BIO-220, Environmental Science
March 30, 2014
Ms. Marcia Foil
Organic Food: Good for You, Good for the Environment
Organic food has quickly gained popularity over the years. What started as a trendy method that celebrities adopted has expanded mainstream and can be found in any thriving metropolis as well as many smaller towns and cities. Organic food refers to any type of produce or meat product that has not be treated with additional chemical preservatives when it is grown and therefore is considered to be of benefit to those that choose organic produce. Yet there are those that have not jumped on the organic bandwagon as they have reservations towards this option. We will examine both sides of the argument so as to analyze and finally decode the language that is organic food and come to the clear conclusion that organic food should be an investment we make for proper nutrition and health. Understanding Organic Food
One of the most basic human needs is food. We need to feed our bodies with food in order to do any of the daily tasks that we may embark on. This need used to be supplied with food that was wholesome and pure. Our ancestors ate the fruit of their labor which was food that was grown in their farms or in local surrounding areas. We have come a long way from this with the expansion and growth of not only the population but also the technology that speeds up the packaging and assembly of some of the larger chains which supply millions of households with food. Our food no longer is home grown; little do we know where in fact it comes from and for that matter what is being added to our food to give it color, taste and preserve its freshness. Organic farmers are looking to close the gap between the supplier and the ultimate consumer. By buying organic produce we go back to a simpler time where we knew where our food came from and what agricultural methods the farmer used to cultivate the food we put in our mouth. Critique
Skeptics and critics of the organic food movement question if buying organic produce is worth it. They believe that organic food is costly compared to commercial and industrial produced food. It can cost a consumer anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars to purchase organic products vs. commercial products. This is due to the methods that organic farmers use when they grow their produce such as crop rotation which is a method that organic farmers use to maximize the soil and land they have by alternating the type of crop they grow. This method leads to less amount of one type of product being produced and also less variety or produce being only available in particular time periods or seasons. It also means that farmer will use less of the soil and less land. This can be a big disadvantage as in the United States alone 140 hectares of farmlands have been lost in the last 30 years to make room for non-agricultural purposes such as building urban cities and highways (Cunningham & Cunningham 2010 pg. 201) therefore it may seem to some that all the land given for the purpose of agriculture should be used and even exploited for maximum profit options.
Another disadvantage that organic products have is their shelf life. Because no preservatives are used to keep the product fresh, organic products must be consumed within a very short time frame, which can be a big inconvenience to the consumer on a strict budget looking to really expand the freshness of their products without the need to buy a large amount of groceries every few days.
If we look at the economic disadvantage that buying organic food has we can see why some people are still skeptical of trying or buying organic products. With the economy still trying to recover from a period of recession and the job market being scarce, people have become savvy shoppers and want to stretch their dollars. While buying commercial products may seem like the best option when saving money, there are other ways to save and still...
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Cunningham, W. P., & Cunningham, M. A. (2010). Environmental Science: A Global Concern. New York, NY: Mcgraw-Hill
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White Pillsbury, Melissa. "Price Differences: Organic Versus Non-Organic; Store Versus Farmers ' Market." Price Differences: Organic Versus Non-Organic; Store Versus Farmers ' Market. Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
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