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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: tomsawyer on July 22, 2011, 11:59:53 AM

Title: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on July 22, 2011, 11:59:53 AM
I'm thinking of spending the next six months or so trying to brew with only domestic malts.  The thought is to reduce the number of food miles from my ingredients.  Doesn't hurt that domestic malts are significantly cheaper as well.  Anyone else do this and how much am I giving up in the process?  I brew a little bit of everything, but my house beers are APA, best bitter and hefeweizen.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: phillamb168 on July 22, 2011, 12:08:39 PM
I've been considering the same thing. Malteries Franco Belges is about 45 minutes from my house and it's a beautiful drive. Makes all sorts of sense (and cents!).
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 22, 2011, 01:04:30 PM
To get back some of the flavor that you get from Maris Otter, you can add in 10-20% of Munich or Vienna.

Some information that compares the malts from different areas in here.
http://brewingtechniques.com/bmg/noonan.html
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: denny on July 22, 2011, 03:08:16 PM
I'm thinking of spending the next six months or so trying to brew with only domestic malts.  The thought is to reduce the number of food miles from my ingredients.  Doesn't hurt that domestic malts are significantly cheaper as well.  Anyone else do this and how much am I giving up in the process?  I brew a little bit of everything, but my house beers are APA, best bitter and hefeweizen.

For those 3 styles, I think the difference will be minimal.  I've found that domestic pale ale malts can be a good sub for British malts, or you can just throw in a bit of Vienna or Munich like Jeff suggested.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on July 22, 2011, 03:48:51 PM
I guess the only thing that might trip me up are specialty grains, I'm not impressed with Briess and I love British crystals.

Of course I must confess I have a nice supply of imported grains of all types so really this is going to take some time for a transition.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: timberati on July 22, 2011, 06:01:33 PM
Make the change because you like local stuff. The science behind the "food miles" argument is not that good. Most energy is consumed in the production phase. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%.

Source: recent article in Environmental Science and Technology by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews of Carnegie-Mellon:

"We find that although food is transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average) the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. Different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish. Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than “buying local.” Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food." http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on July 22, 2011, 06:07:59 PM
Interesting, I had wondered if shipping across the big pond by ship might not be a pretty low energy endeavor.  I was thinking that some of the premium cost of the malts was paying for a significant amount of shipping but maybe its just the exchange rate and more middlemen getting paid.  I'm still going to do this experiment just for fun and to support domestic business, plus its about 40% cheaper so that supports my endeavors.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: gimmeales on July 22, 2011, 06:13:36 PM
What are people's experiences with GW's 'Pale Ale Malt' vs. 'Premium 2-row'?  I've only used the latter but have heard the formwe is kilned slightly darker (2-3l), and said to be more like your British Pale malt.  I may try a sack of this on my next malt order.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: timberati on July 22, 2011, 06:45:22 PM
I'm still going to do this experiment just for fun and to support domestic business, plus its about 40% cheaper so that supports my endeavors.
Makes sense to me. 40% less is a good reason to try the local stuff.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: nateo on July 22, 2011, 07:20:43 PM
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: gimmeales on July 22, 2011, 08:01:14 PM
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

In which case the environmental impact of shipping would double, no?   ::)
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: a10t2 on July 23, 2011, 05:14:54 AM
I'm not impressed with Briess and I love British crystals.

That would be the sticking point for me too. I don't think I brew any ales without at least some UK crystal malt.

Come to think of it, aside from crystal malts, I *do* use all domestic.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: phillamb168 on July 25, 2011, 10:08:58 AM
Franco-Belge confirmed to me that their barley is sourced entirely from France, so they certainly don't import grain from the US.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: denny on July 25, 2011, 03:28:20 PM
Franco-Belge confirmed to me that their barley is sourced entirely from France, so they certainly don't import grain from the US.

