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Thread: Scrutinizing the scrutiny of organic food.

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    Abandon ship. Duckman's Avatar
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    Scrutinizing the scrutiny of organic food.

    On a number of "science" FB groups I have often noticed the same topic come up in a number of different groups. Fairly recently the value of organic food came up for question.

    I pointed out that the food business has many armchair critics but these people have no idea what a complex and confusing business the food business is. I also pointed out that with breakfast cereals other than porridge, in terms of nutrients, you get poor value for money. Much of the time you are paying for packaged air. To top it all, Kellogg's Corn Flakes was the original "health food".
    Skeptoid that is about highlighting urban myths, bad science and consumer rip offs agreed with me.

    Another group I was banned from. See here,

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    It would seem there is an unwritten rule that Thou Shalt Not Take Shots At The Big End Of Town.
    Last edited by Duckman; 04-08--2017 at 12:49 AM.
    We all lead different lives.


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    Not just porridge; wholewheat bulgur is a cooked cereal that has quite good food value. (So long as you aren't bothered by gluten).
    And of course muesli, which we sometimes have with fruit juice for a treat.
    But generally, as you say, the more refined a breakfast cereal is, the less food value it has. Even worse than Corn Flakes are crap like Sugar Puffs; not only little food value but an excess of sugar too! But straight out of the packet and into the bowl with a swill of milk means convenience and quickness.
    Some kids around here never get breakfast; a few sweets or a bottle of energy drink on the way to school is their breakfast...
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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    Not just porridge; wholewheat bulgur is a cooked cereal that has quite good food value. (So long as you aren't bothered by gluten).
    Thanks for that. I will look into whole wheat bulger. I used to make Tabbouleh when I working in Sydney many years ago.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    And of course muesli, which we sometimes have with fruit juice for a treat.
    I don't mean to sound puritanical but neither fruit juice nor muesli out of a packet can really be labeled healthy. Consider this . It takes you a while to go through five shop size apples, but it only takes 30 seconds to drink the juice of the same apples. Far too much fructose.Muesli out of a packet usually contains skimmed milk powder. Dried fruit will stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Dried fruit can be nutritionally useful if soaked.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    But generally, as you say, the more refined a breakfast cereal is, the less food value it has. Even worse than Corn Flakes are crap like Sugar Puffs; not only little food value but an excess of sugar too! But straight out of the packet and into the bowl with a swill of milk means convenience and quickness.
    I remember as a kid having some Quakers brand cereal that were capsules of air. A total rip off.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    Some kids around here never get breakfast; a few sweets or a bottle of energy drink on the way to school is their breakfast...
    Disgraceful in developed countries init.?
    We all lead different lives.

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    Originally posted by Duckman:
    "I don't mean to sound puritanical but neither fruit juice nor muesli out of a packet can really be labeled healthy. Consider this . It takes you a while to go through five shop size apples, but it only takes 30 seconds to drink the juice of the same apples. Far too much fructose.Muesli out of a packet usually contains skimmed milk powder. Dried fruit will stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Dried fruit can be nutritionally useful if soaked."

    You are thinking fruit-rich packeted big-name muesli? We get the very basic stuff, cereal grains crushed and rolled with the odd few bits of dried fruit and nuts. Cheapest and best; not even any milk powder, so even a Vegan could touch it
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    .

    No sugar, either. What the store calls 'basic muesli' , for po' folks, I guess. As for fructose, enough orange juice to wet the mixture and soak it once in a while don't bother me none. Quantity is about that of two hand-squeezed oranges. Now if I saw a habit of a pint of orange juice before breakfast every day, like one or two folks I know, that would get me a little worried....

    As for the poor kids, it's not often a dire poverty thing, as folks might think, it's more just because the damn parents can't be bothered, or Mom has to be off to work and got up late again, so here's a quid for an energy drink or a few sweets on the way to school.
    No wonder some of these kids - I get told by teachers - fall asleep at their desks or lack concentration when the energy rush falls off badly after an hour or so. Some modern ADD - which is on the increase - may have its origins in lack of a breakfast, I guess.

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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    Ummm, it's good to see people interested in the nitty gritty of food. For some reasopn breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day. The options aren't that great. Today I had a nectarine. And then for lunch I will have a 'proper' meal - sourdough bread, some olives, sardines . . .

    With breakfast, partly the problem is I don't like the same option. I don't want to have a full breakfast of bacon, beans and eggs every day. For some reason, though canned beans are easy, I have gone off them. It's not really that I have to have an 'easy / quick' breakfast either - I like preparing food. I used to always have yoghurt - it's probably still my favourite, but I don't have it every day.

    I can get a bit bored with porridge every day, even with its spoonful of honey. (Oh, honey!) Cuz of what you guys say above I've looked at my muesli - it doesn't have added sugar or dried milk (but what's wrong with dried milk?). Thanks for making me look. It's always worth looking at the small print if you have a magnifying glass, it's a bit of a pain, but then the knowledge stays with you and you can eat better. For instance Morrisons do a pack of butter where they state they give 15 pence to the farmer. Yes, it sort of annoys me that it's left to the consumer to pay this to the farmer (obviously the supermarket should ensure the farmer gets his fair whack regardless), on the other hand if this is the way to get the farmer more money just do it . . . anyway, I happened to look at the farmer butter and it had more fat, which is of course good (we need to remind ourselves of that in these lean times), it means the butter is creamier!

    Having asthma as a child made me aware of ingredients from an early age - I have always avoided E additives. You have to watch those supermarkets . . . Last thing, In Turkey their breakfasts are tomatos, feta, olives, their standard white bread (which is a nice loaf), plain white yoghurt, with honey if you want and orange juice. Oddly, this Turkish breakfast suits me OK, but even that I would get bored with. I could have it one or two times, then I'd need a break - and what I'd go for is Baklava and milk. That is the perfect breakfast. (If you can get the baklava made with honey rather than sugar syrup that's the best.)

