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Old 08-18-2011, 05:49 PM   #31
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Timothy -

I sure don't consider it "spam" - this place is a group of people - and pretty much everyone has specialized knowledge about something. 'expertise' is a good thing to have hanging around. you will need to learn when to 'stifle thyself' - as per the recent discussion than botulism isn't really anything to worry about because it's rare and it only kills the infants. mebets "mothers" have a differing opinion.

but I have a few questions on your post:

>>Pesticides are ON produce, not IN it.
once thought to be true, but is no longer true. systemic insecticides - and others - are absorbed by plants and are found in the bits humans eat. just because a plant can't utilize that specific molecule does not mean it cannot be 'absorbed' into the plant.

which is a different issue from the inability to wash every molecule of a surface contaminate from the product - the 'residual' bit....

>>the FDA regulates / requires x nutrients per pound
I'd be very interesting in your sharing the source of those specifications.

the "quality" of processed/packaged/whatever foodstuff purchased by Federal entities is indeed regulated - as is a lot of other prepared foodstuffs ala the 'enriched/fortified with' stuff on bread, etc. - but that the "plant in the field must . . . " - that's a new one - or perhaps a mis-communication.

but I have never seen or heard of any government regulation that says any broccoli plant sold into interstate commerce (their only jurisdiction) must produce heads with xyz nutrients per pound. like dude, Burpee has a major issue here . . .

I would completely agree that the commercialization of "organic" has created widespread consumer confusion and, in cases, "regulation fostered" fraud. and, as a decades vintage old 'organic gardener' I would also opine that real 'organic' growing does not scale up well/reasonably to thousand acre fields so good.

there is a portion of "organic gardening" that deals with "sustainability" - dumping tons/acre of oil/gas generated nitrogen 'fertilizers' ain't exactly sustainable.

>>remember that even organic soil can be adjusted to a not-so-good level of microbial activity,
there's not a living actual / real organic farmer / gardener that would do any such "adjusting" or "limiting"
mega-agra? yeah, no problem - if it meets the letter of the law, the rest is not important - that's engraved on the MBA papers.

oh & btw - there is a subset of hydroponic types pursuing "organic" (water borne) nutrient products/systems/approaches/whatever.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #32
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Hello dcSaute,

Well, my specialization is in hydroponics, not pesticides, so I have to admit a lacking in knowledge of systemic pesticides. Frankly, the idea of them gags me anyway.

In greenhouse or "inside" gardening, pest control is moot anyway. That's one of the largest benefits of hydroponic gardening for families. No pesticides what-so-ever are needed.

There are literally millions of lines of federal regulations and guidelines, standards and laws that cover food quality. I'm not going to argue any of them with you.

The application and types of fertilizers are absolutely regulated by the FDA. I don't think anyone would argue that. If anyone, including you, wishes to wade through the millions of lines of ongoing legal battles and regulations, more power to them. I won't be joining you.

The 400 vs 4000 IU of vitamin A that I referred to was a stat included in some of the research I've read. It's referred to by Dr. Howard Resh in his book "Hydroponic Food Production". He probably gave references for it also, but I really don't feel like looking them up. You can either take my word for it or not, as can anyone else. I'm not debating the issue.

As I've said, it really has nothing to do with the point I was making. That point being that both Organic and Hydroponic gardening are safer and more controllable than that farming which doesn't fall withing those two methods.

The nutrient content of veggies grown hydroponically, when the applied fertilizers are used at a rate equal to the individual plants abilities to absorb those nutrients, is maximized and far exceeds anything which has been grown with lesser nutrients which includes almost all the produce grown in the world today.

Organic methods must be totally maximized to reach that level. As you said, in small scale gardens, that can be done by a grower fully knowledgeable in organic gardening.

Lastly, when I said "remember that even organic soil can be adjusted to a not-so-good level of microbial activity", I was referring to the people who don't fully understand how to use organic methods to their maximum, soil microbial activity isn't maximized and plant available nutrients maximized. There are a bunch of that type of person. I've met a bunch of them. They "talk the talk" but don't really "walk the walk".

I have no doubt that if wide scale commercial organic farming were used, there would be "cheaters" who also don't "walk the walk".

When income becomes involved in raising food crops, there will always be those who want more income for doing less. Within the scope of our subject, this is true for non-organic, organic and hydroponic growers equally. It's a matter of greed.