AFAIK, most continental malt is made with continental barley.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: chumley on July 25, 2011, 08:26:36 PM
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

FWIW, here in Montana, two-row malt is grown on the Fairfield Bench, malted in Great Falls, Montana, then sold to us under the name, "Malteurop"......

http://www.fiftypoundsack.com/products/Malteurop-2-Row.html#reviews
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: alikocho on July 25, 2011, 09:08:33 PM
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

FWIW, here in Montana, two-row malt is grown on the Fairfield Bench, malted in Great Falls, Montana, then sold to us under the name, "Malteurop"......

http://www.fiftypoundsack.com/products/Malteurop-2-Row.html#reviews

Warminster (my local maltster) confim that all of their malt is grown in the UK and almost all of it comes from within 50 miles of the maltings. Thomas Fawcett in Yorkshire told me much the same thing.

Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: morticaixavier on July 25, 2011, 11:55:33 PM
Why not take it one step further and go organic? I have been using continental malts but maybe this will encourage me to stick closer to home, I just found a guy in Reno that malts barley grown in colorado and it's all organic so hey maybe we are good to go. Might have to make my own specialty malts though.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: nateo on July 26, 2011, 01:10:53 AM
I read an article about some study they did in the UK about transport costs vs growing costs in terms of carbon. It was much worse for the environment to grow tomatoes in the UK than to grow them in Spain and ship them to the UK. Shipping is surprisingly efficient and fertilizers and such are surprisingly inefficient.

Don't remember where the article is exactly, but it was on the BBCnews site.

My family came to America from Holland and Germany via Russia to be dryland farmers in Kansas. Quite a bit of my family still grows winter wheat that way. It's pretty cool stuff. Very low input.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: denny on July 26, 2011, 01:44:20 AM
Why not take it one step further and go organic? I have been using continental malts but maybe this will encourage me to stick closer to home, I just found a guy in Reno that malts barley grown in colorado and it's all organic so hey maybe we are good to go. Might have to make my own specialty malts though.

AFAIK, most continental malts are organic.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: gsandel on July 26, 2011, 03:21:07 AM
I made the decision to "settle" on domestic years and years ago....with EKG as my only exception in brewing.  I keep Americans working, keep profits in the United States, and don't employ as much (no matter how little) foreign oil to get it to me.

PS My car is domestic, appliances when I can get them, too.  My beer choices (when not at home) are 90% domestic, 80% from my home state....probably 75% made within 100 miles of my house (most within 10, but I am lucky to live here).....again, keeps my neighbors employed, keeps profits here to get spent here....this also keeps me employed.  Oh, and my LHBS get most of my business, too.

I can't wait to get an all electric car from GM or Ford so I can further snub foreign oil.

So maybe I won't win Ninkasi anytime soon with this decision, but hell, excellent beer can be sourced from local products.  I could even learn to live without EKG I suppose.....this choice is deeply personal (to me)....to each their own.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: morticaixavier on July 26, 2011, 04:28:10 AM
Why not take it one step further and go organic? I have been using continental malts but maybe this will encourage me to stick closer to home, I just found a guy in Reno that malts barley grown in colorado and it's all organic so hey maybe we are good to go. Might have to make my own specialty malts though.

AFAIK, most continental malts are organic.

that would be great! I appreciate trying to keep it local and do so at every opportunity. And I am not the kind of organic snob that needs to see the little seal. I will take a farmers word that they are not using chemicals or minimizing the inputs and just can't afford the certification, if I can talk to the farmer. Where do you get your info about continental malts? I know there are plenty of organic continental malts and I do buy them, am planning a all organic german malt hefe soon. In fact the only North American organic malt I can find that I really like is gambrinus which is canadian, again, not a made in USA snob in particular. I prefer closer to home but will take what I can get.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: denny on July 26, 2011, 03:44:52 PM
Where do you get your info about continental malts?

That's the tricky bit...I can't recall where I read it!  Consider it a possibly fact based rumor at this point .  I'll try to verify, but feel free to check into it yourself and please post any info you might find.

