English Composition 1
27 October 2013
Grocery shopping in today’s society can be extremely confusing for most consumers; I have often pondered over which product to feed my children and if organic food is actually better than processed food. Although I have heard many people say organic food is a gimmick to get more of today’s consumer’s money, or that they just can not afford it; I argue that eating organic is a more healthy choice. “Organic food consumption is one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. domestic foodstuffs” (Crinnion 4).
Organic is food that is free of chemical pesticides. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), created The National Organic Program (NOP) in 1990, to regulate food labels in order to guarantee what the consumer read on the label was what they received. “The programs laws state that their symbol can be placed on a food label only if it is 95-100% organic" (Portnoy 25). If a food label claims that it is made with organic ingredients; that means that the product must have 70% of the ingredients grown without pesticides. In an article published in the May/June edition of American Fitness, the author reminds consumers that organic doesn’t mean fewer calories. Shari Portnoy believes that the increase in consumers buying organic food may have led to a rise in obesity rates using the example of cookies (27). Cookies are made from butter and sugar whether it was organic or not they still are a high-calorie food and can lead to obesity. Consumers purchase organic food because they are concerned about pesticides. According to an article from Environmental Medicine, organic food is not completely free of pesticides, however USDA research showed that “organically raised foods had one-third the amount of chemical residues found in conventionally raised foods” (Crinnion 6). Another article from Agronomy Journal, compiles research from several studies supporting the fact that organic food contains less pesticides than non organic. The author states that 94-100% of organic food is pesticide free and that vegetables contain about half the amount of nitrates than non-organic food (Lairon 38). Prevention Magazine, recently featured an article titled “Today’s Special: 94% Safer Food!” in this article the authors feature several families who have made the decision to eat organic based on their concerns over pesticides. One family’s 13 year old daughter did a science project after the organic debate was discussed at dinner one night; her study eventually involved two researchers at the Southern Methodist University. The research showed that fruit flies who ate strictly organic foods did better in health test than those who did not. “Things are not likely to get better on the pesticide front. In fact, Americans are likely to be exposed to even more pesticides in the food supply, increasing their pesticide load” (Laliberte 108). The author implies that the reason for the increase is due to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Companies have genetically altered plants causing them to be poisonous to pests such as worms. Other GMO plants are resistant to herbicides so farmers can kill weeds using products like Roundup. However, the pest and weeds have developed immunity causing the farmers to use even more chemicals.
Many consumers do not eat organic because they feel that they can not afford it. Environmental Nutrition, reminds the reader that “purchasing organic food does not have to “break the bank”. It's time to change the assumption that including organic foods in the family diet has to cost more than regular food.” (Laliberte 109). Encouraging the reader to focus on planning ahead and being a selective shopper, to avoid pesticides it is suggested to make shopping for organic produce your first priority. The article also suggests ways to save money by purchasing organic fruits and vegetables that are in season. “On average, organic food does cost a...
Cited: Crinnion, Walter J. “Organic Foods Contain Higher Levels of Certain Nutrients, Lower
Lower Levels of Pesticides, and May Provide Health Benefits for the Consumer.” Alternative Medicine Review 15.1 (2010): 4-12. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
Laliberte, Richard, Squire Fox, and Joel Holland. “Today’s Special: 94% Safer
Food!.” Prevention 65.9 (2013): 106-117. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
Lairon, Denis. “Nutritional Quality and Safety of Organic Food. A Review.”
Agronomy for Sustainable Development (EDP Sciences) 30.1 (2010): 33-41. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
Oz, Mehmet. “The Organic Alternative.” Time 176.9 (2010): 46. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
Portnoy, Shari. “Organic, Natural, and Healthy.” American Fitness 31.3 (2013):
24-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2013.
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