Organic vs. Non-organic Food

Topics: Agriculture, Organic farming, Sustainable agriculture Pages: 5 (1665 words) Published: November 1, 2013
Bottom line, going green can cultivate envy. The public is constantly bombarded with the idea that organic products are better. Perhaps this is true, but maybe it is brilliant marketing simply selling a status symbol. Envy can come from a neighbor’s luscious, organically grown front yard to the hybrid vehicle a co-worker drives, to the organic foods that consumers in a higher financial echelon seem to be able to only afford. Is this envy justifiable or is the notion of organics and its superiority a tactic of propaganda to boost the already $30-plus billion industry even higher, according to Farm and Dairy’s April, 2012 article “Organic Food Sales”? Although proponents of organic food insist it is healthier than conventional food, non-organic foods are extremely comparable to its organic counterpart, possibly even more necessary. The United States has evolved into a powerful nation; one that boasts of freedoms, luxuries and an overabundance of practically everything. The United States is also a country which has a population that grows greater and greater each year. Reasons including the number of births outnumbering the number of deaths, as well as the number of immigrants coming to live the “American Dream.” According to the Census Bureau End-of-2011 estimate, “the United States will enter 2012 with a population of roughly 312.8 million people” (Schlesinger, 2011, para, 1). This statistic takes into account one birth approximately every 8 seconds, one death every 12 seconds as well as one new migrant entering the country approximately every 46 seconds. As cited by Schlesinger (2011), this ends up with a population increase of over two million in 2012. This is a staggering number and would only increase over time. In his article “Point: Industrial Agriculture has Improved Farming for Hundreds of Years,” George Wright (2011) explains how the use of biotechnology and techniques such as caging animals used to increase the profits of agricultural industry is not a contemporary idea. Wright (2011, para. 7) states how “the use of biotechnology to produce food has been around for over 8000 years.” He gives examples such as enzymes being used to make foods like baked goods and dairy products. Wright also asserts that “biotechnology is expected to help agriculture by improving quality, nutrition, safety and the processing of raw crops,” (Wright, 2011, para. 7). Biotechnology is not a process that is new to the agriculture industry. Finally, Wright’s article (2011, para. 12) concludes that “with the world’s population at six billion and heading higher, there is no practical alternative to ‘industrial agriculture’.” He also points out that “agricultural innovations from industries such as biotechnology are advancing agricultural production,” (Wright, 2011, para. 13). In addition, Avery’s article “‘Frontline’ Perpetuates Pesticide Myths” (1993), Avert adds that “it is believed that if the world converts to organic systems of farming, by 2050 this system of farming will not be able to supply enough food for the population and will be responsible for massive amounts of deaths due to starvation. Another organic misnomer claims that organic livestock and plants are free from chemicals and unnecessary medications, unlike their non-organic counterparts. According to Nancy Sprague’s 2011 article, “Counterpoint: Organic Food is Unnecessary & the Current Food Supply is Safe”, there are a myths about organic food that are debunked. She discusses how organic foods are actually prepared and while comparing and contrasting it to the process non-organic foods go through prior to arriving at the grocery shelves. When discussing about the use (or lack thereof) of pesticides, Sprague (2011, para. 4) notes that “organic farmers can use pesticides from an approved list,” which contradicts the consumer’s belief that organic foods have not come into contact with any pesticides. Sprague goes further to state the toxins...

References: Aldrich, L. (2006, July 12). Consumers eat up organic beef despite costs, unproven benefits. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from htttp://
Avery, D.T. (1993, Apr 01). 'Frontline ' perpetuates pesticide myths. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
Avery, D.T. (2002, June 25). The hidden dangers in organic food. Retrieved from
Sprague, N. (2011). Counterpoint: Organic food is unnecessary & the current food supply is safe. Points Of View: Organic Food, 3. Retrieved from
Schlesinger, R. (2011, Dec 30). U.S. population 2012: nearly 313 million people. U.S. News and World Report, Retrieved from
Wilcox, C. (2011, July 18). Mythbusting 101: organic farming > conventional agriculture. Scientific American, Retrieved from
Wright, G. (2011). Point: Industrial agriculture has improved farming for hundreds of years. Points Of View: Factory Farming, 2.
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