American Elephants

Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum, How lovely are your branches. by The Elephant's Child
December 11, 2008, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Media Bias | Tags: ,

LOCALLY grown, pesticide-free food is gaining sway these days because it is fresh, healthy and supports area farmers.  But how many of us give the same kind of thought to the Christmas trees we bring home? Can you decorate your Fraser fir without getting pesticide residue in your lungs and on your skin?

Sure, if the tree is certified organic by the Department of Agriculture.  Or if it is a Certified Naturally Grown tree, which meets the same basic requirements; it was raised without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, using sustainable methods like composting and erosion control.

Or so says an article in the New York Times. Trouble is, some if this is simply not true.  There is no evidence that “certified organic” food is fresher or healthier than any other.  Organic certification is a marketing scheme which allows growers, by following certain rules, to get  a higher price for their products.  The rules refer to process, not health or safety or wholesomeness.

In the second paragraph above, the key word is synthetic .   Organic farmers are free to use pesticides and fertilizers, they just cannot be “synthetic”.  Organophosphates and pyrethroids will break down in rain and UV light, or you could just turn the hose on the tree and wash it off, if you are concerned about pesticide residue.  The organic label does not guarantee that there are no pesticides, only that they are not synthetic ones.

A popular new buzz-word is “sustainable”.  What it seems to mean is that something “sustainable” is something of which the greenies approve, and unsustainable refers to those things of which they do not approve.  A little common sense is called for here.  Pesticides are some of the most heavily regulated compounds on earth.  Directions are printed on the container, including every caution.  In every case,the dose makes the poison.  You can be poisoned with water, or too much of almost anything.

Environmental activists have long recognized that to get headlines, media attention and the attention of the public they have to present dramatic, scary stories.  There are the pesticide scares, the unsustainable scares, the food scares, the chemical scares, the vaccine scares, the endangered species scares, and far more.

If you want to have a Christmas tree, have exactly the kind that you like.  Apparently old fashioned aluminum trees are fashionable this year, but they must be ‘virgin’ aluminum.  If plastic is your thing, feel free.  If you want a fresh tree, there are Douglas fir, Noble fir, Scotch pine, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir, white pine and blue spruce, and probably a few more that I have forgotten.  You can go to a lot, or if you are lucky, take the kids and go to a growers’  tree farm, and cut your own. If you live near the mountains check with your nearest Forest Service Ranger Station to see if permits are available to cut a tree in the woods.

Growers often shear trees to make them bushier and prettier in the house.  You do not need to feel guilty because they are not really “natural”.  It is Christmas.  Relax and enjoy every minute, and do not let the Green Scrooges spoil your Christmas with their false claims, and environmental preciousness.

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As I wrote recently, liberals would rather feel good than actually do good.

Comment by renaissanceguy

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