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Organic. Does it matter?


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Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,510
Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 125

27 pages 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Fascinating! (yawn)

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 50

I will never pay more than a buck for a Clif Bar. If they can keep the price point there, great!

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040

I think it’s cool. And I do think, in general, that organic growing practices are better for the planet, and means less exposure for people who handle the pesticides in the process of growing the food, as well as for people who eat the product.

But I still can’t stand the taste of Cliff bars, of any kind, while I love Kind bars (almost any kind). 

Tim Lutz · · Colo-Rado Springs · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

Organic Sugar is sugar that is organic

Clif Bars are sugar bombs

And they dropped Honnold and Potter because they are too awesome

Mike D · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 844

I wonder which is worse for the environment: individually wrapped candy bars or non-organic ingredients?

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,510

I wanna meet the ad exec that cam up with this idea! Trolling in advertising, awesome.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

living in the north east what is the better choice. Organic tomato from Mexico or locally grown tomato without the organic label?  Much like when CCH got Aliens into REI and production could not keep up with demand and keep quality up to standards, what happens when organic gets into wall mart? can they really fill all those wall mart and BJ's shelves while still following good organic practices or is there a shitload of cheating going on?  can organic certifications be bought in south America? Is as simple as a straight up bait and switch? 

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 100
Lena chita wrote: I think it’s cool. And I do think, in general, that organic growing practices are better for the planet, and means less exposure for people who handle the pesticides in the process of growing the food, as well as for people who eat the product.

But I still can’t stand the taste of Cliff bars, of any kind, while I love Kind bars (almost any kind). 

Organic doesnt mean pesticide free. In fact organic produce can use nastier pesticides...a lot of them involving copper.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
Mike D wrote: I wonder which is worse for the environment: individually wrapped candy bars or non-organic ingredients?

If it were a serious question, it would take a lot of calculating, after first defining a lot of things, and giving them different weights... because, how could you tell what is worse, one turtle choking on a plastic wrap, or one bird poisoned by pesticide?


But that is a wrong attitude, IMO. Individually  wrapped snack bars exist, and they are not going anywhere, given society/consumer demand. 

So the right thing to do, if the company really cared about things other than their bottom line, would be to make those bars:

1)better nutritionally;2) healthier for the farmers who grow the ingredients, 
AND 
3) come up with a biodegradable wrapper, too. 
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
RockinOut wrote:

Organic doesnt mean pesticide free. In fact organic produce can use nastier pesticides...a lot of them involving copper.

True, there are pesticides that are allowed under organic standards. And copper is bad. Though the copper example is a straw horse, because it is used in conventional farming, too. 


The bottom line is pretty clear: organic farming uses less pesticides, uses pesticides only as a last resort/when needed, as opposed to regular prophylactic spraying, which is common in conventional farming, and organic farming stipulates the use of the least-harmful available option. Sometimes the least-harmful substance is still harmful (e.g. copper), but overall it is a better practice. 

The “organic farmers are bad, too” argument is along the lines of “but Hillary’s emails”. 
Mike D · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 844
Lena chita wrote:

If it were a serious question, it would take a lot of calculating, after first defining a lot of things, and giving them different weights... because, how could you tell what is worse, one turtle choking on a plastic wrap, or one bird poisoned by pesticide?


But that is a wrong attitude, IMO. Individually  wrapped snack bars exist, and they are not going anywhere, given society/consumer demand. 

So the right thing to do, if the company really cared about things other than their bottom line, would be to make those bars:

1)better nutritionally;2) healthier for the farmers who grow the ingredients, 
AND 
3) come up with a biodegradable wrapper, too. 


Well yeah. My point was that there is plenty more that Clif can do to help the problem improve.

The overwhelming problem is society's need for individually wrapped stuff, single use containers, etc. To me, organic versus non-organic is less of an issue than the waste of mass-consumerism.

