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Bio:French for "we saw you coming?"


 YCCMB

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As I am a curious soul, and following on from another thread, I looked at the prices in our local agricultural college shop.

Cucumber (mi-long, BIO) €2.40! Thud!

I can only assume that the cucumbers get 1:1 attention from students whilst growing and this somehow justifies the difference in price between the above and the 49p I paid on our local market a few days ago.
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Acksherly, I am not all that bothered what is sprayed on my cucumber.

It's a bit like everyone telling me that Aspartame will kill me. It's had a good 30 years to do it, and so far it hasn't succeeded.

I recommend a very good book to you, not that I believe everything that is written in it, but it's an excellent read:

It's called "A greedy man in a hungry world" by Jay Rayner.

It presents quite a compelling argument for not being sucked into buying stuff just because it's "free range" or "organic".

You don't have to agree with it, but as I said, it presents an interesting and compelling perspective. And it's very funny.

P.S. Thank you, Norman, for the vote of confidence ?
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It's good to have the choice, I don't see the problem.

Sometimes I'm strapped for cash and I want a cheap cucumber, so it's good that they are available.

Sometimes I have cash to spare, am feeling philanthropic and looking for a Good Cause to support to give me a bit of moral feel-good. The local agricultural college is no doubt a deserving cause, and the organic cucumber is a bonus.

When I decide how to spend my money, it isn't purely about the quantity of material goods I can get in return, if I was starving it probably would be, but fortunately I'm not. It's also about choosing who gets my money. Call me a sucker but I actually get pleasure from supporting hardworking producers, small businesses, local shops etc. I don't get any pleasure from supporting Carrefour.
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Sounds like they were having a laugh with a price like that.

Wish I could still eat cucumber....... getting old, gives me chronic indigestion these days, and I have tried, taking the skin off and/or taking the pips out and other things including soaking it in water and brine, even vinegar........ best is if it is no longer on my plate!!

And the most disgusting thing mentioned on this thread is 'Aspartame'. How can you use that stuff. It tastes so chemically, that it ruins all it pervades. I truly loathe that and all the other sugar substitutes I have had the misfortune to try.

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Having seen how many times vines are sprayed with chemicals, since a friend bought an apartment overlooking non-bio vineyards several years ago, I'm a keen buyer at a local bio winery. Their wines are excellent, and at around 18€ for 5 litres, not an extortionate price.

Neighbours who are very down to earth Belgians, won't buy wine anywhere else as they have found that they don't get headaches after an evening drinking these particular wines.

My garden in England is bio, has been for 30+ years, so I Wouldn't dream of buying and eating non- bio if I can get it at a reasonable price. Some things I can't find locally, so I then choose based on distance the food has travelled.

Bio eggs from Thierry on the market are a very little dearer than those on neighbouring stalls, but about 35 years ago in UK I took a school party round the local agricultural college, and what I saw of the hens there made me vow never to buy eggs from a non free range business; bio is just a step further.

Salad from the bio stall and shop, the same place as the bio wines, costs 90 cents - very well worth it for no chemicals to me. I hate cucumbers, so don't know about them, but can't recall them being expensive on the bio stall.

Maybe we're just lucky here in the Gard, as I remember reading a while ago that that there's a large proportion of bio businesses here compared with the country as a whole.
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Slightly off subject but the same sort of thing my little boy has been diagnosed as being intolerant to gluten. Yes being gluten free is a big fad at the moment but in his case eating anything gluten related makes him quite ill.

After being diagnosed with this condition we all went in solidarity gluten free. It makes life more simple when cooking family meals. Do you know what, after two weeks I would say that I never felt more healthy in my life.

So back to the thread, I am quite happy to spend a little more ensuring that what I am eating is not poison.

Having lived in 'Beauce' I know what crap they spray on the corn fields. I understand better now having gone gluten free. No more baguettes for me.
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I cannot remember what program I saw this on on english tv, but it was fairly recent. The 'olde' wheats that our ancestors ate had far less gluten in them and some farmers, IF I have remembered properly, are starting to grow them again.

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From what I've read on another forum (no not that one) there's a veritable plague of gluten intolerance in western Europe. What has caused it no-one knows, maybe over-diagnosis.

I love gluten - without it you can't get decent bread.

As for "bio" foods - I'm going to have a look in Carrefour tomorrow. We just buy ordinary fruit and veg., though I think the wholemeal flour that I use is said to be organic, if that's the same thing.

