Organic Food: Is It Really Better?
Americans usually do not think about what they eat. We do not acknowledge whether it is locally grown, sustainably raised, grass-fed, and free-range or pesticide free. Americans fail to realize the negative effects from the harmful pesticides, hormones, dyes and preservatives that are in our food. Conventional foods are produce that is grown with the use of many harsh chemicals before it is put into a supermarket. (The food we eat conventionally was meant to help us lead healthier lives, but it actually harms us.) Many people believe that there is little nutritional difference between organic and conventional food but it is not about the nutritional value. It is a matter of what the conventional foods contain. Even though organic food is hard to find and more expensive than conventional food, it is also much safer and healthier. If everyone transitions and commits to eating organically, we can override and overcome conventional farming and its negative effects.
Nearly forty percent of the world’s agricultural land has degraded. The amount of arable land is decreasing nationally and worldwide because toxic pesticides and herbicides are polluting our air, soil and groundwater. Soil productivity has decreased because of wind and water erosion of the topsoil. This causes loss of organic matter in the soil, a decrease in water holding capacity and biological activity. Fossil fuels play a huge role in producing food as well. Industrial farming has farming machinery and petroleum-based chemicals that require huge amounts of fossil fuels, which deplete the soil of its nutrients. The ratio for fossil fuel energy needed for beef production is 35 to 1 as well as 3 to 1 for all other agricultural products. Modern agricultural methods cause aquifers to dry out, pollinators such as bees are dying and the climate is getting hotter and drier (Schiffman, In Defense of Organic Farming). According to the EPA, the water runoff from conventional farms exceeds the legal limit for nitrate concentrations in drinking water compared with organic farms that do not use chemical pesticides. The excess nitrate exposure can cause respiratory conditions, thyroid disorders and cancer (Greenfield, The Organic Advantage). Princeton University states that only one percent of the pesticides actually targets the pests and that in fact, 99 percent affect the environment and contaminate our fresh groundwater that is used for drinking. The harmful chemicals in pesticides that enter our water system take many years for it to be eliminated from our drinking water. Organic farming practices use less energy and are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality and use methods to grow food that support sustainability. Pesticides and fertilizers are more harmful than helpful for the crops. The pesticides that conventional farms use also contribute to the resistance that insects and pests develop. They are constantly developing new tactics to invade the produce, which then leads to the conventional farmers’ use of stronger chemicals. Animal manure, compost and green manure are used as natural fertilizers. It nourishes the soil allowing crops to survive during drought periods. It also helps preserve our planet and farmland especially for the future generations to come. Farming organically generously promotes biodiversity. Biodiversity in organic food means that there is a greater quantity and variety. Generally, the more biodiversity there is on a farm encourages stability (Organic Agriculture). Research at the Rodale Institute has shown that organic methods can remove up to 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air yearly. As follows, Rodale estimates that if all 434 million acres of U.S. cropland were converted to organic practices, it would be the same as removing 217 million cars, which is nearly 88 percent of all cars in the country and more than one-third of all the...
Cited: Greenfield, Paige. "The Organic Advantage."(2013) Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Kluger, Jeffrey. "What 's So Great About Organic Food?." (2010). Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Kramer, Leslie. "Worth Going Organic." Positive Thinking (2008) Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
LaSalle, Tim J., and Paul Hepperly. "Regenerative Organic Farming: A Solution to Global Warming." 2008. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
"Organic Foods: Are They Safer? More Nutritious?" Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 07 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Organic Agriculture: What Are the Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture? N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
Paul, Maya W., Gina Kemp, and Robert Segal. "Organic Foods." Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits, and Claims. May 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Schiffman, Richard. "In Defense Of Organic Farming." Web. 14 Nov. 2013
Please join StudyMode to read the full document