Whole Leaf Tobacco

Greetings From Oregon

SAW

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Joined
Oct 13, 2019
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10
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Location
Oregon
I did my first nicotiana grow last summer - Walker's Broad Leaf and Quadravalvis. Presently in the process of building a multi-purpose kiln / cure / drying chamber based mostly on the information provided here.

My suburban home does not afford much gardening space, so I'm supplementing my crop with WholeLeafTobacco (and "the other vendor") products. It is difficult to find words to describe the experience of sampling such a wide range of tobaccos for the first time. It is analogous to growing up on canned soup and never knowing that you can make your own - and then suddenly having a selection of 20 vegetables and 20 herbs (and some legumes) to blend to your liking. Something like bliss when it first hits the taste buds!
 

SAW

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
10
Points
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Location
Oregon
Hi everyone. Thanks for the cordiality. I've been lurking for many weeks now and enjoy and appreciate the camaraderie that you have here. It is an honor to become part of it.

One of the books that I purchased last summer to help me through my first grow was The Cultivators Handbook of Natural Tobacco by Bill Drake (founding partner in American Spirit / Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company). Subsequently I discovered his blog site and some historical archives of his previous blog sites. Pertaining to this subject, on the FTT forums I have only been able to find references to the book and nothing about his more recent accomplishments (lab testing of toxic chemicals in commercial cigarettes).

Bill's LinkedIn profile is here:

His current blog site is here:

He is a very prolific writer, so to cut to the chase, this was the most interesting article that I saw (many months ago when I read through it) -
Organic Tobacco Is Safer Tobacco & Here’s Why:

I am hoping that some of the FTT mavens will engage in this topic. I am only 1 to 2 % as knowledgeable on these topics as many of you guys, so I am reluctant to start the thread myself.

Please advise.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Sep 1, 2014
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Edmonton, AB, CA
I see the logic, and I admire his guts; however after reading the article and looking at the data, I have to ask if these specific chemicals have been ruled unsafe in these amounts. Also, can we also ask for evidence in the form of reduced cancer rates between smokers of organic tobacco vs non-organic?

I like this article; it is telling me what I want to hear, and the chart of chemicals is disconcerting, but I must admit that i have questions about whether it actually proves anything.

It does raise questions that ought to be answered.
 

deluxestogie

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near Blacksburg, VA
It should be a surprise to no one that FDA has enforced a political policy of "no tobacco product is safer than another tobacco product." The data presented in Drake's "Organic Tobacco is Safer..." article would not pass peer review muster (zero statistics, and no presentation of the data for the control), though that does not mean it is false.

One of the Oliva sons trialed growing "organic" tobacco for cigars (in Nicaragua, I believe). It was quite expensive to do, and the leaf ended up tattered from bugs. My impression is that "organic" tobacco on a commercial scale is more labor intensive, more expensive to grow, and disappoints customer expectations of its final quality grading. Grade isn't as much of an issue with shredded up cigarette leaf.

With regard to health issues, and what is "safer", anyone who posts such conjecture on this forum will have to cite peer-reviewed data from a meaningfully related study. (Has person A's environmental exposure to architectural asbestos been the same as mine? How about A's awful diet? Did A play with mercury as a child?)

At a small scale, (home) growing tobacco without the use of industrial chemicals is attainable, though considerably more work than with modest use of them. I've done it both ways.

Bob
 

SAW

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
10
Points
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Location
Oregon
China and deluxe both provide excellent feedback and astute observations which gives me additional ways to analyze the problems posed. Many thanks for that!

I find Drake doubtful in some ways too. Especially when he says things like that he lost the company to Phillip Morris due to a mistake. What mistake? He's using too many words and failing to convey crucial information of interest. Or the lab tests - what labs were they? Where is the copy of their actual findings? What procedures did they use? And one other thing - he did way too much of what felt like plagiarism in his book, which is something that will get you expelled from every college or university that I've ever attended if you try to pass that off as academic.

Still though, my gut feeling is that he is leaning in the right direction. This encourages me to err on the side of caution. Until I change religion (which ain't gonna happen), I only have this one chance to make the most(est) and longest of this life that I can.

Aside from Drake, I have also read numerous times that use of chemical fertilizers toxifies the soil over time, and the plants absorb it, and then you get to ingest it from the plants that you consume. Similar deal to mercury in fish in the ocean (humanity's toxic waste dump). There may or may not be rigorous scientific studies available as so-called proof, but I always choose to err on the side of caution (considering it is perhaps 10 to 20 years of my lifespan that is being gambled).

I am such a heretic that I value my own anecdotal evidence (particularly results of dietary modifications with myself and my pets) above and beyond the merit of any scientific studies that I have ever seen. And I do read a lot seeking to gain more knowledge about these things too.
 
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