Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An Earlier Blue Moon

It turns out the research discussed here isn't the first to show more nutrients in organic/sustainable foods. An earlier paper by the same author (this is starting to sound like the Lancet) also showed benefits from allegedly-sustainable agriculture.

The really interesting point is that the earlier research showed that the crops in question, when grown with artificial fertilizers, had more nutrients. (They were called “sustainable” because the pesticides were missing.) So … research that shows some foods grown without artificial fertilizers are more nutritious can be cited as evidence for the superiority of organic/sustainable agriculture and research that shows some foods grown with artificial fertilizers are more nutritious can also be cited as evidence for the superiority of organic/sustainable agriculture. This is starting to look non-falsifiable.

I'm reminded of the dread microwave menace of a decade or two ago. A study that showed an increase in disease A and a decrease in disease B upon exposure to microwaves was reported as proving microwaves are dangerous and another study that showed an increase in disease B and a decrease in disease A upon exposure to microwaves was also reported as proving microwaves are dangerous. (On the other hand, there's a more recent version of the same hysteria.)

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