ETA:  I just checked Weyermann's website for an example.  While it looks like their "regular" malts may not be organic, they also say they can produce any malt organically upon request.  They also appear to make all their base malt in organic versions already.  Info can be found at http://www.weyermann.de/downloads/usa/Weyermann_Product_Information_USA_12_2010.pdf .
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: morticaixavier on July 26, 2011, 03:52:03 PM
Where do you get your info about continental malts?

That's the tricky bit...I can't recall where I read it!  Consider it a possibly fact based rumor at this point .  I'll try to verify, but feel free to check into it yourself and please post any info you might find.

will do. I know there are alot of wineries that are actually organic (particularly in france) but don't put it on the label as they see it as bad marketing. 'If you are selling the organic nature it is only because your wine is bad' is the mentality. Can't say I disagree as I have had some really mediocre organic wines that commanded a $20+ price tag.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 26, 2011, 03:55:25 PM
In addition to the regular malts, Weyermann has the line of organic malts.  These have BIO on the bag, at least in Europe.  The requirements for certification are different here, as I have been told.

http://www.weyermann.de/ger/produkte.asp?idkat=9&umenue=yes&idmenue=2&sprache=1
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: bluesman on July 26, 2011, 04:17:26 PM
I think malt is alot like most any other ingredient, in that it varies from region to region and year to year. For example grapes, they vary from region to region and year to year based on weather conditions among other things. This is also goes for Florida vs. California Oranges. The seed has alot to do with it as well.

As far as malt goes, I think there are subtle differences from region to region. Some of the variance can occur from regional weather conditions during a particular crop year or even during the particular maltsters mating process, among other things the genome of the particular barley can affect the overall flavor quality, etc...

Whether these differences from barley malt to barley malt, region to region, and maltster to maltser have a significant impact on the flavor of the final product or not is a good question, as I have not done any side by side blind tastings. I'm in the camp of thinking that there are subtle differences in flavor but I can't verify that.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: timberati on July 31, 2011, 04:30:28 PM
I think H. L. Mencken might have been on to something, "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." There is nothing clear cut about how to save the planet.

Organic/conventional farming techniques have pluses and minuses. For instance, fossil fuels allow conventional farming to use less land than organic methods. “By spending not much energy to make fertilizer and run machinery — and trivial amounts of energy to ship the stuff we grow from the places it grows best,” writes Stephen Budiansky, a former editor of the scientific journal, Nature, “we have spared and conserved hundreds of millions of acres of land that otherwise would have had to be brought into agricultural production. That’s land that protects wildlife, that adds scenic beauty.” In other words, we spare wetlands, grasslands, forests, and rainforests from being cleared for agriculture.

For Budiansky's take on organic see: http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2010/08/energy-or-land-pick-one.html (http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2010/08/energy-or-land-pick-one.html)

By 2070 there will be around 9 billion of us sharing this planet (then the population will begin to fall, the rate of growth has been dropping since 1960 or so), we need to have enough barley for beer! That's my priority.

Feel free to contact me by email and I'll be happy to discuss this more. timberati at normbenson.com
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: newrocset on August 01, 2011, 07:55:08 AM
This thread makes me wonder about the actual practices that go into making high quality conventional malt....
do you get a better malt when the grain is obtained through using less fertilizer?  Just as a quality winemaker wouldn't want to poison his grape-growing soil with fertilizers that may influence the character of the grape...does the same go for the grain that a malster would select for market?
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: narvin on August 01, 2011, 02:27:52 PM
This thread makes me wonder about the actual practices that go into making high quality conventional malt....
do you get a better malt when the grain is obtained through using less fertilizer?  Just as a quality winemaker wouldn't want to poison his grape-growing soil with fertilizers that may influence the character of the grape...does the same go for the grain that a malster would select for market?

