The Future of the Timber Industry After the Forest Conference

The vegetarian and the organic

The Food page article "Earth-Friendly Eating," April 15, states: "If it's organic it hasn't been cultivated with the use of pesticides and herbicides." An accurate statement would be if it is organic, it has been cultivated with the use of pesticides and herbicides certified for use on organic produce.

The article also implies that if more consumers demand organic products, they will be available at a more reasonable price. The idea that consumer demand alone will automatically create less expensive produce is naive. It is agricultural productivity that creates low food prices, not only consumer demand. In the tree fruit industry, culling in organic operations can run as high as 50 percent due to worm damage, necessitating higher prices to compensate for lower productivity.

There isn't a farmer today who doesn't realize the need to reduce farm chemical use and to operate in an environmentally sound manner, but as the article quotes one farmer, "You just cannot feed the world without some use of pesticides." Judy Schott, Wapato, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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