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Thread: Organic food

  1. #11
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    Apparently restaurants are notorious for lying about what you're getting, especially with seafood. Wild-caught is almost never, and any kind of white fish is probably something cheaper than what's listed on the menu. Scallops are just cookie-cutter rounds of cod. Grocery store fish is fairly reliable, moreso at large chain stores. I get fish at whole foods. I think a false-labeling scandal would be a disaster for them. Still, I'm wary of the bulk bins. Even if corporate has the best of intentions, who's to say some lazy stoner kid didn't just drag out one bag of yellow split peas and dump it in both the conventional and organic bins?

  2. #12
    Colymbosathon ecplecticos BarIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    I get fish at whole foods. I think a false-labeling scandal would be a disaster for them.
    Whole Foods is sued for selling allegedly non-hypoallergenic products

    Two shoppers have filed a lawsuit accusing Whole Foods Market Inc of deceiving them into buying or overpaying for personal care products advertised as hypoallergenic, but actually “chock-full” of known allergens, carcinogens, chemicals and toxins that can irritate or damage the skin.

    In a proposed nationwide class action complaint filed on Tuesday in federal court in Oakland, California, Shosha Kellman of nearby Alameda and Abigail Starr of Manhattan said Whole Foods’ products contain a “shocking array of compounds known to cause allergic responses.”
    Lawsuit accusing Whole Foods of overcharging is revived: U.S. appeals court

    A federal appeals court on Friday ordered Whole Foods Market Inc to face a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing it of overcharging shoppers in New York City by overstating the weight of pre-packaged food in its supermarkets.
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  3. #13
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    I used to not eat organic, but several prominent cancer centers and hospitals recommend eating organic if you can afford it for cancer patients. I was surprised by that. So now I do get organic for some things - basically anything that is grown in the ground or doesn't get peeled. Berries, peanuts, greens, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, apples, etc. But not oranges, bananas, avocados, tree nuts, most seeds, or nut milks. I don't really care about GMOs. I don't understand why people are worried about them. I also don't think it matters if you buy organic or conventional dairy; it all has hormones and I don't think the natural ones are any better for you than the synthetic ones, but I don't touch dairy anymore.

    I also make sure to buy wild caught salmon, not farmed. I guess a lot of fish farms throw a ton of pesticides and antibiotics and crap in the water, but it varies from fish to fish; some of them are fine.

    I think it's worth the extra money because we have the extra money.
    To be honest, I'm a little surprised by their recommendation as well. One of my husband's family members asked their oncologist about diet when she was battling breast cancer, and they were very nonchalant and noncommittal about diet on a whole. When she asked about certain diets, they mostly told her it wasn't necessary to change her diet but it wouldn't hurt. I thought that was odd. So the poor lady had about a billion suggestions thrown at her but is not the top to be able to research, she just wants to try the advice if she likes the person so it was a headache to keep her from doing stupid stuff ("hey I don't care that your sister 'really knows about health stuff', how about we not take megadose supplements of things when your liver function is only like 10%, ok").

    She cut out all refined sugar, dairy, meat and ate everything else organic. She hated it and I don't blame her, but in the face of a serious health condition I would spend the extra $$, even though I'm still not sure if it makes a difference. I believe overall diet composition matters way more than whether it's organic.

    For example, my kids love mac and cheese. The kind I get incidentally happens to be organic, but feeling good about buying organic mac and cheese is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