Fertilizer is just nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, among others) that need to be in the soil.  You can go organic, but to be honest I don't see how some elemental chemicals would influence the character more than a big pile o cow poop  ;)

Maybe you are talking about pesticides and herbicides?
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on August 01, 2011, 07:45:50 PM
This thread makes me wonder about the actual practices that go into making high quality conventional malt....
do you get a better malt when the grain is obtained through using less fertilizer?  Just as a quality winemaker wouldn't want to poison his grape-growing soil with fertilizers that may influence the character of the grape...does the same go for the grain that a malster would select for market?

With grapes you want to make the vine suffer so the grapes are smaller and the flavors more potent.  With barley I'd think you would want to provide all the nutrients it needs so it fills the kernels out nicely.  Treating it poorly would mosts likely get you less grain, and more husk/less starch.

I'm not a big proponent of organic.  Nothing wrong with it, but I'm not too worried about the ag chemicals (especially fertilizers). 
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: newrocset on August 02, 2011, 12:38:31 AM
I'm a fan of smart farming and sustainable agricultural practices....whether it's organic as defined by USDA standards is really a non-issue to me.

What concerns me is when fertilizer/pesticide makes a negative impact by getting into our streams and water supplies and contributing to algal blooms, acidification, etc....I would rather have a product that came from naturally healthy soil, rather than something that was innoculated with fertilizer's, pesticides, etc....

And my core question is whether a grain that is grown in a regionally healthy soil that has not been over-fertilized, but maintained intelligently, makes a superior product.  In other words, if the soil is healthy, and the ecosystem is healthy, do you get a more well-rounded malt than if the grain was grown on an industrial farm that uses a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to cheaply yield a product?
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 02, 2011, 02:01:20 PM
Charlie Bamforth states that malting barley must have high starch and low proteins.  This is done by limiting the application of nitrogenous fertilizers. 

He does not state if there is no fertilizer used, or of what types.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: timberati on August 02, 2011, 06:05:13 PM
I'm a fan of smart farming and sustainable agricultural practices....whether it's organic as defined by USDA standards is really a non-issue to me.

What concerns me is when fertilizer/pesticide makes a negative impact by getting into our streams and water supplies and contributing to algal blooms, acidification, etc....I would rather have a product that came from naturally healthy soil, rather than something that was innoculated with fertilizer's, pesticides, etc....

Again, there is no one right way to farm. By its very imposition on a piece of land agriculture disrupts the local ecosystem. Do organic farms use pesticides? Yes. Are organic foods healthier. No. Is organic farming better for the environment? Maybe not.

Read more about conventional farming and organic farming in this Scientific American article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture
 (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture)
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: malzig on August 03, 2011, 01:22:42 AM
And my core question is whether a grain that is grown in a regionally healthy soil that has not been over-fertilized, but maintained intelligently, makes a superior product.  In other words, if the soil is healthy, and the ecosystem is healthy, do you get a more well-rounded malt than if the grain was grown on an industrial farm that uses a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to cheaply yield a product?
All agricultural products seem to have a terroir.  It's almost guaranteed to be different, but I imagine whether it is better depends on a lot more than just if it is organically grown and your personal taste.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on August 03, 2011, 11:08:16 AM
Take natural soil nitrogen into account.   
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/dc3773.html

Fertilize conservatively.
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/soilfert/sf723w.htm

Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: timberati on August 03, 2011, 02:58:46 PM
Fertilize conservatively.  http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/dc3773.html

Take natural soil nitrogen into account.  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/soilfert/sf723w.htm


+1
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on August 03, 2011, 03:22:35 PM
Heres a question, why is our malt higher in protein than European malt?  Is it that we tend to have a heavier hand with the fertilizer?  Or is it strictly a varietal difference?
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: a10t2 on August 03, 2011, 03:33:43 PM
Heres a question, why is our malt higher in protein than European malt?  Is it that we tend to have a heavier hand with the fertilizer?  Or is it strictly a varietal difference?

