First, before reading the debate, note if you are for or against the statement (before reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?). Then note if your position changed or remained the same after you read the debate (after reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?) In your paragraph, state your position (pro or con) before and after reading the debate. Give any insights on the debate or debate topic.
Industrial organic food is not much better than conventional industrial food (182-184)
In recent years, the food industry has seen a significant increase in the demand for organic foods over the alternative choice of conventionally grown food. “In 2010, the organic food market was estimated at 29 billion dollars, and since then, it is grown by almost 10 percent a year”, and with the increase in the organic food field, some large organic food companies show up and the scale of organic farms are getting bigger and bigger. However, is industrial organic food much better than conventional industrial food?
When organic food produced in large-scale farming, it does not look very organic at all. A large company like Whole Foods, which needs a large-scale supply of produce, will only contract with bigger organic farms, and the farming process in fact involves a complex chain of production to grow the various foods. Also, Pollan observes a free-range chicken Rosie, which means she should be allowed to go outdoors. Yet, in this case, the natural impulse of a chicken to roam outdoors has been checked by human intervention and Pollan states that “The chicken lived only marginally better lives than their conventional counterparts.” In the end, the essence does not change; a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) is a CAFO still, whether the food served with organic or not. The idea of free-range chicken is a fiction for those farms, rather than a real “organic”.
There is very little scientific evidence to support any health benefits for organic products. In fact, there is growing evidence that a diet rich in organic products isn’t actually better for you. There is a meta-analysis in 2009 reveals that there was no nutrient difference in organic with conventional foods. What’s more, the biggest advantage of organic food is that they don’t have any chemical pesticides, but a study in 2010, shows that organic pesticides could have worse environmental impacts than conventional pesticides. It is a fact that organic pesticides come from natural resources contain the same substances, elements as conventional pesticides.
Also, the larger-scale organic farm is polluting more than the conventional one. Researchers at Oxford University found that organic products like organic milk, cereals, pork generated higher greenhouse gas emissions per product than conventional farmings. Therefore, as the scale of organic farm getting bigger, the more pollution, greenhouse gas is generating and the waste of land and energy would increase significantly. As Pollan said “The inspiration for organic was to find a way to feed ourselves more in keeping with the logic of nature, to build a food system that looked more like an ecosystem that would draw its fertility and energy from the sun” (Pollan), rather than producing “organic food” in order to chase the profit in the organic food industry.
I disagree with the statement saying that organic food is not much better than conventional industrial food. When being cautious of our health it is important to look at what is going on and in our bodies, and when it comes to our food eating organic is a much safer choice. Conventional farms use systemic pesticides which are absorbed into the plant not just on the surface of the plant. You cannot simply wash these pesticides off of your food- so by eating non organic foods you are also eating pesticides which many are known to be carcinogenic meaning they have the potential to to cause cancer. When organic produce is tested it consistently comes up with fewer pesticide residues than non-organic produce. This is why organic food is a much better choice.
When a food item is labeled as “100% organic” this means that the item is made with all organic ingredients. When a food item is labeled as “organic” this means that it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients and the other 5 percent must not contain ingredients that are banned from organic foods such as GMOs and artificial dyes. When you packaging that says “made with organic ingredients” this means it contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients but these products are not allowed to use the USDA Organic seal where as the other labels I mentioned are permitted to use the USDA Organic seal. (USDA Organic Labeling Standards).
So does eating organic really make a difference to our health? There is limited scientific data to prove this point as Pollan talks about in The Omnivores Dilemma, there are studies that show organic foods are much more nutritious. One study that I find very informative was published by PLOS ONE and found that organic tomatoes have much higher vitamin C and antioxidants than non organic tomatoes. Another study in The British Journal of Nutrition found there are up to 69 percent more antioxidants in organic foods versus non organic foods. The same researchers also found that organic foods contain lower levels of the toxic heavy metals and pesticides. This same journal found in another study that there are about 50 percent of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat and dairy. So not only do organic foods contain less pesticides, they also are more nutritious for us and give us more antioxidants and essential vitamins.
“Epidemiologic studies, although sometimes contradictory, have linked phenoxy acid herbicides or contaminants in them with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) and malignant lymphoma; organochlorine insecticides are linked with STS, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), and leukemia” (PubMed.gov (Links to an external site.))
Pesticide consumption has effects on our bodies and although some may think they are fine not eating organic, this does not mean that they will not have health issues in their lives. Consuming pesticides can contribute to many health issues such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even infertility. These pesticides are even more damaging to children than adults which is why it is a must to keep families eating organic. In a world full of so many carcinogenic chemicals that we cannot avoid I believe it is important to eat organic when possible and avoid as many harmful ingredients as possible. Eating organic makes it much easier to be sure that the foods you are consuming are not harmful to your health as there are strict rules and many ingredients banned from organic foods that are not banned from conventional industrial foods.