Over the past month, with the approaching date of the Copenhagen summit, several news and scientific articles have been prominently dedicated to various environmental issues, namely organic farming, the sustainability of keeping high levels of meat in our diets and its growth in developing countries, as well as the sustainability in general of feeding such a huge global population. There is of course also the question of developing alternative fuel sources for transport in the absence of oil security, and the controversial question of first generation biodiesels since they are all food crops whose environmental virtues have been thoroughly questioned. This was a feature on Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/dome...091110?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=11621 about GM crops vs organic farming. The general public of course takes a better view of the old man who kindly tends to his naturally growing farm that doesn't significantly suffer from pests and diseases, than the supposedly more commercially oriented and 'heartless' GM crops that increase yields and potentially make farms more profitable. The view that the scientific community seems to espouse is that organic farming, though nice in principle, is not sustainable beyond redeeming the conscience of the West's upper middle class. So then, organic farming is not actually so virtuous, since all it does is apply a model that is by nature small scale to cater to a niche and rich market. There was also the recent research that concluded there was virtually no nutritional difference between organic and the rest. Although intensive farming may have side-effects for the soil, the main culprit here is not greedy farmers or evil scientists performing wicked experiments in a lab, but the sheer size of the population. If we're to make food prices affordable to feed the world, we need these methods. I used to buy organic when it was on offer because I thought I might be doing something positive as a consumer with little difference to my wallet, but now I'm more reluctant to take such a simplistic view. Considering the above, is there really a point to buying organic, given the realities of the global scale social and economic conditions of both?