How important is organic to you?


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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby rabbitsib » Mar 12th, '10, 14:39

Organic to me means starvation of thousands, more negative environmental effects and the people misinformed effects of organic foods. I say organic is only for your gardens not for the masses. In the end the placebo effect makes me smile.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby Charles » Mar 12th, '10, 15:18

desdemona1230 wrote:It's pretty important to me. I wish Adagio offered more organic options.


Good news. You'll be seeing a few more organic options in the future. :)
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby desdemona1230 » Mar 12th, '10, 21:09

AdamMY wrote:We don't? I've been doing Gong fu wrong for years!


I suppose I should have just spoken for myself!

Charles wrote:Good news. You'll be seeing a few more organic options in the future. :)


Thanks for the news, Charles! I'm very glad to hear it.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby greenteaindia » Apr 15th, '10, 02:41

LauraW wrote:Organic really has very little impact for me. Honestly, I'd rather see Fair Trade products.
Charles wrote:In short, I believe in the drive for environmental sustainable agricultural practices but am wary of the impact of the certification bureaucracies on small farmers, and believe the rules and regulations still leave a lot of room for improvement.

I can agree with this; sustainable is good, but at what cost to the small farmers? Also (and I know that this isn't the case, I just find it amusing), "organic" just sounds like a ploy - "Oh no, I must get organic food; I wonder what I ate yesterday, since it was apparently inorganic!" What'd they do, make bananas out of copper or iodine?

As per my knowledge, tea plants require spry to disinfect. How to be organic?
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby TeaPeople » Apr 21st, '10, 01:26

As per my knowledge, tea plants require spry to disinfect. How to be organic?


I'm not sure this is true. If tea has been around for 5,000 years or so, and grown for production for almost as many, how could tea require any kind of chemicals? I realize some do use them but that doesn't mean they need to.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby Charles » Apr 21st, '10, 09:18

A couple good questions. All cash crops (tea, coffee, corn, wheat, etc.) have exited for thousands of years in some form. The modern agricultural approaches, designed to maximize output, make use of modern advances in fertilizer, pesticides and genetic modification (cross breeding of plants to yield healthy and hearty strains). You can certainly grow any of these crops without fertilizers or pesticides, but you will get significantly less output.

Tea is no different. Organic tea production has been around for some time. Fertilizers and pesticides are limited to natural versions. There ARE organic pesticides and fertilizers. Rotenone and pyrethrin are two common organic pesticides.

Because natural pesticides and fertilizers are not as effective as their synthetic counterparts, organic production typically results in a 30% to 40% reduction in output (in tea at least).
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby TeaPeople » Apr 22nd, '10, 00:41

Thanks, Charles. Great info to be aware of.

Because natural pesticides and fertilizers are not as effective as their synthetic counterparts, organic production typically results in a 30% to 40% reduction in output (in tea at least).


When you say "effective" you are just talking about output I assume. Since organic is more natural and does not contain anything synthetic I'd think organic would be healthier and you would have less risk of any chemicals entering your body when drinking the tea. Also, with synthetic counterparts, there are negative effects on the soil and nearby land if there is runoff. Sorry to get so detailed here but I just wanted to point out to readers that output isn't the only thing to consider, as you mentoned in your original post in this thread.

Thanks for posting this topic.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby Charles » Apr 22nd, '10, 09:14

I meant effective in regards to accomplishing the purpose of the fertilizer or pesticide.

The truth is that not enough research has been done on organic pesticides to see whether or not the theory that natural is better for you is true. Part of the problem is that, because they are less effective in protecting the plants, organic pesticides are often applied in much greater quantities with grater frequency.

Here are a few excerpts from an article from the University of California at Berkley (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html):
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When you test synthetic chemicals for their ability to cause cancer, you find that about half of them are carcinogenic. Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well...

