Wednesday, November 02, 2005

M: choppin broccoli

I just had the oddest conversation with a suit in the office kitchen. He was saying that his wife didn’t like to eat vegetables straight from their garden – they had to boil them first. I looked at him funny, and he said that she didn’t know what they sprayed on it. I indicated that what you’re spraying on your veggies at home probably isn’t any worse than what you get from conventional produce at the grocery store. He then said, completely seriously…

“Now organic food – that’s what really scares me.”

What? I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. His thought process?

“Have you ever seen a head of broccoli jump up and run away from a bug?”

Hmmm. Well, when you put it that way… Actually I haven’t. I still fail to see the logic.

“Since broccoli is naturally eaten by bugs, the organic broccoli that isn’t eaten by bugs must be so evolved that you don’t know what it’s turned into. At least with pesticides, you know what’s going on your food and you can rinse it off. But with organic food, you don’t know what chemicals the vegetables are making themselves to be bug resistant. And my cousin is a food scientist, so I know. Processed food is the best food you can eat.”

That is one of the most bizarre streams of “logic” I’ve ever heard. We got into it a bit, discussing effects of pesticides, and how things that are “natural” aren’t necessarily “good.” But in the end, it was simply too hard to reason with him. *sigh* Oh well, I tried.

How is it that a strawberry from my backyard is worse for me than one trucked up from Watsonville, California after it has been doused with methyl bromide and who knows what else? That the organic apple straight from the orchard in Wenatchee is more dangerous to eat than the month-old abnormally bright conventional apples? How did we get to this point where people are afraid of natural processes?

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