    Enjoy your breakfsts!
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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    Duckman - I'm not on Facebook so can't get onto that link (I don't join those twitterfacebookthings).

    As for the subject matter: "organic". I like the eithics of organic, proper crop rotation and the work of the soil association, but I don't buy organic apart from carrots (the taste is definitely better, carrots can vary a lot). I've also heard that organic mushrooms could be worse than non-organic - because of some kind of virus or bug or something that you could get on the organic one (can't remember the exact details). I understand the potential benefits of organic, for instance, cows like to eat herbs and things that grow naturally with the grass - it's good for the cow and also makes for tastier produce. So, natural pasture is best. However, organic on everything is so expensive, also, how does the customer know what organic means? Ideally, if organic is better, then everything should be produced that way (I suppose I am making an excuse there).

    I don't drink coffee. Organic chocolate is ridiculously expensive. But the chocolate industry is a racket, so much stuff with hardly any cocoa in it - it's difficult to find decent chocolate. Similarl with fruit jucies, all those concentrates, with additives, hardly any real juice. It's easier just to stick to water, and every now and then squeeze a lemon into it.

    Fairtrade is a separate issue, and that I do go for.

    The politics of food is difficult. I don't like elitism in food, as soon as a food is a "super food" it's a great shame. Food should all be super - it keeps us alive. I used to drink a 100% pure pomegranite juice that I got in a carton from the Turkish area near me. Bliss. It used to have a bit of bitter residue at the bottom that I loved (I think it was pip sediment), suddenly pomegranites were labelled a "super food", the price was doubled and my product disappeared - the fruits must have gone to a different producer or became repackaged. The worst thing, the product changed! No bitter residue, which I liked. Result? I rarely drink pomegranite juice now. Potatos are going in a similar direction, it can be hard to get a decent, plain potato.

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    Hi Maxal, I'm about opposite you with the breakfast! Like a good breakfast, but hardly ever eat much at midday. (Makes me sleepy in the afternoon. Beers at lunchtime used to have the same effect!).

    What's the problem with potatoes? I would have thought you could get several varieties if you have a market near you? We love Desiree, especially good for baking, and makes a lovely waxy mash with a bit of butter, or equally as good with Vegan olive oil if you're that way inclined. We grow Cara as well on our allotment; this is not so waxy as Desiree, and packs on size during the late summer early autumn rains. A late maincrop variety, usually a decent cropper.

    Quite agree about the 'superfoods' bullshit. Once anything gets 'superfood' status and a few prats on commercial web sites discover it's supposed to be good for you, and publicise it to death, prices go sky high for awhile, and lots of prats who know sweet FA about nutrition pay high prices for something quite ordinary, for awhile. After a few months they discover to their surprise that they are no nearer being Superperson, so gradually drop it again.

    Quite another thing that makes me laugh is these prats of TV cooks, who cut things up into little chunks or slices, and then bake them to death in the oven, so the outside is dry, and the inside of the little chunks is chewy-chewy. Fug that for a game of soldiers! If I bake vegetables, I bake them whole mostly, unless they're in a casserole. Baking whole keeps in the moisture, makes the item taste rich and fleshy and moist and delicious. (Wow!). A good example is sweet potatoes. A relative wrecks them by cutting into thin slices and baking them into something like thick chewy chips. Disgusting! Bake them whole, make a slit when they come out nice and soft, just starting to ooze juices, and put a bit of butter, olive oil, or cottage cheese into the slit. Absolutely bloody delicious! Butternut squash is another thing these people wreck by cutting up small. Cut in half longways, or quarters if it's a big one, and baked in a foil tray or light baking tin, it truly lives up to its name!
    Vegetable cooking rant over, you can all come out now!

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    As for the poor kids, it's not often a dire poverty thing, as folks might think, it's more just because the damn parents can't be bothered, or Mom has to be off to work and got up late again, so here's a quid for an energy drink or a few sweets on the way to school.
    No wonder some of these kids - I get told by teachers - fall asleep at their desks or lack concentration when the energy rush falls off badly after an hour or so. Some modern ADD - which is on the increase - may have its origins in lack of a breakfast, I guess.[/QUOTE]

    yeah......there's work being done now though to use meditation lessons and vit/mineral supps to help kids out of the shit our super civilised western culture has done to them.......very encouraging:


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    [QUOTE=Maxal;1597255]Duckman - I'm not on Facebook so can't get onto that link (I don't join those twitterfacebookthings).

    I don't drink coffee. Organic chocolate is ridiculously expensive. But the chocolate industry is a racket, so much stuff with hardly any cocoa in it - it's difficult to find decent chocolate. Similarl with fruit jucies, all those concentrates, with additives, hardly any real juice. It's easier just to stick to water, and every now and then squeeze a lemon into it.

    Once tried to land a graphic design job with Thorntons (Chocolate people) so I did loads of R&D before the interview......looks like top quality product is cost effective because you don't need much - so it lasts longer (well in theory anyway
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    ) this mob look interesting:


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    BTW - yeh, love the lemon wheeze as well - smarts ..... I also just started making water kefir - that's refreshing, with a squeeze of orange or lemon/lime or in fact any zapped fruit. I use one of those nutribullet blenders - you can make fab smoothies using pineapple+banana and even green smoothies using spinach and kale with fruits......sounds gross but they're blooming gorgeous.......then you can also freeze the smoothie into lollies. I call the green ones my frog blends !

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