Strictly a guess, but I'd say it's a difference in varietals. Didn't European brewers who immigrated have to start using adjuncts in the 19th century because the North American barley crops were so much higher in protein than they were used to? That would have been well before the use of synthetic fertilizers became widespread.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: hubie on August 03, 2011, 04:50:02 PM
Didn't European brewers who immigrated have to start using adjuncts in the 19th century because the North American barley crops were so much higher in protein than they were used to?

That, and everybody wanted to get on the Bohemian lager (Pilsner Urquell) bandwagon.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on August 03, 2011, 08:08:45 PM
I think they used six-row with the adjuncts because it had higher DP.  But even our two-row has at least slightly higher protein content than European malts or at least the British malts.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: rightasrain on August 04, 2011, 03:59:09 AM
Make the change because you like local stuff. The science behind the "food miles" argument is not that good. Most energy is consumed in the production phase. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%.

Source: recent article in Environmental Science and Technology by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews of Carnegie-Mellon:

"We find that although food is transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average) the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. Different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish. Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than “buying local.” Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food." http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html

I'm not so sure this is fair representation of growing grains. As the article states raising livestock produces a lot of green house gases. Much more than grains would due to the waste products of livestock. So the green house gas emissions from transportation is probably a lot higher when your just talking about grains and not agriculture as a whole. Just this hippies two cents. Either way every little bit helps. Of course I love my government owned land that allows me to go get lost too so i'm going to go sleep on a fence on this issue. The trick is to put your mouth over one of the posts as your trying to go to sleep so you don't roll over and fall off.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: morticaixavier on August 16, 2011, 03:48:59 PM
Again, there is no one right way to farm. By its very imposition on a piece of land agriculture disrupts the local ecosystem. Do organic farms use pesticides? Yes. Are organic foods healthier. No. Is organic farming better for the environment? Maybe not.

Read more about conventional farming and organic farming in this Scientific American article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture
 (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture)

An organic farm can use pesticides but do not do so as a matter of course where as a conventional farm has a strictly planned application schedule that adds chemicals at particular points regardless of actual need. this makes a big difference in terms of the rates at which pests become resistant to pesticides. A conventional farm uses high availability fertilizers to allow much less crop rotation which has a major negative impact on the overall health of the soil requiring continuous and increasing fertilizer additions over time. the organic farmer uses fertilizers and crop rotation to improve the long term health of the soil.

Many of these distictions do disappear when comparing large factory organic farming as they are organic largley in name only.

in terms of whether organicly produced food is healthier than conventionally produced food I don't think that we have been using the level of ag chem that we use today long enough to know the real impact. molecular analysis only tells part of the story. Certainly our population has been getting less healthy since the 'green revolution' that introduced all these ag chemicals to us. but that could also be the effect of many other things.

Bio dynamic farming absolutly has less negative impact on the environment in which it is practiced and rarely uses pesticides or fertilizers per se at all.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: tomsawyer on August 17, 2011, 11:09:55 AM
Certainly our population has been getting less healthy since the 'green revolution' that introduced all these ag chemicals to us. but that could also be the effect of many other things.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say we've become less healthy as a result of the green revolution.  But its due to the availability of too much food, and too many heavily processed grain-based products in our diets, not because they are contaminated.
Title: Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
Post by: morticaixavier on August 17, 2011, 02:44:01 PM
Certainly our population has been getting less healthy since the 'green revolution' that introduced all these ag chemicals to us. but that could also be the effect of many other things.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say we've become less healthy as a result of the green revolution.  But its due to the availability of too much food, and too many heavily processed grain-based products in our diets, not because they are contaminated.

certainly that is an aspect of the problem. I am not trying to say that the large scale chemical additions to the agricultural industry are the only cause of the reduced health of the population. overeating and eating unhealthy foods do really have a huge negative impact as well. I am just saying that do categorically state that organic produce is not healthier than 'conventional' produce is jumping the gun at this point.