Response to British FSA study conclusions

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By “Butch” West

A recent study by the British Food Standards (FSA) agency says that the nutritional benefits of Organic produce is minimal.  Calling the 2.5% benefit of organic produce over conventionally grown produce “minimal” makes sense.  But that’s about the only “minimal” difference according to the British Soil Association, who reviewed the FSA’s report.  Is the 53.6% increase in Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A) in organics “minimal”?  I don’t think so.  Most the results were in between these extremes according to a short list presented by the British Soil Association [2nd link on the right].

Apparently, the FSA also ignored most of the reports it reviewed to come to its conclusion, and ignored a recent study in the European Union.

But in addition to that minimal differences can make a difference.  In construction, a whole lot of difference can be made if a cut is off by as much as 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch or less.  If the cut is too short, your gap is too big, if the cut is too little, you have to either force the board or cut it again, and forcing a board into place could make it too tight.

Another example of a small difference making a difference is eyesight.  I took an eye exam twice, once each at different locations, which came to the same conclusion; I am borderline to pass the eye exam for my drivers license.  I could see most things just fine, with a blur or seeing double in here and there, until, I got my glasses.  Those glasses made a difference.  A small step made things clearer to my eyes.  As far as my reading goes, the print didn’t change size; it just looks a little bigger to me, because I can see it clearer now.  So, the difference between wearing glasses, and not wearing glasses makes a difference.

Even so, in organic farming, a small increase in a nutrient can reduce the number of a particular produce we need to eat, because we are getting more nutrition from it.  For example, if we need 34 grams of a nutrient, an organic product has 18 grams of that nutrient, and a non-organic one has 12 grams of the same nutrient, the difference is somewhat minimal, but 2 of the organic product will give you the same amount of nutrient as 3 of the non-organic one.  That small difference is actually 33+% more than the non-organic one; In other words, minimal differences can make a difference.

In addition, the organic method of farming, gardening, and or lawn care, avoids the possibility of dangerous chemicals leeching into the waterways and us consuming them.  It avoids putting dangerous chemicals in our bodies.

I personally consider organic gardening as gardening God’s way.  He doesn’t want us to worship the earth, but we are stewards, it belongs to him [Psalm  24:1], and He gave us dominion over the earth.  So, let’s garden God’s way.  Organically.

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