Okay, a quick declaration of interest here; I don’t have an axe to grind one way or the other. I grew up on home grown food. Vegetables from our garden (in season), home reared chickens traded for favours or work done and I must say thrived on it. Some of it was flavourful, rich and much nicer than mass market store bought, but the quality was uneven, and you occasionally had to mind not sinking your teeth into a juicy apple or pear and having to spit out half a mouthful of Codling Moth larvae. Or tuck into a nice fresh green salad to experience the minor horror of half a caterpillar gently writhing on your fork tines. Maybe having to cook the chicken until it was slightly dryer (Or adding butter under the skin to keep the flesh moist) than fashionable to ensure the many bacteria that flourish in domestic fowl do not end up giving you a bad case off the trotsky’s. So yes, I grew up on organic food and know the meaning of the old country saying. “Eat a peck of dirt before you die“? A ‘peck’ being a dry measure of two imperial gallons, or just over 8 litres. That’s a lot of shit to hide in a sandwich.
Yes, but is ‘Organic food’ better? That’s the million dollar question; and my answer is you get what you pay for. Top notch non pesticide tainted grub is very good indeed, but because less of it, proportionally speaking, is fit for market. Pound for pound it costs way more to produce. Which is why ‘organic’ food stores charge like a Rhinoceros with a bad migraine and a psychotic hatred of 4×4’s. Apart from hiking their prices skywards to cash in on the middle class guilt factor.
So when one report says Organic food is no better than more mass produced foodstuffs, buck for buck I’d have to agree. When another report claims that organic food is way better for you than the mass market stuff, I’d have to hang a big “Not so sure” sign on it. Average quality organic, I can tell you from first hand experience, is not better for you, apart from occasionally acting like a vaccination against all the ‘natural’ pests we are heir to. Specifically letting your body get used to toxic bacteria and material in the ‘organic’ foodstuff by exposing you to low level doses like happens with vaccines. It’s all about exercising the immune system. If the foodstuff concerned doesn’t have this slightly icky quality it is most probably no better for you than its mass market equivalent. I derive my proof from the adage; “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Organic food has no more vitamins or mineral content worth writing about, contains no more calories or anything significantly pound for pound, and although the expensive stuff sometimes tastes much nicer (Providing you prepare it right) with major emphasis on ‘sometimes’, you are still paying for a premium product which proportionally speaking takes way more resource in terms of land to grow per unit produced. I won’t say it’s bollocks, but for me, organic food has never lived up to the hype. Even though I grew up on home grown.
As for ‘organic wine’; from the samples I’ve tasted, I’ve rarely been anywhere near even mildly impressed. In fact, if I’m at a function where such beverages are offered, the car keys will magically spring into my pocket, and I will politely demur on the grounds that I do not, under any circumstances, drink and drive. Whether I’d agreed to be the designated driver or not.
Organic meat is a conundrum; but quite frankly you’ll get the same result if you feed, say pigs, windfall apples in a farrowing pen, or let them root for apples in someone’s orchard or after a potato crop has been raised. It’s the feed that gives the flavour, and ‘cardboard’ meat as found in many supermarkets is more down to the quality of feedstuff than whether antibiotics and chemicals were used to ensure the animals were healthy right up to the moment of slaughter. I grew up in the English countryside, and many boyhood hours were spent watching livestock and listening to the farmers who raised them. Amazing what you pick up if you learn to just listen.
I’ve had my doubts about this Organic malarkey for a long time, mainly on the grounds that the overblown claims of health benefits had a phony ring to them. I spent a couple of years in Marketing, so am quite aware of grandiose, even spurious claims are made over any product. So it is with organic foodstuffs.
To conclude; is organic food orgasmic? Well, I hate to say this, but not so’s you’d notice.