Wednesday, June 1, 2011

False Dichotomy

Dave sent me an amusing infographic about the differences between the ways that Liberals and Conservatives approach food and while I'm sure a lively and lengthy discussion about the false dichotomy of liberals vs. conservatives could ensue any moment, what really caught my attention was this bit: 

Do you see a "significant nutritional difference" between organic and processed foods?

The problem with this question is that there is a multitude of organic processed food out there to be had, so the question itself creates a false dichotomy in the mind of the answerer. Cheese doodles are still cheese doodles, even if they're made from all organic ingredients. They're still laden with fat and empty calories. Organic and processed foods can be, and often are, the same thing. 

Doctors and public health experts agree that what is good for us is to eat less processed foods. Organic or conventional, an apple is better for you than a bag of chips. Whole grains are better for you than pasta or bread. Roast chicken is better for you than chicken nuggets. A bowl of beans is better for you than a vegetarian "hamburger." Hands down, every time. The nutritional difference between organic and conventional whole foods is still up for debate, and lets not even start the debate on which tastes better, but I think we can safely say that processed foods vs. whole foods presents a "significant nutritional difference."


  1. Thanks for this post, you have stated what I have been thinking for a while. Keep it up. BTW, when you have a blog roll, please add the Kitchen Shaman, and once you have a month's worth of posts, I'll add you over at KS. Keep up the good work Hannah!

  2. Will do! I'm planning to work on my blog roll soon and would be happy to add you. ^_^

  3. Even "processed" v "whole" foods is a false dichotomy. There are a whole lot of different ways to process food, and there's not really a logical place to draw a line. A lot of the food we eat has to be processed in some way to make it edible (or just delicious).

  4. Lexi, so true. I was thinking about this after I posted it. Washing and cooking are in fact processes, but I wouldn't want to eat unwashed lettuce or uncooked chicken. Thanks for keeping me honest!