And we eat our own chickens which eat plain grain. Maybe that could have been grown with pesticides etc?

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LOL that article reminded me of friends introducing us to rillette de porc....... so long ago, that I was still young (and thin!) The had bought a tub and were going on about how good it was.

We were to have it as a starter and all sat at the table and they opened the tub with a flourish........and there, quite obviously sticking out of the film of fat on top was a nipple!  Did we all recoil at that moment, actually yes, we did.

Nipple removed, we ate the rest and now we make the stuff, never been offered pork with nipples still attached though!!!!

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I had a look in Carrefour today.

The 2 things I compared prices for were small boxes  of mushrooms, and packs of one green and one red pepper. Both came out at:

Bio - 2€

Non-bio 1€.

I was going to compare endives but they didn't have the price on the Bio.

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  • 1 month later...
I'm in 04. The signs all around Forcalquier say 'no pesticides, no herbicides zone'. Also included in this are the signs saying that the verges are not cut as they are planted with wildflowers. We are a pretty green area, lots of bio and locally sourced produce where a basket of fresh [picked that morning] would cost about 2.50. We have an bio/artisan boulangerie, the weekly producers market has pork, lamb and now sanglier - all local. Paying a bit extra for food that isn't sprayed to within an inch of its life pays dividends in low medical fees. It's an oasis amongst a growing corrupt food chain.
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In contrast to WCCMB's experience I have today replenished our supple of Boulgar wheat and low and behold, the Super U Bio was 40c/Kg cheaper than the bog standard.

Bio is very often more expensive, but need not be.

On the other hand Gloria, not doing anything about plants growing in the verges can be a disaster for some (me).

I suggest you look at this link.

http://www.ambroisie.info/

where is seems I have a very extreme reaction.

Just a roadside weed, that will lay me low for 3-4 months, with difficulty breathing, streaming eyes - this is the Hay Fever from hell.
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Sorry, Gloria, but if you're going to talk tosh about saving on medical bills by eating organic, at least talk informed tosh.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/pesticides-food-fears/

This is one of any number of articles on the topic. You're no less likely to need medical treatment as a result of eating organic than as a result of eating non-organic. If it makes you feel somehow psychologically healthier, knock yourself out. I won't be joining in.

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Betty, I see you're quoting from a very well-respected magazine. One of the problems that those of us in the academic book trade continually battle against is the mis-and dis-information industry supported by big pharma. It is difficult to know who to trust regarding medical information as so much of the data that contradicts the peer-reviewed process is buried. Within the english-speaking medical publishing community, the US stands head and shoulder above all others in corrupting information to those susceptible to unchallenged belief.

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Gloria, I see you're suspecting me of being a tiny bit naive. In fact, I worked for a company for eight years who sold synthetic food colours and then eight years with Big Tobacco. I am well used to the accusations of vested interest which are rolled out on these occasions, and had to learn to sort the wheat from the chaff. That was, in fact, a blog post and not a published article in the context of Scientific American. I chose it for its comparatively straightforward explanation of some salient points.

As I mentioned earlier, an excellent book on the subject is Jay Rayner's "A Greedy Man in a Hungry World" which is (and I stress this) one person's take on the extent to which the wider food industry sucks those with high disposable income and a desire to take some sort of moral high ground into believing that the food industry is an evil empire and we should all revert to obtaining our food by sixteenth century methods.

Clearly, there are aspects of the food production industry which do not stand up at all well to scrutiny. By further coincidence, my younger son is a food scientist so I hear some of the inside stuff from him too. None of which entices me to increase the cost of large parts of my weekly shop by a huge margin.

A few months ago, when we moved house, I was imvited to my new GP surgery for a health check. My cholesterol level was found to be (ostensibly) high. It isn't, by any normal standards. But the practice nurse advised that "We like it to be below 3" WHAT? As I listed my normal diet (pears, I mentioned, which, according to her are "very bad" and walnuts, which I sprinkle on salads "not good, too high in fat") I realised that the practice nurse was quoting from a Daily Mail article which was pinned to her office wall. I asked her what lifestyle changes I might make, given that I drink only caffeine free teas, eat a large amount of fresh fruit and veg, never eat takeaways and seldom eat red meat. She had no advice. That was my first GP visit in about 8 years.

By the way, I just chucked in that last bit to indicate that I'm not a permanent fixture in my local McDonalds and that I'm as sceptical as the next person when it comes to blind faith in medical professionals.

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