Organic Food Research Essay
When it comes to the food that you put on the dinner table, it is extremely important to understand how the food is grown and how nutritious it is. Some foods are grown using synthetic fertilizers, while others are grown using natural fertilizers. There are foods that are grown using chemical weed killers, while other foods are grown using crop rotation and mulch to help control weeds. You can buy meat that has been raised with antibiotics, growth hormones, and medications. On the other hand there is meat that has been raised using more humane methods.
These animals are fed an organic diet as well as given access to the outdoors and raised in cleaner housing to help reduce disease. Organic foods are healthier because they use fewer preservatives and chemicals; therefore they are extremely important in the growth and development of your family. Every parent wants to put the best food on the table for their family. However, it takes an amazing amount of resources and is costly to our planet. The way that food is farmed has changed more over the past fifty years than it did in the previous ten thousand years (Kenner & Kenner, 2008).
The industrialization of our society has forever changed the way farmers grow crops and raise livestock. Farmers are using man-made chemical fertilizers and pesticides to control their crops. While you may think that the beautiful fruits and vegetables in the local supermarket’s produce section are impressive, it might surprise your what you are putting in your body. There are not seasonal fruits and vegetables any more in the supermarket. Tomatoes are picked green from half way around the world and ripened with ethylene gas during shipment (Kenner & Kenner, 2008).
It’s astonishing how many chemicals a farmer uses to grow their crop. The average apple has been subjected to twenty-seven chemicals and the average peach has twenty-two chemicals used throughout its growth cycle (Juad & Juad, 2008). What is surprising is that when tested, a conventional piece of fruit or vegetable has positive results for lead and pesticides (Juad & Juad, 2008). When it comes to the livestock that we are consuming, it used to take a farmer nearly three months to raise a chicken. Tyson has perfected this science with the help of growth hormones and antibiotics.
They are now are able to raise a chicken that is three times as large in less than half of the time (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). The cattle farmer is now raising their cattle on mainly corn feed and antibiotics (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). According to Kenner & Kenner (2008), farmers now have to use so many antibiotics mainly due to the fact that the livestock is being raised in a manner that was not intended. Cattle are not supposed to eat an all corn diet and chickens are not supposed to be raised in a chicken house without ever seeing daylight until they are on the truck to be processed (Kenner & Kenner, 2008).
There are more humane ways of raising livestock and it makes for a much healthier meal at the dinner table. It is simply amazing how far food travels to make it to your local supermarket. On average, food travels over fifteen hundred miles from the time it leaves the farm until it reaches its final destination (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). Another amazing statistic is that the transportation of our nutrition accounts for nearly thirty percent of global warming (Juad & Juad, 2008). This is because there are only a few multi-national organizations that actually control the industrial food chain.
It might be surprising to find out that the largest purchaser of ground beef and potatoes in the United States is McDonald’s (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). They are also one of the largest purchasers of pork, chicken, and apples as well (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). The largest producer of chicken in the world is Tyson (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). The side effects of these monopolies is that you, the consumer, get what the few powerhouse food corporations want you to have and you are left with very few choices. All of these amazing changes would not be possible without modern science.
One of the biggest players behind the scenes and the supplier of the herbicides and pesticides is an organization by the name of Monsanto. Over the past few decades, Monsanto has had several groundbreaking developments in the area GMO’s or genetically modified organisms (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). Over seventy percent of the items in the local supermarket contain one form of GMO (Kenner & Kenner, 2008). There are several unintended side effects to all of these chemicals being used to grow our food. One is that the soil that farmers are using is literally being killed (Juad & Juad, 2008).
The outcome is that the farmers are becoming more and more dependent on the chemicals to produce food (Juad & Juad, 2008). Another environmental issue is that a percentage of this chemical ends up in the water supply and it is simply impossible from preventing this from happening (Juad & Juad, 2008). The amount of chemicals that are finding there way into our food is simply amazing. There are health side effects from all of the growth hormones, chemicals, and genetically modified organisms. Studies show that the current generation is the first in history that is predicted to live a shorter life than their parents (Kenner & Kenner, 2008).
Cases of obesity and diabetes have tripled in the past two decades (Juad & Juad, 2008). Type-two diabetes used to be only found in adults in the previous generation and now we are seeing it in our children (Juad & Juad, 2008). In Europe, seventy percent of cancers have been linked to the environment (Juad & Juad, 2008). When that seventy percent is broken down, thirty percent is linked to pollution and forty percent are linked to the food (Juad & Juad, 2008). Also, 100,000 children every year die from diseases caused by the environment (Juad & Juad, 2008).
If that is not amazing enough, cancer in males has increased ninety-three percent over the past twenty-five years and their sperm count has decreased fifty percent over the past fifty years (Juad & Juad, 2008). Top that with the fact that cancer in children has increased one percent a year for the past twenty-five years (Juad & Juad, 2008). There are studies that show that fifty percent of all cancers worldwide are linked to the environment and that in certain cancers that ninety percent of the cause is the environment (Juad & Juad, 2008).
It does not take a Doctor to figure out that all of these chemicals are making their way into our food and they are extremely bad for us. With all of these overwhelming statistics, there is hope for the food that we are eating. According to Duram (2008), “Agriculture is a highly effective means of converting solar energy into food and fiber. Given sufficient water, and properly managed, the system can operate provided with nothing more than sunshine. But modern agriculture technology has disrupted this efficient relationship.
” Thankfully, there are still farmers out there that believe in the organic way of raising their crops and livestock. “Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). Organic farmers are supplying local restaurants and families through their local farmers market (Siegel & Taylor, 2008). They control weeds and disease within their farm with crop rotation and treat their livestock in a humane manner. According to Danford (2010), “mainstreaming of eating locally and organically grown fresh food is almost complete.
” The demand for organic food is growing at a rate of twenty percent annually and the major food organizations have taken notice (Danford, 2010). “For the past fifteen years large multinational food corporations have been buying up organic producers of food in an effort to enter the profitable niche market” (Hauter, 2012). The Demand is extremely obvious and that is why major food corporations are jumping on the bandwagon. In summary, there are two ways to put food on the table. A consumer can purchase conventionally grown food or they can purchase locally grown organic food.
Organic foods use only natural fertilizers, mulch, and crop rotation while traditional foods use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to control disease. There have been numerous studies that link multiple health issues to our food and the environment that it is grown in. As a consumer, society has a choice of how to put food on their dinner table and the smart choice is to choose organic.
References: Danford, N. (2010). Vegetable vs. Meat, And Everything in Between. Publishers Weekly, 257(9), 19-26. Duram, L. A. (2005). Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Works. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
HAUTER, W. (2012). BIG ORGANIC. Boston Review, 37(6), 5. Juad, J. (Producer) & Juad, J. (Director). (2008) Food Beware [Motion Picture]. France: CTV International Kenner, R. (Producer) & Kenner, R. (Director). (2008). Food Inc. [Motion picture].
United States: Participant Media Mayo Clinic Staff (2011) Organic Foods: Are they Safer? More Nutritious? Retrieved on May 5, 2013 from http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/organic-food/NU00255 Siegel, A. , Taylor, C. (Producers),& Taylor, C. (Director). (2008). Food Fight [Motion picture]. United States: Positively 25th Street.
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