  4. #14
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxyjen
    feeling good about buying organic mac and cheese is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.
    Heh. Even home-made won't be particularly healthy if it features prominently on your plate. Gotta indulge sometimes though.
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  5. #15
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    Apparently restaurants are notorious for lying about what you're getting, especially with seafood. Wild-caught is almost never, and any kind of white fish is probably something cheaper than what's listed on the menu. Scallops are just cookie-cutter rounds of cod. Grocery store fish is fairly reliable, moreso at large chain stores. I get fish at whole foods. I think a false-labeling scandal would be a disaster for them. Still, I'm wary of the bulk bins. Even if corporate has the best of intentions, who's to say some lazy stoner kid didn't just drag out one bag of yellow split peas and dump it in both the conventional and organic bins?
    I've seen plenty of exaggeration about seafood but the idea of cutting cod and calling it scallops just seems crazy to me. They're a completely different texture. I have seen plenty of stuff being sold as snapper or ahi that isn't, or being called fresh when it came frozen. For the most part I think it's much more likely they'll lie about where something came from than try to pass off one type of fish as a completely different kind. "Maine lobster" that actually came from Canada, for example, or "Copper river salmon" that is actually farmed.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    I get fish at whole foods. I think a false-labeling scandal would be a disaster for them. Still, I'm wary of the bulk bins. Even if corporate has the best of intentions, who's to say some lazy stoner kid didn't just drag out one bag of yellow split peas and dump it in both the conventional and organic bins?
    I don't really think the retailer is guilty of this for the most part. Probably more at the processing front end.

    How is anyone supposed to really know the crops that hit the front of the processing line are really organic? It's a pure trust issue, and there are several places things can go awry. The farmer could lie (probably not the family farmer, but corporate ones I wouldn't trust), the company that contracts with the farmer for product could lie, and finally the label that contracts with the factory could lie.

    Any lie would result in an opportunity for more profit (i.e. organic prices for non-organic input costs). So there is motive. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but rip offs seem common place in a large number of industries.

  7. #17
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    I don't think those people understand the meaning of hypoallergenic. It means almost nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by oxyjen View Post
    To be honest, I'm a little surprised by their recommendation as well. One of my husband's family members asked their oncologist about diet when she was battling breast cancer, and they were very nonchalant and noncommittal about diet on a whole. When she asked about certain diets, they mostly told her it wasn't necessary to change her diet but it wouldn't hurt. I thought that was odd. So the poor lady had about a billion suggestions thrown at her but is not the top to be able to research, she just wants to try the advice if she likes the person so it was a headache to keep her from doing stupid stuff ("hey I don't care that your sister 'really knows about health stuff', how about we not take megadose supplements of things when your liver function is only like 10%, ok").

    She cut out all refined sugar, dairy, meat and ate everything else organic. She hated it and I don't blame her, but in the face of a serious health condition I would spend the extra $$, even though I'm still not sure if it makes a difference. I believe overall diet composition matters way more than whether it's organic.
    The advice is pretty much what you said; buy organic if you can but eating fresh vegetables is a lot more important than eating organic, so don't avoid vegetables just because you can't afford organic. The reason doctors are so non-committal about diet advice is because there's not studies to back any of it up. There are studies that show that breast cancer patients who followed a low fat diet high in fruits and vegetables did no better than patients who didn't. Diet studies are going to be nearly impossible to get a good signal on due to the number of variables involved. I think your family member is probably on the right track. There are studies that show losing weight, even 5-10% of body weight, reduces the risk of recurrence, as does exercise (up to a certain point). The effect is surprisingly large - better than chemo for some subsets of patients. And avoiding comorbidities leaves the door open for a lot more treatment. Once you start stacking diseases, treatment options get a lot more limited. And diabetics have much higher recurrence rates than the general population. So there is some kind of interaction between glucose and/or insulin levels that affects tumor growth which means cutting sugar is probably not a bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    I don't really think the retailer is guilty of this for the most part. Probably more at the processing front end.

    How is anyone supposed to really know the crops that hit the front of the processing line are really organic? It's a pure trust issue, and there are several places things can go awry. The farmer could lie (probably not the family farmer, but corporate ones I wouldn't trust), the company that contracts with the farmer for product could lie, and finally the label that contracts with the factory could lie.

