RUSH: In Chicago, the city counsel is poised to send a message to residents: Get rid of your chickens. Get this now. This is hilarious. This is all the New Age, you know, the people who sit around and do their mantras all day, ‘ohmm, ohmm,’ that’s who are being targeted here. ‘Coming up for a vote Wednesday is a proposal to ban chickens, a former barnyard denizen that is pecking its way into cities across the country as part of a growing organic food trend among young professionals and other urban dwellers. Chicken lovers say the birds make great pets, don’t take up much backyard space and provide tasty, nutritious eggs.’ Had you heard about this? People having chickens as pets in order to be organic? This organic business, look, if you like it, that’s fine and dandy, I have no beef with you, but I mean you’re buying into another hoax here. What is organic? Will you stop and think what organic is? Oh, give me a break, free of pesticides. Give me a break. So what? It’s lunchtime, in certain parts of this country and I don’t want to get too graphic here but you can take your lack of pesticides and all that organic stuff and you can go ahead and throw it in the manure that your organic chickens are eating in order to produce for you some super-duper healthy chicken, or egg, or what have you.
RUSH: Shelly in Riverside, California, we’ll go to you first on the phones. It’s great to have you with us.
CALLER: Hello, Rushalicious. How are you?
RUSH: I’m fine, thank you.
CALLER: Oh, good. I’m calling about the Chicken Nazis story. Very disappointed. One: I’ve had chickens. They are incredible, and I think everybody should have a chicken in their backyard, like in the pot.
RUSH: Yeah, I guess.
RUSH: But if you eat the chicken in your backyard, then what do you got? You gotta go get another chicken.
CALLER: Oh, no, no. I was joking. I wouldn’t eat the chicken in my backyard, but I would eat the eggs.
RUSH: You would eat the eggs.
CALLER: Yes and, of course, the chicken —
RUSH: Let me ask. I love barnyards and farms and so forth when they’re where they are. But I could tell you, if my neighbor — if I had a neighbor that I could see, and the neighbor — had a little bunch of clucking chickens next door running around, I’m not sure that I would be so cool on that.
RUSH: Well, the thing about chickens is they don’t make noise unless — or hens unless they are laying. Excuse me. Unless they’re laying eggs.
RUSH: I guarantee you once the pelicans saw ’em and the foxes saw ’em, they’d be making noise.
CALLER: (laughter) Let’s hope down in New York doesn’t have foxes running around trying to get into the coop.
RUSH: Well, that’s people in Chicago are very much concerned about this, because the chickens are invading traditional urban areas, all because, you know, these yuppies think they’re extending their lives by gazillions of years by going organic. Get a life. Just get a life.
RUSH: Here’s Will in St. Paul. Will, nice to have you here.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. First-time caller, long — well, short-time listener, but I listen as often as I can.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I appreciate it.
CALLER: I really… You know, I like a lot of your views and things like that. The organic — the organic thing, I’m not — I’m not sure if it was totally just about chickens that you were talking about or if it was vegetable or —
RUSH: The whole thing. But you gotta understand something. I don’t care. If you want to eat what you want to eat, you go ahead — and if you, in your mind, think you’re eating something that’s better for you, then it probably is. My problem is, I love informed people who do not just become lemmings and follow the latest fad, trend, whatever, over a cliff. I like independent thinkers. I resist organic. They’re going to study caffeine now. This is insulting to the intelligence. I wish more people would be more independent and not so shepherd-like and pied piper-like. That’s my only complaint, really. You can do what you want. I would never come take your organic food out of your fridge.
CALLER: No, I work in the organic produce business.
CALLER: What I do all day long is organic fruits and vegetables.
CALLER: And I can tell you just from personal experience and — I understand you’re talking about the certain people that are out there that are, you know, they want to live the yuppie lifestyle. They’re doing it as a fad. But I can tell you from personal experience that just the taste of them alone — the strawberries, apples, carrots, bananas — if you were to put them side-by-side and do a, you know, like they did years ago, a Coke and Pepsi Challenge or whatever, I guarantee you that you’re gonna — gonna really just be able to taste the difference between the two. The taste alone just gets you thinking about it, and really makes you understand —
RUSH: Okay, that’s fine. If they taste better to you, go for it. That’s not a problemo for me.
CALLER: It’s not just me, though. I mean, if you look at — you know, everybody, I mean — I’m by no means am I a liberal, and I’m not a hundred percent organic —
RUSH: Nobody said you were. You don’t need to be defensive here.
CALLER: So, you know, I’m just trying to, you know, in a way I feel attacked by you by saying that, but at the same time I understand, ‘Hey, it’s great that you have your opinion and there’s nothing wrong with that.’ There are also (crosstalk) other side of the coin.
RUSH: No, because mine are unusually right. This is the thing: We’re all entitled to our opinions, but not everybody’s is right.
