LONDON — Since time immemorial, the debate between pesticide- and non-pesticide-using farmers has raged on in the agricultural community. The dispute reached a fever pitch this week after a study to be published by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that organic fruits, vegetables and grains consist of lower pesticide levels and higher amounts of antioxidants.
After learning of the report, Arnold Peters, a tomato farmer in Grand Rapids, Mich., threw the first punch by referring to organic crops as “crap sissy plants.”
“Pesticide is a man’s chemical,” said Peters. “It makes the plants taste like they’re supposed to, whereas these non-pesticide, organic harvests taste like something out of Mario Batali’s garden. No thank you.”
Before long, shots were fired from the other side. Javier Valdez, chairman of the San Francisco-based organic farming group Organically Groovy, referred to Peters’ comments as “uninformed yet predictable.”
“Dudes like him need get with the times,” said Valdez, donning a tattered tee shirt emblazoned with the words “Organic or Die.” “We’re making some of the tastiest and most scrumptious food on the planet, and it’s all because we junked the pesticide.”
Not even the low harvest yields of organic farming have deterred Valdez.
“Sure, I may only reap two undersized strawberries per day, and my turnips might be a little funky-looking, but at least we’re doing it the healthy way.”
Whether organic farming is actually a healthier option is still up for debate. Analyses have varied on the relationship between diseases and antioxidants, while the most recent study didn’t opine on the matter.
“We are not making health claims based on this study, because we can’t,” said Dr. Carlo Leifert, the project’s lead researcher. “Our best course of action is let these farmers duke it out themselves.”
When asked if he had thoughts on the health concerns associated with organic farming, Peters, chomping on one of his recently harvested apples, could only scowl.
“Would you quit it with that crazy talk? I’m trying to eat here.”