Friday, September 7, 2012

Break My Organic Heart

Parshat Ki Tavo
20 Elul, 5772
September 7th, 2012

Drs.Dana Bravata and Crystal Smith-Spangler at Stanford University (takeh), after reviewing thousands of papers on the subject, “did not find strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives…”

Oh boy.

Had they criticized farmer’s markets, had they flown in fruit from Zimbabwe, had they pointed out that kale tastes really, really bad – these researchers could not have angered organic food advocates more.

Personally, I love studies like these. Having one’s conceits busted is good for the soul.

Every great idea, organic farming included, attracts intellectual detritus. It’s just what happens. When we believe in a principle, we will muster every proof we can think of in its support. About half the time, those proofs turn out to be, ahem, complete bullshit. Unless one periodically clears out the false hypotheses, precious pieces of wisdom gather the smell of manure.

My beloved Rav Kook valued atheism. He wrote,“Atheism has the right of temporary existence because it is needed to digest the filth adhered to faith for the lack of intellect and service” (Orot 126)

I hesitate to point out that, just over a week away, are two holidays designed for the very purpose of cleaning spiritual house. When it comes to beliefs – better not to be a hoarder. Time to roll up our sleeves and start scrubbing.

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