Then there's organic food. The tech spec of organic food – the fact that nothing synthetic is used in its production – suggests flavour, nutritional value and agricultural ethics. But it has become a devalued, mass-market symbolic indicator. Organics are promoted as both available to all and a luxury treat, but often they're more expensive and they taste the same. And they're not even necessarily good for the environment, either. Increasing demand has led to organic meat being raised on vast industrial feed lots, and the scarcity of organic ingredients means they are flown around the world. Research sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs showed that the production of a litre of organic milk requires 80% more land than conventional milk. And that organically reared cows burp and fart twice as much methane as conventionally reared cattle, which would be amusing if it weren't for the fact that methane is 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.
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As always, your on-topic responses are most welcome.