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Tomatoes, Organic or Non-Organic!

Tomato

To Be or Not To Be Organic

Is this an Organic Tomato or a Conventionally Grown Tomato? ….I’m gonna wager you can’t tell me. And when I say conventionally grown I mean a tomato that has non-animal fertilizers used on it as well as anything else the purist don’t like, like DNA alteration….although I’m sure none of you home gardening experts do a whole lotta lab work with your strains of tomatoes.

I’ll also wager that you can’t tell me what “Organic ” anything is or where this “Organic” movement….philosophy….culture….or whatever it really is came from and where it has evolved to.

I know…you’re probably saying to yourself, “Good Lord, what’s up with this tomato guy getting all bent out of shape over organic and non-organic….I just came over here to read a nice blog about tomatoes and I get challenged like I’m on Jeopardy or something!” Well, let me explain. It all started with a few inquiries about organic growing of tomatoes and I started wondering what really constitutes a true “Organically grown anything”. So naturally I went to the source…the USDA….and guess what I found? It seems “Organically Grown” stuff is more about the environment than it is about healthy food. You can read all about it at The USDA Organic Act Page .

All this “Organic” stuff started way back in 1942 with some dude named J. I. Rodale…seems there were some folks that wanted to get back to farming the way it used to be before industrialization. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why they wanted to go backwards…..and neither did the USDA. In fact they were pretty much blown off until the late eighties when they made a concerted effort to push for their “Organic” crops. Some bureaucrat decided to lend an ear and the ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT of 1990 was born. If you follow the link above and read the Act you’ll find it’s all about the production of the crop….not the quality of the crop….apparently a superior result is assumed (I’m thinking they should talk to those 31 dead peopleĀ  in Europe about the quality of German “Organic” Bean Sprouts).

OK….now we arrive at the part that says, in conventional wisdom, that organic Farmers don’t use those bad chemicals on their crops…right? WRONG!! Pyrethrin (with the formula C21H28O3) is one of several common toxic chemicals sprayed onto fruit trees by organic farmers (even on the day of harvesting); another allowed chemical is rotenone (C23H22O6), a potent neurotoxin, long used to kill fish, and recently linked to Parkinson’s disease {Betarbet, 2000 #1258}.

How can organic farmers justify the use of these chemical pesticides? The answer comes from the delusion that substances produced by living organisms are not really chemicals. Since pyrethrin is extracted from chrysanthemums and rotenone comes from a native Indian vine, they are deemed organic instead. So next time you bite into one of those outrageously priced Organic Pears you better hope all the chemical residues have been disposed of through some washing process….and the next time someone invites you over for a summer snack including bean sprouts, you better hope they didn’t grow them in un-composted manure.

Alrighty then….I’m all done ranting and railing. I hope I answered those questions sent in and I apologize to those of you who didn’t know you’d be on Jeopardy upon arrival. I guess I’m just a tad cranky from realizing I should have looked this stuff up a long time ago….funny how the advocates of certain mind set can alter their own truth to fit another set of circumstances….like making outrageous money.

Posted Saturday, June 11th, 2011 by by admin, under Heirloom Tomato Varieties, Organic Tomatoes.

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