Ingles ‘infomercial’ has no place in paper

I really must take exception to the "infomercial" written by Ingles dietitian Leah McGrath in last week’s Mountain Xpress. This kind of misinformation has no place in the Xpress. Her first point disputing the statement: "I buy local because it's organic," is pointless, except as a defense for non-local food.

Her second point, stating that the facts are still out on whether organic produce is better for you than pesticide-covered, GMO-engineered produce, will take more than one, cherry-picked article to prove. I don't understand how any dietitian can say with a straight face that eating pesticide-covered, irradiated, GMO-food grown mostly in depleted soil is on the same nutritional level as locally grown, organic produce grown in soil enriched by organic farming practices.

It's the third statement that is the most misleading: "Organic pesticides can present just as many risks to humans as synthetic pesticides." While I am sure that there have been isolated cases of organic pesticides that are not good for humans, a better statement would be that most organic pesticides are far better for humans (and the soil) than synthetic pesticides.

She closes by saying, "Big farms are not necessarily ‘bad’ farms and may have very efficient and ethical standards for crop and soil management." Sure, some "may" have ethical standards, but the reality is that the vast majority of big farms have terrible crop and soil management practices and profit is their number one motive.

In short, this is a poorly written and researched article that exists for the sole purpose of defending Ingles’ produce section, which contains mostly non-local and non-organic produce. While Ingles has every right to advertise their store in Mountain Xpress, I hope that the editors of this newspaper will not allow agenda-driven paid "articles" that blend in with the rest of the real articles in the paper that have journalistic integrity.

— John Gray
Asheville

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