Organic hydroponic nutrients, IMO, are nonsense. The idea itself is silly, but there will always be those who try anything. Yes, I'm aware of some of the data on the efforts.

Thanks for joining in!
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #33
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Cheap food... Where?? Food is higher now than at any other time...in my life anyway. ~~ All the "talk" is/driving up prices...Check the prices on Corn & Soybeans....
I get what he is saying. I would bet that the average US citizen spends a smaller percent of their income on groceries than just about anywhere in the world.

Even though we think food is expensive here, it is only because the food has been cheap for a long time, because of government subsidies. Go to another country and you will see much higher prices.

In Mexico the average retail worker makes $8-10 per day. While in a WalMart there, I noticed that a bottle of vegetable oil was around $4, a brick of cream cheese was around $2. Prices are the same or more there, but incomes are much lower.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:47 AM   #34
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And adding to bakechefs point, if you shop at a locally grown market and get to know a decent butcher in your town, (and yes, butchers exist even in larger cities,) you can get amazing deals on surprisingly good fresh foods.

There's really no way to justify calling the cost of food here in North America high.

Unless you're buying processed foods.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:21 AM   #35
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... in 1930, the average American spent 24.2% of their disposable income on food. Today it's about 10%.
I do not know about 1930, but I do know that today I spend at least two times more than 3 years ago.

Reminds me of the soviet union, they always used to compare date to 1913. Who cares.
You cannot compare apple and oranges. What is the difference hom much money people spend on food in Mexico. I compare money I spend today to money I spend 3 years ago. Evrything went up a lot, and I mean a lot.

But this is totally off topic. We were talking about orgasnic food.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #36
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We were talking about orgasnic food.
Ogasmic food? I want somma that! Ok, back the truck up over here....yep, that's good...put it all in the pantry!

I here ya Charlie. Same here. In the last 3-5 years, my grocery bills have become one of the highest I've ever paid in my life. Way more of my income than just a few years ago. Veggies especially.

Next year, I'll have my greenhouse built and will grow almost all of my own veggies all year.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:05 PM   #37
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I've never been what you'd call a "tree hugger" or anything like that, but I have definitely jumped on the healthy eating bandwagon. There's certainly nothing wrong with making profit and I don't begrudge anyone from doing it. Furthermore, I don't believe that large agribusinesses are out to intentionally make us sick. That would be kind of a stupid business plan. But I do believe that new technologies, GMOs, herbicides, fungicides, etc are often too quickly given a green light before the proper research has been done. It's all in the name of producing a lot of cheap food for the masses. And many of the employees of big agribusiness have the ear of big government. When those two entities get together, it's a lose-lose situation.

I honestly feel that with food, like anything else, you get what you pay for. Happy Meals are certainly cheap, but they are also devoid of nutrients and, long term, come with a high price to your health. Many of the chronic illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes could likely be avoided by simply investing more in better quality food.

I try to shop at farm markets whenever possible. Where else can you look the grower in the eye and ask questions about your food? I also shop at co-op markets that I trust, preferably local co-ops and not the national chains. In addition, I have become an avid label reader. I try to buy foods that are minimally processed and contain only pronounceable ingredients. I have also become a fan of grass-fed beef and free range chickens. We always used to eat that kind of meat when I was a kid. I guess like a lot of Americans, I had forgotten how good it can taste. I haven't done the CSA thing yet, but am considering it for next year.

In the words of Michael Pollan, "Eat [real] food. Not a lot. Mostly plants." Words to live by.
I could have written this post myself. I eat much better, and as natural as I can manage. I really try to stay away from processed foods, especially ones with a long list of ingredients, that aren't food!
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:25 AM   #38
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I care about the soil in my garden, I care about the veg and flowers I grow. I care about how farmers grow veg etc and the husbandry of their animal, I care about the effect we all have on the world, my dog max has a carbon footprint the same size as a truck I try hard to offset it.
We are trying to stop the genetically modified corn seed coming to the UK that was developed in the US for the bio fuel industry.
I am ashamed of Thatcher and the government of the time for loosening the rules on animal feed manufacture that gave the world mad cow.
Call me a tree huger if you want.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #39
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Man, sorry to say, but England today can barely take care propar care of people, how can they take care of soil.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #40
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Man, sorry to say, but England today can barely take care propar care of people, how can they take care of soil.
Well, you can have good results on the soil with rakes and hoes, but try to use them on people!
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