A recent study compared the effectiveness of a rotenone-pyrethrin mixture versus a synthetic pesticide, imidan. Rotenone and pyrethrin are two common organic pesticides... It was found that up to 7 applications of the rotenone- pyrethrin mixture were required to obtain the level of protection provided by 2 applications of imidan...

It seems unlikely that 7 applications of rotenone and pyrethrin are really better for the environment than 2 applications of imidan, especially when rotenone is extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

It should be noted, however, that we don't know for certain which system is more harmful. This is because we do not look at organic pesticides the same way that we look at conventional pesticides. We don't know how long these organic pesticides persist in the environment, or the full extent of their effects.

When you look at lists of pesticides allowed in organic agriculture, you find warnings such as, "Use with caution. The toxicological effects of [organic pesticide X] are largely unknown," or "Its persistence in the soil is unknown." Again, researchers haven't bothered to study the effects of organic pesticides because it is assumed that "natural" chemicals are automatically safe.

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Clearly more research is needed.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby TeaPeople » Apr 22nd, '10, 11:05

Thanks, Charles. Great info. Thanks for sharing.

Maybe I'll just start growing all of my own tea and food and won't have to worry about what is really happening out there :)
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby TeaPeople » Apr 22nd, '10, 11:29

For those who want to read more about the state of organic tea, please see the recent USDA report: http://www.worldteanews.com/index.php/2 ... Thing.html
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby joelbct » May 8th, '10, 10:14

Charles wrote:I'm curious how important "buying organic" is to you? What percentage of the tea you buy today is organic? Finally, how important is organic to you in other foods you buy? (Meat, cheese, produce, wine, etc.?)


I might drink more Chinese tea if I knew it was pesticide free.

Given China's current track record on concern for export safety, human life and the environment, I'm not sure I have any reason to trust Chinese tea labeled as "organic" either.

I still love many Chinese teas, but I have more peace of mind drinking Japanese and Indian on a daily basis.

As for "organic," I buy organic food wherever practically and economically possible.

I do this for my own health, the health of the planet, and because whether by causation or correlation, organic produce so often tastes better.

I realize there is an expense associated with certification, and I think this is part of the problem.

In an ideal world, a tax on conventional agriculture would go to funding any and all aspects of the organic certification process. Maybe even help fund sustainable agriculture research, etc.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby joelbct » May 8th, '10, 10:25

rabbitsib wrote:Organic to me means starvation of thousands, more negative environmental effects and the people misinformed effects of organic foods. I say organic is only for your gardens not for the masses. In the end the placebo effect makes me smile.


Think of the logic, "we cannot keep doubling our population every 50 years and not destroy the planet, so we better keep doubling our population every 50 years and destroy the planet, killing ourselves in the process."

The idea that organic or sustainable agriculture cannot feed the world is a red herring and Big Agra propaganda that has been parroted for decades. Similar to the twisted logic of oil and coal companies trying to prevent alternative energies.

The trick is to keep the population within limits and our behavior within limits so that our species may live on this planet for millennia to come without destroying the earth and thereby ourselves.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby JCFantasy23 » Sep 25th, '10, 14:45

Organic is of very little importance to me when purchasing a product.
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby rabbit » Sep 25th, '10, 16:13

I like to think that it's important but shamefully I never purchase organic tea. :roll:
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Re: How important is organic to you?

Postby ZeroC » Oct 9th, '10, 20:23

Really it all comes down to danger to humans and the environment. I would rather have someone use a synthetic pesticide that is harmless to humans and animals and the environment in general than a biologic neurotoxin that is classified organic. Same with i rather they use a refined pure phosphorous fertilizer than a naturally mined phosphorous rock that contains radioactive radium but is classified organic. It's all semantics. I rather have safe and sustainable, over bureaucratic "organic". Plus in organic you can use animal parts for fertilizer, blood meal, bone meal, fish emulsion, composted dead chickens and who knows what else and it doesn't need to be labeled any different, so you Vegans beware. :-)

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