RUSH: There’s no virtue in having an opinion, especially if it’s wrong. I’m not talking about your organic opinion. I’ve just moved beyond this topic, now, understand that. Will, I appreciate it. You’re in the organic business and so forth. I don’t know that. I’ve never done a side-by-side taste test of organic broccoli versus nonorganic broccoli. I’ve done side-by-side taste tests of organic milk, and I cannot taste the difference. I can not. Maybe it’s the Kahlúa, but I can’t tell. (laughs) I’m just kidding. Colleen in Bergen County, New Jersey. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s Colleen. It seems every time I call it has to do with animals.
RUSH: Oh, well… (laughs) You know, it’s amazing to me. After doing this show for almost 20 years now, I have this little throwaway story that I put in the top just to get out of the way on organic food, and now everybody in the world is lined up on this!
CALLER: Oh, now, here: I’m just going to reiterate what the previous caller just said. He’s absolutely right, Rush. Please, just try it. We did not start it as a fad at all. If anything, our — my husband — my husband had a — an issue, health issue, where we went organic for one simple reason, and believe me, our family would fight it, ‘Oh, what’s the difference,’ and then more and more everybody started doing it. So we didn’t do it as a fad. We did it because of the chemicals and exactly what that previous caller just said. But the taste is so much better. You have to see the meat. The meat is redder. The chicken doesn’t have… Uck. I really don’t like to say it over the air, but it doesn’t look disgusting the way… Look, the chicken isn’t confined! I mean, what’s wrong with me going to the supermarket and being able to choose a chicken that was able to run and have some sort of normal exercise the way a chicken —
RUSH: See? Don’t do this.
RUSH: Do not. Up ’til that point —
CALLER: No, no, no. My feeling is —
RUSH: I could sit by. No, don’t tell me —
CALLER: — that you don’t like exercise.
RUSH: Are you telling me that the steak I served at a dinner party last night — which was delicious; it was from Allen Brothers, and it was not organic.
RUSH: Are you telling me that if I get a steak from a steer that’s running around the barnyard rather than caged, it’s going to taste better.
CALLER: No, no, no.
RUSH: Yes, you did. That’s what you said.
CALLER: Wait, wait, wait. First of all, your steak, you get what you pay for. That’s how I look at everything in life. If you want to buy something in the supermarket that’s cheap and on sale, you’re going to pay for that. What you’re buying is a high-quality piece of meat.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. I do not buy a steak unless the steer has been massaged —
CALLER: (laughing) Noo.
RUSH: — by the rancher to soften the fat. I’m not kidding you. We all have our preferences.
CALLER: That’s wonderful. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with the animals. I have a problem when the animal is confined and I have to eat something that never had any exercise.
RUSH: (Burst out laughing) What the…? Please! No!
RUSH: (laughing) Do not say that. That was one of the original arguments of the organic crowd! You’re talking about being kind to animals before you kill them and eat them!
CALLER: No. No, no, no. No, the Indians, the American Indians. The American Indians.
CALLER: I don’t want to say that. They… When they killed an animal, they loved that animal —
CALLER: — for everything that that animal gave their life.
RUSH: When they ate it, they absolutely loved it when they ate it.
CALLER: And that’s how I feel, because I wish I could — I can’t be a vegetarian because I do like meat, but I try to live a life where I could at least —
RUSH: Yes. Right, yeah.
CALLER: — feel that I am grateful.
RUSH: See? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ‘Feel.’ You ‘feel’ you’re doing good. You ‘feel’ that the animals that you’re eating have been treated better before they were killed and slaughtered, to be eaten by you — and that’s what the organic movement preys upon. That’s fine. You people are misunderstanding me, here. If you want to go out and eat organic this and that, that’s fine. I just hate… I dislike people being sheep, you know, getting caught up in these movements because of feelings and so forth rather than having any idea what they’re doing. Chris in Las Cruces, New Mexico, you’re next, EIB Network, hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Maha.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I’m one of hundreds of thousands of Ron Paul Rush Babies and I’m calling about the organic thing.
RUSH: Yes. Yes, thank you.
CALLER: We have the cheapest, safest, most abundant food supply in the history of all civilization, and it doesn’t have to do with the voodoo that goes into organic food. It has to do with the ingenuity of American farmers and American agricultural scientists.
RUSH: Wait a minute, did you say organic is voodoo?
CALLER: (laughs) A lot of what goes into organic is voodoo because it’s not science. It’s ‘this is the way we used to do it, therefore, this way is better.’
CALLER: And —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. You have expertise here?
CALLER: Yes. I’m actually working on a Ph.D. in plant genetics.
RUSH: You’re an agriculture science candidate, a Ph.D. candidate for agricultural science?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Okay. And you said the organic movement is simply — there’s no science to it, it’s just this way is better?
CALLER: No, there is some science, and they have done a great effort to preservation of genetic resources. But saying that a plant is going to be tastier or healthier because we fertilized it with chicken manure that might have E. coli in it rather than precisely calculated amount of nitrogen, is asinine.
