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The Church of the Organic

By Keith Kloor
Feb 8, 2014 1:45 AMNov 20, 2019 1:29 AM


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As I have discovered, there are numerous ways to get yourself on the outs with groups of people who otherwise share your values and politics. You could, for example, call out screechy climate demagogues or critique the rhetoric of saintly, well-meaning climate activists. You could also argue that environmentalism needs to be reinvented and make the case that some of the holiest leaders of the green movement are agenda-driven ideologues who spread urban legends. Even better: Take on a beloved, celebrated leader of the food movement or criticize irresponsible fear-mongering of GMOs in the media. One day I'll write a book called, "How to lose friends and piss off everyone else." But there's one sacred cow even I have mostly avoided skewering: The Church of the Organic. And that's because I have been a parishioner. (Gasp!) But trust me when I say it's really out of lazy habit. And I only started worshipping there after I had kids, just to be...you know...on the safe side. I'm like that agnostic who doesn't want to rule out the existence of god, just in case... I know, it's cowardly. But as a cigarette-smoking neighbor told me recently, "everybody has to have at least one vice." And mine is paying large sums of money to support my delusion that organic produce and dairy are healthier than conventional foods. But Melinda Wenner Moyer, who once apparently shared this delusion also out of love for her kids, has recently dared to go where few tread: Behind the Sacral Organic curtain, in search of deeper understanding. What she found wasn't pretty, yo:

we should stop worrying so much about whether the apples we buy are organic or conventional—we should just start giving our kids more apples.

You need to understand that this is truly heretical, like that Galileo affair. Even before Moyer looked closely at the science, she tried to cushion her shocking findings with caveats and soothing platitudes. She prostrated herself at the Sacral Organic curtain and all but pleaded, "I come in peace." You think it matters? Last I heard, an alarm went off when she tried to enter Whole Foods the other day (and she had a wig on!). There is no going back once you step over to the dark side. Take it from me. There are new joys that await Melinda, though. She can now share Portlandia clips with other heathens, who in turn will share skits like this with her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AftZshnP8fs It's not easy taking on a church, but it is liberating. UPDATE: Rest assured, I get that the clip above is a clever advertisement for the organic industry. I still find it hilarious. I also think the same exact parody could be made of organic. (Meanwhile, this fun.) [H/T: Jayson Lusk]

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