When shopping at the market, individuals often weigh the decision between purchasing organic or regular products. Those opting for organic may have reservations regarding cost and authenticity verification. They question the rationale behind paying five dollars for organic raspberries when regular ones are priced at only two dollars. These concerns resonate with numerous shoppers at local supermarkets, resulting in a preference for regular products due to their familiarity and lower price.
As a recent mover and now responsible for my own expenses, I’ve become more conscious of my grocery spending. Despite the perception that good health is costly, I’m willing to pay for it. However, this decision often gets overlooked because organic foods tend to be pricier. Today, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in society towards a green/organic movement. People are curious about its origins. In the early 1900s, all food was grown organically without people realizing it had any alternative. At that time, organic food was just called food.
As genetic engineering replaced organic farming, the idea of purposely using chemical spray to improve crop growth and yield was not considered. Farmers only cared about finding more cost-effective ways to be efficient. In the early 1900s, with the rise of petro-chemical industries, agricultural research started focusing on determining which chemicals were necessary for promoting plant and animal growth (Callaghan par. 6). These chemicals were attractive because they came from finite resources. Initially, these chemicals seemed like a great idea as they were efficient, inexpensive, and easily available.
The detrimental consequences of these chemicals were unknown to genetic engineers, but eventually, they became impossible to ignore. Rudolf Steiner emerged as a leader in opposing chemically tainted food and promoting the resurgence of organic farming in the late twentieth century. Influential figures like Steiner played a major role in restoring the healthier lifestyle that many people strive for today, including those involved in the green movement (Callaghan par. 7). Some individuals may be driven to buy organic foods solely due to societal pressure, without fully comprehending their true nature.
Research provides individuals with a comprehensive understanding of organic foods and products. These items are produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, pesticides, antibiotics, added growth hormones, ionizing radiation, or genetic modification (Reinke par. 3). Furthermore, fields used for organic crop cultivation must be free from prohibited substances for at least three years. The USDA National Organic Program has been responsible for overseeing organic food and farming since 2002 (Reinke par. ). Organically raised animals are allowed to grow naturally without synthetic growth hormones and consume organic feed while having access to pastures instead of being confined to buildings (Reinke par. 4). It is crucial for individuals to be aware of their consumption as it is their right, especially considering that many consumers remain unaware of the prevalence of unhealthy processed foods in our daily lives.
Organic production is a necessary element that easily fits into the desired healthy lifestyles of our society. Living in a society that supports this environmental movement pushes us to examine the advantages and disadvantages of organic foods. The advantages of adopting an organic lifestyle are much greater than the drawbacks of consuming hormone-infused diets that are common. The undeniable benefit is that organic foods are proven to be healthier for individuals compared to conventionally grown food, which contains artificial resources.
According to Andre Leu’s scientific research, organic food is found to have health benefits. The study reveals that organic food contains higher levels of nutrients compared to conventionally grown food. Specifically, organic food had an average of 63% more calcium, 73% more iron, 118% more magnesium, 178% more molybdenum, 91% more phosphorus, 125% more potassium, and 60% more zinc. Additionally, it was discovered that organic food had an average of 29% less mercury than conventionally raised food (Leu 1). These findings challenge the perception that organic food is only considered healthier; it actually contains essential vitamins and protein. Moreover, organic foods show higher concentrations of cancer-fighting antioxidants. A study featured in the February 2003 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found significantly increased levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants in organically grown corn, strawberries, and marionberries compared to conventionally grown foods (Leu 1).
Researchers have found that the antioxidants under study contain flavonoids, which possess powerful antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are phenolic compounds generated by plants in response to stress caused by insects or other plants. These compounds function as a natural defense mechanism for plants and provide protective benefits for both human and animal health (Leu 1). Research suggests that pesticides and herbicides hinder the production of these protective compounds and disrupt their growth.
According to Leu (1), soil nutrition plays a crucial role in increasing natural compounds that have anti-cancer, immune-boosting, and anti-aging properties. Therefore, buying organic groceries has the potential to improve lifespan. However, the main difference between organic and conventional foods is their use of pesticides. Conventional foods are treated with harmful chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware of the negative effects these pesticides can have on both health and the environment.
