Woody - You and others have correctly pointed out to me the truth about
the Rutgers study - thanks! Its amazing that this study is cited
incorrectly as often as it is, a recent report from the Soil Association
in England used it to show the superiority of organic produce. Maybe I
can use this project of mine to lay this frequent misconception to rest.
We have learned that Firman Bear, author of the Rutgers study, was a
great proponent of salt fertilizers, at odds with Robert Rodale over the
theory of organic farming - isn't it ironic that his work is being so
widely misquoted to support organic farming now! At this point, I think
the best approach to give an indication of what modern chemical farming
conditions are doing to the nutritional content of food/feed will be to
compare forage and other animal feed analysis over the past 50 years or
so, to show that mineral content has been steadily and dramatically
dropping - there is good evidence and lots of data to support this. If
this is happening in animal feed, it stands to reason that it is also
happening in human food, even if we do not have direct data to show it.
I welcome help and information to support this position.
Also - could anyone on sanet put me in contact with animal
scientists/vets who have studied E coli 0157 in livestock - that types of
feed, feeding regimes, and digestive conditions support its
proliferation? A study out of Cornell indicated that cows that were fed
a final week on hay had a greatly reduced incidence of E coli 0157 - has
anyone tested incidence of this pathogen in animals that are regularly
grazed, that are fed hay for a good portion of their ration throughout
their life, that are fed organic feeds? Has incidence been correlated
with the pH (or other chemical characteristics) of the gut? What about
similar information on salmonella and other food borne pathogens? Has
anyone considered feed or other conditions for chickens - which would be
difference in organically raised chickens due to organic standards
requirements - and incidence of salmonella? It appears we will have to
approach the microbiological and nutritional considerations from the back
door since the direct information may not be available and probably too
expensive to acquire right now - can anyone suggest other 'back doors'
worthy of consideration?
Thanks for all the replies, information, and assistance I have received
so far. There is a lot of expertise out there!
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