Organic vs Non-Organic

For years there has been on on-going debate on whether organically produced food is better than food produced using all the newest technologies available to the American farmer. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Ashley Batey tells us that the CEO of a major agribusiness maintains that the entire premise of the debate is flawed.

“It’s a little bit controversial, but the notion of organic and local, I’m not against, but unfortunately in the states and in Europe it’s developed to good food and bad food. Good food is organic, and good food is local. No it’s not. It’s just food. Food produced on large farms is good food too, and in the states it tends to be cheaper, and I can point to quality systems that on average, from my direct experience in eggs, probably better.”

Chris Policinski is the CEO of Land O Lakes and says the debate needs to shift from one or the other to “and”.

“It’s about choice. I may want to wear Calvin Klein blue jeans and not Levis. That’s a choice. They’re not good blue jeans and bad blue jeans. It’s a choice.”

“I may choose to buy food from my local farm market because I want to preserve the life style of that local farmer. It’s a life style worth preserving, and I can afford it.”

And with a growing world population, sustainability becomes a huge issue.

“250% output since the ‘60s. Corn yields triple. Wheat yields double. Soybean yields up 70%. Milk per cow triple, beef per cow up 50%. I think I got those numbers right. That’s productivity. That’s sustainability. A gallon of milk today produced with one third the amount of land and one third the amount of water as ten years ago. That’s sustainability.”

I’m Ashley Batey, tracing the journey our food makes from the farm to our tables, From The Ground Up.


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