Thursday, December 29, 2005

Scientific Misnomers

There are many misnomers, misunderstandings, or myths out there because some people have been influenced by the media, never been exposed to sound science, or have a recently outdated concenption of modern science in their daily lives. Some of the following are examples.

  1. Organic foods are healthier and better for the environment than conventional and GM foods.
  2. GM foods are not as safe as natural or organic foods.
  3. Decaffeinated coffee is unhealthy because it is produced using toxic chemicals like ammonia.
  4. We are running out of oil and are on the verge of an energy crisis.

I will address each of these in later posts.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Free Market Agriculture-Green Profits

Critics from the left maintain that modern large scale production agriculture and 'factory farms' are another example of free market degradation of the environment. This notion is not correct.

In fact the profit motive and large scale agriculture have led to the development of technologies that save energy, reduce pollution, and result in more abundant and healthier foods. Examples follow:


Bt Corn: targets only pests that feed on the plant. Leads to a reduction in pesticide use, exposure, and pollution.

Roundup Ready Crops: Allows producers to switch away from using very toxic and environmentally unsound herbicide and use the much safer and low residual 'glyphosate' herbicide.

In addition these products require less management and less mechanization- saving on fuel,soil erosion, and air pollution.