Horse Manure

by Jennifer Iannolo

It seems I’m not the only one with food snobbery on the brain this week. Julie Powell of the Julie/Julia Project published a very well-written Op-Ed for today’s New York Times on organic evangelism (registration required).

I like the message she is sending: Organic foods have shifted from a potentially healthier alternative to a food category that somehow implies a moral link. In other words, don’t you dare feed your children ordinary supermarket vegetables, lest you be labeled an uncaring, evil parent.

To be frank, the more I read about the inherent dangers in organic food, the more I see that there is hype to be found in everything. Since the “Organic Movement” has taken off, we can now see overpriced vegetables in supermarkets everywhere, many of which could be contaminated with all sorts of fun things. After all, manure, though completely natural, is a gold mine for disease.

Do organic foods taste better?  Sometimes. But I typically do not notice a difference. In any case, if I am going to do something positive for my community, I would rather support a local farmer with my dollars, whether his vegetables are organic or not.  They just need to taste good.

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