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Organic Foods Contain More Antioxidants, Fewer Pesticides

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    From the abstract:

    If you want to learn more about the benefits of organic agriculture, the Soil Association is a good place to look.
    xchocoholic likes this.
  2. optimist

    optimist Senior Member

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    Off-topic: I wonder how DDT would do as a general mosquito spray. Could it be applied on the clothes for example, and give us some peace from their constant harassment? (I am glad that were I live now, we basically don't have any.) Or does it only work more specifically on the malaria mosquitoes... the stuff we have today is more or less useless :)
  3. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Wikipedia has a long entry on DDT:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT

    You are much better off with regular mosquito spray. The US controlled malaria without DDT; it was being used as an agricultural spray when it was banned.

    Very few insecticides are specific. They tend to kill everything, good and bad. Plus insects reproduce so rapidly, and there are so many of them, that they develop resistance fairly quickly.

    DDT is a bioaccumulator. It takes a long time to break down, and it builds up in animals' bodies because they can't get rid of it, going up the food chain until it's concentrated in apex predators and scavengers.
    MeSci likes this.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Its no surprise that organic food has a higher nutritional content. For a start crop strains are different. Second, more attention is paid to proper soil quality, with micronutrients etc. Third, the plants are attacked more. That stimulates natural defenses. Many of those defenses are natural antioxidants.
    MeSci likes this.
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Blanket use of insecticides create ecological devastation. Species which could compete with pest species are wiped out too, leaving a devastated zone with no natural resistance, requiring even more insecticides. Biological control processes need more research.

    I would like to add there are two occasions when I think insecticides are appropriate for crops. The first is during a full blown locust invasion. The second is when a very dangerous species enters the area. Routine insecticide use is what I am against.
    Valentijn likes this.
  6. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I'm having a leaf roller invasion. Unless we spray every few days the roses get defoliated, and everything else gets thoroughly chewed. I think it's the light brown apple moth, which is an invasive species here. Because we have only about a dozen pots in a small area, it's feasible for someone to go out there with a spray bottle and zap them with neem. I just wonder what the orchardists and the other farmers are doing about it.

    Interestingly, when I first started getting plants about three years ago there were hardly any leaf rollers. I also had a lot of bees coming around, and now there aren't any. I don't know if they up and died or if some local beekeeper just moved the hives.
  7. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    They're also using dyes on some non organic foods. So far I've seen it on packages of oranges and either saw it on strawberries or read about it. I wouldn't buy non organic strawberries regardless but was considering non organic oranges until I read the label.

    Tc .. x
    Valentijn likes this.
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I saw what appeared to be evidence of predation improving a 'crop' last year. I had some very pretty caterpillars eating my young Buddleia (found that they were Mullein moth caterpillars). There were hardly any leaves left. I guessed that the Buddleia would grow back - I was more concerned about the caterpillars, so started looking around for another Buddleia I could transfer them to, but the parent moth had clearly calculated perfectly and the caterpillars all started moving into the ground to pupate. The Buddleia grew back in a few weeks, and had been transformed from a spindly, barely-branched thing to a lush, multi-branched plant that produced a profusion of lovely flowers which in turn fed hordes of bees, butterflies and hoverflies.
    alex3619 and golden like this.
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Are these caterpillars predators of edible species? I'm guessing you don't eat roses.
  10. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    If they are what I think they are, then they are a big agricultural problem in some parts of the world. I think they are from Australia or New Zealand. They don't just lay one set of eggs. They keep going and going and going for months, possibly because the weather here (San Francisco) doesn't vary too much.

    There is nothing attractive about the moths or the caterpillars. The moths resemble carpet moths, and the caterpillars are little green worms.

    We're very careful about what we plant and what we put on the plants because our cats like to go out there on sunny days.

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