Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Sunday Sermon at the Church of the Liberal Pieties

Attention, brethren, it’s Sunday morning at the Church of the Liberal Pieties.

Thus morning’s sermon comes to us from New York Times columnist, Brother Nicholas Kristof.

I have long since stopped reading the intellectually challenged Kristof, but today’s column is so bad, even by his standards, that it deserves special notice.

Kristof is offering us a happy column about happy cows. You know… the kinds that walk around with a grin on their snouts.

He tells us about farmers who so love their happy cows that they treat them like their own children. Let’s hope these farmers do not milk their own children. One farmer calls his cows, his “girls” and has given them proper names, like Jill, Sophia, Kimona, Edie and Pesto.

Praise the Lord.

Brother Kristof is somewhat defensive about the glory granted to organic food. A recent Stanford University study showed that organic food is not appreciably better for you than standard, inorganic food.

Brother Kristof, however, still has fond memories of growing up on a lamb and cherry farm. You would too.

Praise the Lord.

Since the Church of the Liberal Pieties does not have a Eucharist, it offers the next best thing: organic milk.

So, Brother Kristof closes his sermon by inviting us all to join him in savoring its goodness:

The next time you drink an Organic Valley glass of milk, it may have come from one of Bob’s cows. If so, you can bet it was a happy cow. And it has a name.

Praise the Lord.

Intellectually challenged does not even begin to do justice to such drivel. Fortunately for all of us, yesterday’s New York Times offered an enlightening column by Roger Cohen that brought us into touch with reality.

Cohen explained that this madness about organic foods, and, he might have added, happy cows who are treated like children, is a formula for mass famine and starvation.

One is slightly surprised to read this from Cohen, but, credit where credit is due, he made the most salient point in a great paragraph:

Organic has long since become an ideology, the romantic back-to-nature obsession of an upper middle class able to afford it and oblivious, in their affluent narcissism, to the challenge of feeding a planet whose population will surge to 9 billion before the middle of the century and whose poor will get a lot more nutrients from the two regular carrots they can buy for the price of one organic carrot.

Affluent narcissist, thy name is Nicholas Kristof.

Praise the Lord.

Fair and balanced, Cohen offered us a few reasons why organic produce is not all that bad after all. But then he got to the more salient point:

Still, the organic ideology is an elitist, pseudoscientific indulgence shot through with hype. There is a niche for it, if you can afford to shop at Whole Foods, but the future is nonorganic.

To feed a planet of 9 billion people, we are going to need high yields not low yields; we are going to need genetically modified crops; we are going to need pesticides and fertilizers and other elements of the industrialized food processes that have led mankind to be better fed and live longer than at any time in history.

Praise the Lord and take a pass on the liberal pieties.

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