Monday, 31 August 2009

Organic or?.....

I stole this pic from a post on BoingBoing.
Boingboing stole it from Scienceblogs.

Both scienceblogs and boingboing focus on the idea of cross contamination, that your organo-bread might get a crumb or a smidge of nasty pesticide-bread on it, and how laughably low on the scale of things in our everyday lives that can harm us that would be.

I'm not debating any of that. The thing that annoys me is the misuse of the word 'organic', If I'm in the aisle which promotes 'organic"'vegetables, I'm tempted to grab a store employee and ask"Where are the the "inorganic" vegetables?"
Because, in fact, all vegetables and fruits are organic. All living things are, by definition 'Organic'.

In terms of chemistry, inorganic refers to substances which do not contain carbon. Life forms, animal, or vegetable, in our world are all carbon-based, and therefore 'organic'.

So, what is 'conventional' bread made from? Silica sand and iron oxide? I think not.

Yes, I know what the 'organic' lobby mean by it. But why not coin a term that fits, rather than misuse an existing word?

In the same article, by Cory Doctorow, one of the commenters uses another stupid term. Baristas. Who coined that stupid term for people who serve coffee?


  1. you go into starbucks and say "I want a large coffee" and they say something in PIG LATIN and then overcharge you.....

  2. Ha! And there's never a pig there to translate, either!

  3. i'm with you on this soubriquet... of course the world is a pitiful place to people who know how to spell and have a decent vocabulary. what's worse to me about the organic thing is that now that everyone (almost everyone) has agreed that the word means certain things about how the food was grown, the government is getting involved to broaden the description and therefore negate the meaning altogether. this will most likely spawn a new misused word to describe the food that isn't supposed to be full of toxins. that said, i'm always amused to become aware that a great many people would actually have a problem with the bread slicer having a crumb of "conventional" bread on it. same goes for nut butters that have disclaimers about the other products that the machines are used for. throwing out the baby with the bathwater is really a national passtime in the states and it is not limited to the general public... in fact the politicians take the lead. as far as misappropriated words i remember as a boy my dad decried that homosexuals were appropriating the word gay and although my dad was no bigot, he could be heard saying more than once... "but gay is a perfectly good word". i have a similar problem with non-believers absconding with the word "brights" to describe themselves. i applaud their mission but don't see the word catching on. starting to ramble... tata


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