RUSH: Well, that was my point. You don’t know what’s in the manure.
CALLER: Oh, yeah, it’s nowhere near as healthy as what’s in the synthetic fertilizer, but let me make another point. The superiority in the taste and the superiority in the freshness that the two previous callers were talking about, a lot of that has to do with the organic stuff that was produced locally and it wasn’t frozen for months and it wasn’t chopped up and shipped across the country three times.
RUSH: All right. So these people are going to the local commune, called ‘a farmers market,’ which is just a new commune, and they’re going out there buying these fresh vegetables and so forth, and since they’re fresh and haven’t been transported from long distances in order to be kept, haven’t been frozen, so that’s the key, huh?
CALLER: If that’s the way you want to spend your money, more power to you.
RUSH: Absolutely! I have no problem, is the point I’m trying to make here.
CALLER: Okay, thanks, Rush.
RUSH: All right. I appreciate that, Chris.
RUSH: By the way, this whole concept of organic, one more thing about that. The term organic is an absurd name anyway because there is no such thing as inorganic food, is there? Can you go to the grocery store and find the inorganic milk? Does it say inorganic on it? No. I’m telling you, this is a thought movement. It’s probably a good marketing ploy on the part of the agricultural community. How about, do you remember the spinach E. coli breakout? That was organic. That was organic spinach. It came from the organic cow manure that was infested with E. coli. Nobody mentioned it in the media. They just said, ‘Oh, we got some bad spinach out there.’ It was organic spinach. It’s not this thing that’s universally better and immune to any disease. Organic is supposed to be natural, all right? All natural. Okay, Snerdley, if you want to go out there and eat organic E. coli-infested spinach — not with E. coli in it you don’t.
RUSH: Phil in Fargo, North Dakota. You said there’s no difference in organic and whatever you call the alternative. I’d say ‘natural versus organic.’
CALLER: I call it ‘conventional.’ That’s kind of the term we’ve used.
RUSH: Okay, conventional. What did the guy from Las Cruces say that was right?
CALLER: (garbled) trying to look at these chemicals —
RUSH: Oh, no.
CALLER: — pros of chemicals — (garbled)
RUSH: Oh, no.
CALLER: — (garbled) —
RUSH: That’s organic. Here I was right on the verge of getting proof and we got a bad cell connection. Are you still out there Phil?
CALLER: Oh, don’t tell me that. Rush, are you there?
RUSH: (garbled cell impression) That’s how you sounded.
RUSH: When you were answering the question. It’s a cell phone connection. It’s no biggie. But we’ll just take it for granted you confirmed what I said.
CALLER: Well, I think so, yes.
CALLER: Again, the chemical nature of these things is identical.
RUSH: Well, okay. What are people buying into that’s wrong when they believe that organic is healthier?
CALLER: Well, again, they’ve been sold on the issue that there’s pesticide residues, and that’s where the large emphasis has been — and again, there is the potential for that, but it’s so minuscule, even the studies that the USDA conducts, they find very, very low residues of these. They usually complain about these products that maybe are not approved on a crop, that show up in very minute residues, and they’ll call those a violation of the use of a particular pesticide.
RUSH: I see. I see. Well, so it’s a marketing thing, and it’s fine. If people want to go organic, and do that, that’s fine. As I said at the outset: I have no qualms about it. You can do what you want. You can drive your hybrid. As I’ve always said, the thing that I’ve always been bothered by is, I just hate the ease with which people can be turned into sheep, using fear. You know, people’s ignorance is necessary for this to happen, and you know me. The purpose of this show, we want a more informed, engaged, educated population participating in events that determine the country’s future. Let’s see. Phil, are you still there?
CALLER: Yes, I’m still here.
RUSH: Mr. Snerdley, who’s big on organic, wants me to ask you a question.
RUSH: It’s a fair question, because one of the guys that called was actually an organic salesman. So Mr. Snerdley wants to know if Big Food is paying you off to trash organic.
CALLER: Well, I do work for a university, and universities do the studies, and they find that in blind taste tests there’s no difference. Chemically there’s no difference. So maybe I have been. I don’t know. I certainly don’t consider it.
RUSH: (laughter) That’s a great answer. You don’t know. So Clintonesque. I’m kidding about that.
CALLER: Rush? Rush? Before you go?
CALLER: When will you be back on the air in Fargo? We sure miss you up here.
RUSH: Yeah, it’s a technical problem. We’ve got a station. They’re having trouble getting — what’s the word? I don’t want to get too detailed about it.
CALLER: You’re under contractual agreements with another station and they won’t let you out?
RUSH: Well, that’s just a time thing, but we’ll be in Fargo before you know it.
CALLER: Thank you very much.
RUSH: All right. I appreciate it. Thanks, Phil. This organic business, you heard him say: in blind taste tests, no difference. But, see, people do think it tastes better. Now, if their mind’s making them think it tastes better, that’s fine. I have literally no qualms about that.