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Jay MackDougal

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Organic Farming vs. Conventional Farming: Why do you favour one over the other?

I have a background in commercial agriculture - namely tree fruits, and more recentley vegetables and berries - and now work in pesticide research and integrated pest management programs. I'd like to know what people think of the organic vs conventional farming debate - this means what you believe the word "organic farming" entails, what you think the problems with either system are, what your opinions on pesticides are (organic and synthetic), and if you have ever heard of Integrated Pest Management (IPM for short). If you feel comfortable, I'd like to know if you have an agricultural background or not when you are sharing your opinions - this way we might be able to see where any divides might occur. I'd like to limit this to a debate/conversation that does not include GMOs (although I'm sure it'll come up, as it always seems to find a way into these sorts of conversations), as that is an entirely different topic. Let's hear some passion! But try not to attack others opinions, let's use this as a learning platform as it is meant to be!

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  • Feb 29 2012: [continued]

    The certification rating would change on a yearly basis as new research is applied, that way it is always the newest, best practises.

    I realize this will cost more to the grower, which is why people must be willing to pay a little bit more. But if they are willing to pay a little more for a stamp that says it's the best practices available and is following the standards set for by that certification, then I believe growers will do it. This is not a jab at you Daniel, but I know the money is why a lot of organic growers that I know made the switch.

    Thoughts? This is the jist of it, but I have more on the go for it... I have talked with one member of the BCFGA about it and she liked the idea, however I don't know if it'll ever be possible to actually pull off.
    • Feb 29 2012: Roundup has many other ingredients than just glycophospate. I don't know any organic farmers who grow soy, corn, wheat, or anything like that. Maybe we need conventional methods to feed the overpopulated world but i don't really care because organic products are not for everyone and organic farmers are not trying to take over the world like monsanto. Although surprised, I was not overly impressed with that scientific article. The article was too specific and not comparative and whenever a scientific article is titled with words like ''may'', they have not come to any conclusions but rather making suggestions. When you claim that organic farming permits harmful chemicals, you are misrepresenting the honest, hardworking, majority of small farmers that want to keep small farms alive and who choose not to suck the c*ck of big chemical corporations. I just read about IPM projects being more environmentally focused and you may be doing a good thing. The apple guy said that organic apples can be worse for the health and i cant figure that one out. Lester is curious about my character, well i actually don't use soap on when cleaning my house or in the dishwasher or washing machine. My cloth and dishes wash very well in just hot water, and hot water is fine for mopping floors as well. I use eco friendly soap in the shower and for my hands. I do however drive a nice car, wear generic cloth and always carry my glock19 pistol since washington allows concealed pistol licenses. I smoke stuff that is apparently semi-organic. Im 26 years old and I believe in good old fashion silver dollars and hard work that we should not hand over to mexicans or supplement with chemical herbicides just to save a buck on a cheeseburger or pound of strawberries.
    • Feb 29 2012: Like i said, i don't go around promoting organic Lester. I haven't even told a single one of my friends about how i think organic is better because they are just not interested, and i have many friends. I just tell my family that local is better. Sure i go out to eat at normal restaurants when i am with friends, so i guess i should have said i consume about 95% organic total. When people ask me about this farm i recently bought, i just simply call it a farm and im a farmer now. I am hardly ever engaged in this topic because most people don't care or are already convinced. Organic food products probably cater to only 5% of the market depending on where you live. There are many reasons people choose organic. Some for health reasons, some for the environment, some to support local family farms, some know about how unethical corporate farming is, some don't like animal factory farms, some don't like gm crops, etc.. Generally speaking, all of these are true and very good reasons. The other reason i don't like the focus of your argument Jesse is that i am familiar with 50 or so organic farms and i have never heard of these pesticides you claim that organic farmers use. I didn't know pesticides were allowed at all. Your statements misrepresents the vast majority of organic farms. Its more about supporting the principal, idea, and concept that organic is better and should be 100% natural. Its important to have the choice and empower the consumer with the freedom of choosing. I simply prefer organic mostly because i did some research and found that most experts/scientists agree its healthier and better for everything. Hopefully conventional methods improve and corporations like monsanto become more ethical and stop giving caring conventional farmers a bad name. The thing is that you presented a broad question about the general pros and cons and which one is ultimately better, then state you prefer conventional and gave few reasons. Other credible reasons had not been mention
    • Feb 29 2012: Sure Jesse, i agree with you that organic certification should truly mean organic and not allow chemicals. That is hardly a reason to say you prefer conventional over organic. Your argument against organic is based on what an expert would call a 'red herring' argument, which you would have learned in logic 101 like i did. A 'red herring' argument is a very weak argument. You keep drifting away and distracting us from the most important points of the entire issue, and draw a conclusion from faulty reasoning. I expect more from a Canadian bcause you cant use the dumb American excuse a? lol! Educate yourself

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_%28fallacy%29
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faulty_generalization
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_fallacy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoratio_elenchi
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring
      • Feb 29 2012: Daniel, that was an afterthought. Please actually go down and read the replys I posted in response to all that and the three studies you suppled. Instead of assuming I'm trying to trick you, take that for what it was. An afterthought that I thought you might agree with. If you don't care about that, then fine, just ignore it, but don't play me out to be some idiot who needs to resort to tricking people. Just scroll down and read the responses you ignored before, both after the three articles and after you informed me you bought your farm with cash.
        • Feb 29 2012: Sorry about that. I missed a few of those things you said. Didnt mean to make assumptions. I had never used this before i stumbled upon your discussion and this is kinda confusing. Agree to disagree i guess.
        • Feb 29 2012: I also dont want to give off the impression that all organic farmers are against conventional farming. Most of them are really not and dont go around preaching against it. Its just a personal choice not to partake for whatever reason
        • Feb 29 2012: Yeah farm life aint bad. It can be better than showing up at a cubicle at 8 in the morning every day in my opinion. Sometimes i miss living closer to a city but at least i dont dread my job like some people. It has some pros and cons but mostly pros. Plus i get a lot of free time in the winter since i dont have livestock.
      • Feb 29 2012: I agree - and I don't want to give off the impression all conventional are against organic either. It is a personal choice for sure. Haha, and yeah I know what you mean about living on a farm. I love it, and I miss it right now because I'll be away from mine for quite a while.

        [Edit] I don't want to say I am against organic either, just given the two options I, personally, would support conventional - it's not that I am 'against' organic. Don't mean to come off that way. I am more pro-farm than anything.

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