- Introduction & Thesis Statement
Organic foods have in recent years become popular among consumers in the food market. Despite the shift of consumer preferences and tastes towards organic foods has spurred more confusion among many customers. Different products have adopted advertisement labels that claim that the foods are organic; something that remains improvable by consumers. The overarching question in the organic food debate is whether these foods are healthier compared to inorganic foods. Are these the foods nutritious? Are the labels that are used on organic foods genuine and what do they really mean? Are the expensive prices that characterize organic foods worthwhile? This paper takes the position that organic foods are more nutritious and able to retain the original flavors than the chemically produced fruits and vegetables.
- History/ background of the problem
In the wake of the recent upsurge in nutrition –related illness, nutritionists have been vocal in prescribing healthy eating habits. As a commitment to this growing health consciousness, consumers have to look far beyond the fruits, the vegetables, the fatty meats that they desire. The nutritional value, food safety, and the long term sustainability of eating habits are some of the key factors that have to be put into consideration. This means that the nutritional debate has to be extrapolated beyond the dining table to include ideas such as the conditions under which these foods are grown, the long-term health implications of the foods under question, and the environmental implications of the food production methodology. This reconceptualization of nutrition and food safety brings as to overarching question of the existent distinction between organic foods and those that are produced using the conventional methods that use agricultural chemicals. In addition, it is prudent to also determine whether organic food production is always the best food production method.
- First Reason
Organic food production requires a drift from the convention agricultural practices that necessitate for the maintenance of natural conditions surrounding the growing and processing of the agricultural products. Organic farming necessitates that crops be produced in safe growing environment in which no modifications are made to the physiological elements of the crop’s environment (Cisilino & Madau, 2007). This means that the conditions of the soil have to remain natural. Inorganic material such as artificial fertilizers should not be used in the process of growing organic foods. Farmers should at no time use synthetic farm inputs such as herbicides, pesticides, and other artificial fertilizers. The seeds that are used in the growing of organic foods should also not be bio-engineered (Floros et al., 2010). This is because bio engineering requires the use of various chemicals that are used to speed up the growth cycle of these foods. GMO’s are believed to have detrimental health implications some of which include cases of obesity.
- Second Reason
Considering the carefully thought-out growing, processing, and packaging process that is use d in the production of organic farming, it is important to answer the meta-question of whether organic foods are more nutritious compared to non-organic foods. First of all, organic foods especially fruits are believed to have a higher content of Vitamin C, micro-minerals, and other micro-nutrients such as antioxidants compared to chemically produced foods. Despite this hypothesis being put across by various nutritionists, there are various literatures that are of the there are no nutritional distinctions between organic and inorganic foods. In spite of the disparity that exists between different literatures regarding the nutritional value of organic foods, the fact remains that there are nutritional benefits that are unique to organic foods that are not present in chemically produced foods.
The first major nutritional value of organic foods is the fact that they do not contain traces of agricultural chemicals that are used in inorganic farming methods. Many of the chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers translocate to different parts of crops through the process of water absorption and mineral adsorption. Traces of these chemicals are stored in the buds and nodes of different kinds of fruits and vegetables. This means that most of the inorganic foods that we eat contain chemicals that are derived from the chemicals used in the growing process of these crops. These chemical are detrimental to our health despite the nutritional values that we aspire to derive from fruits and vegetables.
- Second Solution
In the light of the fact that inorganic foods have traces of chemicals, it is important to note that some segments of society are most affected by the chemical traces that are found in organic foods. For example, children have a weaker immune system compared to adults. This means that their exposure to chemicals resulting from inorganic farming practices might lead to various diseases as well as physiological deformities such as developmental delays in children and fetuses. It is also important to note that because the production of organic foods includes organic processing and packaging, these foods do not have inorganic preservatives that might alter the nutritional value of these foods.
- Call for Action & Conclusions
In conclusion, organic farming is an environmental friendly practice because it preserves soil qualities such as soil pH and fertility (Makoni &Mohamed-Katerere, 2003). In addition, the chemical farm input that is used in inorganic farming alters the natural habitat and the ecological niche of various life forms in the soil. The altering of this ecosystem affects the fertility of the soil and its ability to sustain various types of crops. Therefore organic food production does not only enhance food safety, but also fosters environmental sustainability.
Cisilino, F., & Madau, F. A. (2007). Organic and Conventional Farming: a Comparison Analysis through the Italian FADN. I Mediterranean Conference of Agro-Food Social Scientists.
Floros, J. D., Newsome, R., & Fisher, W. (2010). Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 0(1).
Makoni, N., & Mohamed-Katerere, J. (2003). Chapter 9: Genetically Modified Crops. In Africa Environment Outlook: Our Environment, Our Wealth (2nd ed.). New York, USA: Springer.