Finding food fallacies

Food media, in general uses, fallacies of argument to persuade their audience to believe what they are being told. Bandwagon appeals are very popular in food advertisements for example. Since I would like this blog to promote healthy, sustainable, organic food and agriculture I would like to discuss certain organic food and ag fallacies surrounding the media. Did any of you ever think that the term organic could be perceived as bad?Organic2

While many studies show eating organically can be beneficial for your health, you need to eat the correct organic foods. Don’t think eating tubs of organic ice cream and locally produced and organic meats will make you feel great.

Here is one article from the Room for Debate section in the New York Times that tries to debunk organic ‘claims’ yet ends up using multiple fallacies in her argument.

First she mentions organic agriculture an idyllic fallacy; while organic marketing will use a tactic such as this for advertising purposes, this doesn’t mean organic agriculture is worse than conventional agriculture. Her next point is organic agriculture uses natural pesticides that are harmful as well. This is a generalization, she does not include facts comparing natural pesticides compared to chemical pesticides, so where is her argument?

My favorite argument? The ‘fact’ that organic farms aren’t better for the environment because they only produce 80% of the yield compared to conventional ag, therefore use more land, and more natural pesticides. This is a faulty causality fallacy, just because organic farms produce less, doe snot mean they will use more land or more pesticides than conventional farms. Organic farms only produce 80% of the yield because there are no chemicals to make the produce bigger and weigh more. Not to mention most conventional farms produce an extra 30% more food than the population needs; most of it corn and soybeans which are turned into processed foods. Organic foods TASTE better, farmers are not paid by the quality of their food, only the amount they produce.


My point is, when you are purchasing food, purchase your produce from local farms and vendors that you trust. While organic usually means your food will not be grown with chemicals, organic factory farms do exist. Support your local farms by purchasing a CSA, read ingredients on labels, and research brands to find ones you can trust. Fallacies of argument are used in media everyday, but it is your opinion to weigh the facts and make informed decisions.

Also here is a counter-argument to The Ecological Case Against Organics that sums up some more point I didn’t get to.


NP 2/26


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