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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles - Is Organic Superior?

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Organic Food

The garden is done.  Finis.  ¡se acabó!

The last of the tomatoes, cukes, peppers, Lima beans and pumpkins have been picked.  And five wheelbarrows of vegetation (like the one above) have been chopped for the composter.  All that remains is the Brussels sprouts (big, dark green plants in the background) and peas, radishes, spinach and lettuce.  And a bunch of weeds that I'll rototill after the frost finishes them-off.  While the peas are going to certainly make it I'm beginning to wonder who's going to be around for pollinating.  We'll see.

Just like some people keep a kosher kitchen I keep an organic garden.  I've always figured the fewer the chemical inputs the better.  I never thought too much about nutritional values being superior.  I always figured better nutrition was the consequence of better storage - immediately pick and pack in a jar or a freezer bag - and store your fresh veggies in a cold, dark, humid place.  

Earlier this month a paper comparing the nutritional benefits of organic versus non-organic foods was published in the Stanford School of Medicine's Annals of Internal Medicine.  According to the senior author - Dena Bravata, MD - There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health.

If the Stanford study is to be believed the conclusion is that organically raised meat and produce don't have a nutritional edge over their non-organic counterparts.  Interesting news inasmuch as the organic produce market in the US is almost twelve and a half billion dollars.  While much smaller - the organic share of the meat market was $538 million in 2011.

The Stanford study did conclude that organically-raised produce had measurably lower traces of pesticides and that organically-raised meat had lower traces of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

One thing that was not taken into account in the exhaustive analysis was taste. Seeing as I keep an organic garden I think my veggies taste better.

Like this laundry basket full of delicious, organically-raised, garden onions!

French onion soup anyone?

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