Personally, I see several loose strands running through the term organic. There is sustainability. This involves sustainable systems of growing food so that our land & environment are not degraded to a point where food production is degraded. Our land, water, air etc must at least not deteriorate due to our system of growing food. There is also social sustainability. Growers must receive fair payment and have some options to control their production. Fair trade etc. Food should be viewed as much for its use value as for its exchange value. I'd also tie in things such as eating seasonally and locally.
That is a fairly wide interpretation and covers environmental - social and economic systems.
rob
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