Biodegradable packaging will certainly help. The coffee I buy now comes in compostable bags. I'd like to be able to reuse the bags a few times, but they don't offer that yet. Does Peets still have the option to refill bags if you buy beans at their shops?
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
Nick Goldsmith wrote: living in the north east what is the better choice. Organic tomato from Mexico or locally grown tomato without the organic label?  Much like when CCH got Aliens into REI and production could not keep up with demand and keep quality up to standards, what happens when organic gets into wall mart? can they really fill all those wall mart and BJ's shelves while still following good organic practices or is there a shitload of cheating going on?  can organic certifications be bought in south America? Is as simple as a straight up bait and switch? 

This type of argument is generally used to justify status quo. 


Local produce is often better than the one transported halfway across the globe. But if even ~10% of Boston, or NY, decides to switch exclusively to local produce, there won’t be enough produce to feed them. 
IMO you can’t let good be enemy of the best. 10 people in NY decided to join a local CSA— great! 19 people in Boston decided to cut down on red meat—wonderful! 13 guys in Philly chose to buy organic ketchup- good for them! And the lady at the table next to you just said no to straw—hurray! 
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
Mike D wrote:


Well yeah. My point was that there is plenty more that Clif can do to help the problem improve.

The overwhelming problem is society's need for individually wrapped stuff, single use containers, etc. To me, organic versus non-organic is less of an issue than the waste of mass-consumerism.

Biodegradable packaging will certainly help. The coffee I buy now comes in compostable bags. I'd like to be able to reuse the bags a few times, but they don't offer that yet. Does Peets still have the option to refill bags if you buy beans at their shops?

I have no idea about Peets. 

My point is, there are 2 independent evaluations:

1) status quo vs Cliff doing something worthwhile

2) the one thing Cliff is going, vs other things they could also be going. 

I think doing one thing, such as changing to organic ingredients, is better than not doing anything. But I would ultimately like to see other things, such as biodegradable wrappers. On Cliff, as well as all other products. 

McD made some noise about changing up fully recycled/recyclable packaging in 5-7 years, don’t remember exactly, and everyone jumped on them and said, yeah, but McD is bad in so many other ways. And sure, it is. But what is better McD as is, or McD with more environmentally sound packaging?

Cliff decided to go organic, and people jump on them and say, yeah, but the packaging!! And sugar!!!

TJ announced that they will be phasing our all single use plastic and switching styrofoam for biodegradable packaging, and people complain that they aren’t doing XYZ. 

IMO, all of those things are good, even if some of them are mostly window dressings, because they do change the expectations for the industry going forward. And yeah, these are all for-profit companies, and they have to think of their bottom line. So we wouldn’t see bigger changes unless it becomes financially important for them to do those things. 
Try Cam · · Ft. Wayne, IN · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
Eight years ago, in a fit of gumby stoveless ultralight jihad, I backpacked the Bells Loop and brought nothing but C-bars, Gu shots and beef jerky. I haven’t eaten a C-bar since.
Grandpa Dave · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5
Lena chita wrote:
But I still can’t stand the taste of Cliff bars, of any kind, while I love Kind bars (almost any kind). 

Yes, ^ this. I tried Cliff bars on Rainier in 2012, and have not done so since. Kind bars are far better tasting.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Lena,  no status quo.  Just saying that my  neighbors  farm stand  is better than  wall  Mart  organic any  day  regardless that it's not organic. 

Mike D · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 844

Just saw this article on Facebook and found it relevant to this discussion. 

Trader Joe’s phasing our single use plastics
Edit: sorry, I missed that Lena had mentioned this. 

Sloppy Second · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0
Lena chita wrote:

This type of argument is generally used to justify status quo. 

Sometimes that status quo is the better alternative.

Adam Ronchetti · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2011 · Points: 25

"Organic" means next to nothing. From a chemical stand point if it isn't a salt. It's organic. I like Clif bar to the level that if they come out with a new flavor I'll try it. But for the amount of sugar each bar comes with it's just not worth it to me. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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