The use of pesticides poses a significant risk to individuals of all ages, especially children and fetuses. Their weaker immune systems and ongoing physical development make them extremely susceptible to the adverse effects of pesticides (Paul Et al, par. 10). Exposure to these chemicals can lead to delays in development, behavioral disorders, and impaired motor function. Pregnant women are also highly vulnerable to the dangers associated with pesticides.
Pregnant women are not in need of the extra strain that pesticides place on their already burdened organs (Paul Et al, par. 11). Furthermore, these chemicals can be transmitted from mother to fetus, possibly through breastfeeding (Paul Et al, par. 11). This exposure may result in long-term effects on the nervous system, even years after the initial contact (Paul Et al, par. 11). The accumulation of pesticide exposure over time has already posed a significant hazard.
Conventional foods often contain harmful pesticides, which can lead to birth defects, headaches, and weakened immune systems. It is important for consumers to be aware that companies are not required to disclose the presence of these pesticides on product labels. Given the serious effects of these chemicals, it would be expected that individuals would be willing to spend a bit more money to avoid them. Additionally, the amount of nitrates in conventional foods should also be taken into account as another drawback.
According to Leu’s research, conventionally farmed foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, contain high nitrate levels as a result of using soluble chemical fertilizers (2). These fertilizers also contribute to increased nitrate levels in drinking water systems. The presence of nitrates can obstruct the transportation of oxygen in the blood and potentially lead to methemoglobinemia, especially in individuals with reduced gastric acid secretion like infants and adults (Leu 2). In conclusion, while conventional farms provide more affordable options, they ultimately produce harmful substances that we consume. Therefore, opting for organic foods is a superior choice.
Both food contamination and drinking water pollution are caused by these farmers. Organic food has a healthier impact on health and a superior taste compared to conventional food. The flavor of organic food is enhanced by its freshness, whereas preservatives in conventional food extend its shelf life but compromise its taste. Small farms typically produce organic food to ensure it is free from harmful preservatives.
Compared to regular foods, these farms are typically local and have a short transfer distance. Moreover, organic farming practices bring environmental advantages including pollution reduction (air, water, soil), water conservation, prevention of soil erosion, improvement of soil fertility, and lower energy requirements (Paul par. 14). Furthermore, organic farms refrain from using pesticides which not only benefit humans but also support the reproduction of birds and small animals.
It is important for individuals to prioritize both environmental protection and personal health. Unlike traditional farms, organic farming methods do not utilize antibiotics or growth hormones in animal raising and do not feed animals animal byproducts. As stated by Paul (par. 15), the use of antibiotics in conventional meat production contributes to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which hampers the effectiveness of antibiotics against illnesses caused by these strains. Furthermore, animals consuming other animal byproducts have a higher risk of contracting mad cow disease.
Organic farms stand apart from conventional farms due to their focus on animal welfare and sustainable farming practices. While conventional farms may employ inhumane methods, organic farms prioritize the well-being of animals by allowing them to roam freely and avoiding cramped cages. This approach aims to prevent diseases that arise from overcrowding and unsanitary conditions often seen on conventional farms. Overall, organic farms place great importance on treating animals with kindness while maintaining a natural environment for them.
Organic farms prioritize the natural course of mother nature and aim for their crops, meats, fruit, and vegetables to be authentic. They use nets and fly traps instead of pesticides to deter insects. Organic farmers also utilize natural fertilizers like manure and compost, while conventional farms use synthetic or chemical alternatives. On the other hand, conventional farmers depend on genetic engineering and modification techniques to expedite and enhance crop growth.
Conventional farms use chemical herbicides, while organic farms utilize natural methods such as crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling to manage weeds. Organic farming aims to maintain the natural quality of our food, leading to healthier lives and longer lifespans. It is concerning that people may unknowingly consume these cancer-causing and harmful foods without realizing the risks they pose to their well-being.
The benefits of organic farming and products surpass those of conventional food, supporting good health and environmental protection. Adopting an organic lifestyle is a simple, healthy, and eco-friendly choice that promotes mindfulness about consumed substances. Unfortunately, many are unaware of harmful components in their food and overlook the advantages of organics. While organic foods may have a higher price, investing a few extra dollars can potentially save lives and preserve the environment. Choosing organic not only gives peace of mind but also enhances community contribution with every purchase made. So next time you debate buying five-dollar organic strawberries at the market, consider the positive impacts on health and surroundings. As the author of this essay, I am now certain that the expense of organic products is unquestionably worthwhile.