Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In Which I Get Smug

I try not to be a language Nazi. The meaning of words change over time based on their usage, so I try not to be pedantic about such things. But one pet peeve always sticks in my craw, which is the labeling of "organic" food.

The reason is simple. "Organic" is just a descriptive term that means "contains carbon." Unless I've missed an amazing scientific discovery in the past few decades, every living thing on the planet - people, cows, vegetables - contain carbon and are thus, "organic." I'm not even sure you can buy inorganic food, tho' I wouldn't want to look too closely at the contents of a Twinkie. Regardless, the use of "organic" as a label for food grown in certain ways and pitted against other foods of the same type rankles.

Which is why this story from the BBC made me smirk a little bit:

Organic food is no healthier than ordinary food, a large independent review has concluded.

There is little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce, UK researchers found.
Of course, purveyors of "organic" goodies take issue with the conclusion. I've got nothing against people spending more of their own money for equally healthy food - it's their dime, after all. I just wish they wouldn't have such a religious zeal about it.

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