Cha-ching. Cha-ching. The supermarket cash register read “Strawberries $5.00. Strawberries $5.00” as the cashier checked out my groceries at the market.
Wait a minute! The sign in the produce section said “2 for $5.00” I said to the cashier. What’s up with the five bucks for each of my two containers of strawberries?
The cashier said these are organic. These strawberries are $5.00 for each container.
Well, I don’t want the organic. I want regular strawberries, I informed the cashier while returning the two containers of organic strawberries for the 2-for-5 regular ones…and quietly popping an organic strawberry to see how it tastes.
Organic arguments just don’t hold muster
What’s with organic that it costs twice as much? The pro argument suggests organic tastes better. The con argument argues that that’s a bunch of bunk. I tasted the organic strawberry, and it tasted the same as a regular one. So, I can’t buy that argument or the organic strawberries.
Another pro argument is that organic is healthier. The con argument asks where’s the proof of that claim? Lots of rationale for such thinking exists, but all of it is implication that we want to believe, rather than proof in the pudding.
Here’s Richard Feynman, physicist, on that issue, speaking about what has become known as “Cargo Cult Science.” Excerpts from his commencement speech to young scientists at Caltech in 1974 follow. (Bold italics are mine, for emphasis.)
“…the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your [scientific] contribution, not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
The easiest way to explain this idea is to contrast it, for example, with advertising. Last night I heard that Wesson oil doesn’t soak through food. Well, that’s true. It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being honest, it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will–including Wesson oil. So, it’s the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact…”
The biggest argument for organic is that no pesticides are used. That’s nice, but I prefer my strawberries without bugs. Whatever pesticides that might have been used on my regular strawberries have long since worn off, evaporated, or otherwise went away. Whatever residue might remain–and I choose to believe there’s very little, if any–I rinse off the strawberries before serving them on my table.
No organic strawberries for me
So, if you want to spend double for your organic strawberries, be my guest. For myself, I’ll get the regulars, thank you, and get twice as much. Because in my checkbook, more for the same price is better.