23 July 2012
Conventional Farming V.S. Organic Farming
Organic farming had not played a role in the market in the previous years, yet today it is common in grocery stores around the country. Organic farming refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming is also constantly referred to as healthy, smart, beneficial, and ecofriendly but these are words used in advertisement ploys ran by large organic corporations. For centuries organic farming had been practiced, however, conventional technology has allowed us to further our reaches. Conventional Synthetic fertilizers along with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are all in the lime light today for the job they’ve been performing for years, they’ve allowed us to grow more and faster for our ever growing population. In studying conventional versus organic farming we find out which method is the most efficient, by analyzing modern marketing ploys, yield rates and agricultural sprays.
Advertisements have become a way of life for the average person. We are exposed to advertising in in every way imaginable. Corporations want to get their point across that their product is superior to everyone else’s. Organic produce and meats are no different. Christie Wilcox, is a science writer and PhD student at the University of Hawaii, as well as an award-winning blogger and publisher of traditional and peer-reviewed writings and scientific research, says in one of her blogs “In the past year or two, certified organic sales have jumped to about $52 billion worldwide despite the fact that organic foods cost up to three times as much as those produced by conventional methods.” (Wilcox). People are paying more for what they believe is a better and healthier product. Organic is marketed at a price increase for paper work and stamps on the product that reads certified organic. Of course there are many requirements before these stamps are allowed to be placed on the product.
What exactly constitutes a certified organic product, and is it difficult to meet those standards? There are several stages to reaching Organic level. One of the many criteria is to avoid synthetic fertilizers along with conventional pesticides; in livestock it is to avoid hormone injections and avoid cross breading from conventional and organic cows. In produce the trick is to use certified organic pesticides and fertilizers. This is where many consumers are confused. Organic farms are allowed to use fertilizers and pesticides as long as they’re on the U.S.D.A Standard list. This list continues to grow having a dramatic effect on organic credibility.
What does it take to make a certified Organic fertilizer that makes it so special? According to the U.S.D.A.(United States Department of Agriculture) all liquid fertilizers with a nitrogen analysis greater than 3 percent must be approved by a material evaluation program to be used in organic production. When approving organic systems plans (OSP), certifying agents must verify and document that all liquid fertilizers with a nitrogen analysis greater than 3 percent have been approved by a material evaluation program. It is a violation of the NOP (National Organic Program) regulations to apply unapproved liquid fertilizers to certified organic or transitional land; along with full documentation of the written procedures fully describing the manufacturing process. Those are a few of the critical criteria that must be met to be granted certified organic status. For some reason however, it seems like whenever you walk into a grocery store more and more items have passed, or been granted certified organic level, sometimes it makes you wonder; is it that easy? One of the most interesting things is that “shockingly, the actual volume usage of pesticides on organic farms is not recorded by the government.”(Wilcox). This means organic farms...
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Gardner, Amanda. "Organic May Not Mean Healthier." 29 July 2009. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2009/07/29/organic-may-not-mean-healthier. Document. 10 July 2012.
Knight, Matthew. "Study: Organic yields 25% lower than conventional farming." 27 April 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/26/world/organic-food-yield/index.html. Documet. 22 July 2012.
Koerner, Brendan. "Is methane really worse for the environment than carbon dioxide?" 27 November 2007. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2007/11/the_other_greenhouse_gases.html. Document. 22 July 2012.
Pearlstein, Joanna. "Surprise! Conventional Agriculture Can Be Easier on the Planet." http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/magazine/16-06/ff_heresies_03organics April 19 2008. Document.
Rosen, Joseph D. "Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety." 29 April 2010. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2010.00108.x/abstract. Document. 10 July 2012.
Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?" 11 December 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255/. Documet. 9 July 2012.
Strom, Stephanie. "How Certified Organic went Corporate." 9 July 2012. http://health.heraldtribune.com/2012/07/09/how-certified-organic-went-corporate/. Document. 10 July 2012.
Wilcox, Christie. "Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture." 18 July 2011. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/. Document. 9 July 2012.
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