Myth Busting – Get to the Truth

Posted on July 30, 2011

I just read a great blog in Scientific American by Christie Wilcox, dated July 18, 2011 at “”, entitled Mythbusting 101 – Organic Farming>Conventional Agriculture.  I will let you read the blog and not try to embellish what was so well written, but I will just take a little time to review the myths this author excellently reviewed and disputed.  Myth 1-Organic farms don’t use pesticides.  Well most of you that are involved in agriculture know this is a myth, but the general public does not.  The pesticides used in organic farming are approved for that use.  Myth 2 -Organic foods are healthier.  There are many reports that say the same thing about conventionally grown foods.  Show us the science. Myth 3 – Organic farming is better for the environment.  How many times do you have to run cultivation equipment over a field to control weeds when you cannot use a conventional herbicide? Tell me which is better to use: a proven herbicide or burning diesel while cultivating? Myth 4 – It’s all or none.  In other words, with organic farming we are giving people a choice to buy organically or conventionally.  That’s great.  Can we feed the whole world with organic farming practices?  I doubt it.  Can we give people with disposable income a choice of organic or conventional?  Certainly!  But in all of this,  let’s get to the science and not the emotion of the choices.  I love this industry and I love serving both conventional growers and organic growers.  They both have a fit.  This past year I consulted with growers farming over 12,000 acres of avocados/citrus, blueberries/raspberries/strawberries, and vegetables. Of that about 200 acres was under certified organic conditions.  I have to tell you the certified organic farms looked pretty good (as good as most conventional farms), but at a greater cost.   They are both doable. Let’s figure out how to tell the rest of the American people our story and not the rubbish we hear from the non-science based fear mongers that seem to get a hold of the media more then we do. Let us base our arguments on sound science and not raw emotion. But let’s continue to learn how to talk to the public in a way that they can understand. This holds true for both the organic contingent and the conventional.  I know  and serve both of you.

By the way, I have a new and improved web site where I will be posting these articles along with research I have performed over the years.  You can find it at  Also I make daily entries on Facebook.  Just search for my page at Holden Research to follow my observations or daily photos.

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