    Any lie would result in an opportunity for more profit (i.e. organic prices for non-organic input costs). So there is motive. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but rip offs seem common place in a large number of industries.
    Yeah, that's why they have the certification program; shift the responsibility to the government to make sure stuff is organic and the retailers don't have to take any initiative to check their supply chain. Though I do believe whole foods does more supply-chain checks than some other stores. There was a whole blurb about how and what they check on their seafood but I can't remember much of what it said.

    Restaurants are a whole different beast though. I think there is rampant fraud in some restaurants. Pouring tap water into expensive water bottles is one I've heard more than once, and at very high end restaurants.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Sometime, I have been buying more organic milk since I drink a lot of milk. Maybe it's a waste of money.

    We do prefer things with as few ingredients as possible.

  9. #19
    Gassy ~ A 'torm is brew'n Catoptric's Avatar
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    Oftentimes I can find a lot of high quality organic produce on discount at Kroger in the early mornings. If I don't stop by to see what's on sale I will often be lazy and get things like pizza. Considering how much anything that's already made is often combined with a bunch of other junk such as preservatives, it's often safe to assume Organic aligns pretty closely to highly perishable foods. Things like bread is great, and as long as it's not turning moldy, can also make great french toast if it becomes stale.

    A bigger issue (if considering chemicals affecting the food you eat) is how you cook it, and store it. Plastics should generally be avoided (though maybe this isn't as big a deal if it's things like frozen foods or things like salad which are often in cold storage, however these certainly are not completely immune to absorbing chemicals.) Bisphenol a (BPA) is pretty much unavoidable unless you have your own garden, which may also come into contact with other chemicals used around the house or in the lawn, as often modern society seems to view sterility as "healthy." Even "organic" isn't entirely free of safety issues (as surely some of the most dangerous toxins in the world come from nature.)

    No doubt eating well plays a significant influence in overall health, and people that develop health problems often continue to eat shit foods despite seeing the impact first-hand. Oftentimes eating well doesn't necessarily require spending more, though it really depends on incentives. When I claim to usually only buy discounted foods, it just means I would rather spend money on other things (such as additional ingredients that I know would make the end-product cost much more than I'm willing to spend.) I exclusively avoid canned foods and prefer to buy frozen burritos, pizza, and vegetables, when not buying fresh produce; and yes I still prefer to cook those things in the original packaging out of convenience. . . I also drink out of soft drink cans when not drinking out of glass or pyrex french presses.

  10. #20
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    The advice is pretty much what you said; buy organic if you can but eating fresh vegetables is a lot more important than eating organic, so don't avoid vegetables just because you can't afford organic. The reason doctors are so non-committal about diet advice is because there's not studies to back any of it up. There are studies that show that breast cancer patients who followed a low fat diet high in fruits and vegetables did no better than patients who didn't. Diet studies are going to be nearly impossible to get a good signal on due to the number of variables involved. I think your family member is probably on the right track. There are studies that show losing weight, even 5-10% of body weight, reduces the risk of recurrence, as does exercise (up to a certain point). The effect is surprisingly large - better than chemo for some subsets of patients. And avoiding comorbidities leaves the door open for a lot more treatment. Once you start stacking diseases, treatment options get a lot more limited. And diabetics have much higher recurrence rates than the general population. So there is some kind of interaction between glucose and/or insulin levels that affects tumor growth which means cutting sugar is probably not a bad idea.
    .
    I didn't really do justice in my description of the change in her diet as to how extreme it was, she was aware of the same studies and her mantra was "sugar feeds cancer." Like I misspoke by saying cut out refined sugar, as if those were the only sugars she eliminated. She wouldn't eat bananas because they were too high in sugar. She was a normal BMI to begin with and she did lose some weight but not sure about that. She did chemo and hormone treatments, and eventually the stage IV breast cancer diagnosis went from "3 weeks without treatment, to six months with treatment" at initial diagnosis to "cancer not detectable." Granted, it's impossible to know if the diet even played any role at all. After four and a half years it did come back and she is on treatment but has largely abandoned the diet so we'll see how it goes this time (third).

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