Organic vs. Inorganic Food Analysis Essay
GMO Food Should Be Extended
Organic food is the food that has been produced according to the standards designed to maintain natural production. In that way, fewer if any compounds of chemicals are used in the pesticides. Moreover, when chemicals are used in organic food, this is cautiously controlled. Genetically modified organisms have been the topic of heated debate for quite a long time. The opponent scientists argue against the rapidly growing trend inclined towards an almost total shift from the use of organic to genetically modified products. Proponents conversely argue for the benefits of an increased production of genetically modified foods claiming that genetically modified foods ease the burden of costly food production especially in poor countries. Though there have been unjustified speculations on the negative effects of GMO foods, the increased amount of food to feed the growing population is an evident benefit. Opponents base their arguments on the possibility of potential harm resulting from the consumption of genetically modified foods. Among these unproven claims are the ones saying that GM foods contribute to the increase in allergies, make the body resistant to antibiotics, and are possible causes of cancerous cells replication.
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This essay will take a some-say approach in order to discuss whether organic food has more value than conventional food, but the fact would be that organic foods are better than non-organic foods.
The World Bank presented a research on the Agricultural Department in 2009 to assess the amount of income that was used on food in most countries. The report generated surprising results classifying the poorest countries as the highest users of their household income on food. Countries like the US, which have embraced the use of GMOs, were rated among the least users of household income on food. The American government has allowed the growth of GMO crops, and this is what has constantly saved the incomes of its citizens from being largely used up for the purchase of foods.
GMO foods are resistant to pests and harsh climatic conditions; they also take a short time to grow, thus reducing food shortage and providing affordable foods. Poor countries should look beyond the unjustified claims about the negative effects of GMOs and focus on generating a dependable source of food to improve their economy.
Genetically modified foods are likely to attract the attention of many people for a long period. Various people in different fields are trying to argue out the pros and cons of consuming GMO foods and growing genetically modified crops, but the decision to consume them or not lies in the hands of each individual. Food production for the growing world population is already a problem. With the current changes in climate, this problem is likely to become worse since the increased temperatures coupled with excessive rain will result in increased infestation of pests and diseases. These will, in turn, affect farmers whose yields will go down and the issue of world hunger will continue (Freedman, 2013). The use of genetically modified organisms will undoubtedly assist in solving the hunger problem. Plant scientists are able to match dominant genes in crops to create new varieties of crops that can adapt to the changing climate. This is an advantage that favors poor countries as a result of the large supply of food generated. Genetically engineered crops are able to resist multiple diseases and droughts thus ensuring that in the event of a dry spell, there will still be a reliable source of food (Freedman, 2013).
The use of genetically engineered organisms has greatly assisted the farmers especially in the developed countries that have accepted GM crops. GM crops use less pesticide as compared to organic crops thus saving the farmers a lot of money and increasing the yield by enabling them to have a sufficient means of survival. GMO foods are also seen as more advantageous than organic foods since they stay fresh for a longer period and have better taste with added nutritional value (Jeffrey, 2012). Proponent plant scientists are encouraging the world to embrace genetically modified foods, because by doing so, the production of food will greatly increase, therefore the price of foods will go down and the number of people affected by hunger problems will reduce.
GMO foods have many advantages that make them a better choice as compared to organic foods. Since pests are one of the greatest sources of losses to farmers, most farmers tend to use lots of pesticides which are undoubtedly hazardous to the environment, in order to protect their crops from the pests. GMO foods are pest resistant; therefore, they do not pose a threat to the environment. They are also safer for the consumers since they do not contain harmful chemicals absorbed from pesticides. Genetically engineered foods are also disease resistant and thus better than vulnerable organic crops since they are not affected by viruses and bacteria which cause many financial losses to farmers.
GMO foods have high nutritional benefits. Plant scientists are able to genetically modify organic crops creating stronger crops that have more nutrients than the original ones. This is especially useful in places where the populations rely on one type of food. Such crops may be genetically engineered to allow consumers to try added nutrients and bring down the cases of malnutrition especially in the developing countries. Most GMO foods are developed to stand powerful herbicides, thus are not affected by the harsh chemicals in herbicides. This saves farmers money, which can be used on other needs. In places where cold weather is an issue, crops may be adversely affected by frost which harms young seedlings (Ruppert & Henson, 1998). To solve this problem, plant scientists introduced an anti freezing gene which enables GM plants to survive in cold areas. This is good for farmers who live in cold places since they are able to earn a living by growing cold resistant crops. GMO foods are therefore very advantageous to the world and should be developed rather than prohibited (Whitman, 2000).
GMO foods are much cheaper than organic foods. When farmers choose to grow organic foods, they have to deal with problems such as pests, which, in most cases, cause farmers great financial losses by the destruction of produce. Farmers also have to deal with diseases such as potato blight, which affects even future seasons as some remain resistant to herbicides. Such farmers, like potato farmers, are forced to maintain strong herbicides in an attempt to avoid blight on their produce, which is very costly (Rotman, 2013). The world is still facing hunger problems which proponent scientists have attempted to solve through genetic engineering of foods. With the current unpredictable climate, the growth of organic foods proves to be difficult and expensive; therefore, even the actual food produced is very expensive and unavailable to a bigger percentage of the world’s population. Since GMO foods are engineered to withstand the current climate changes that have been attributed to global warming, they will prove to be cheaper to grow purchase. This, therefore, proves their affordability even to people living in poor countries that are more dependent on high-cost organic foods (Connealy, 2013).
People who have not yet embraced GMOs do not need to worry too much about safety since scientists have worked tirelessly ensuring that safety standards are met. GMOs are engineered to have better taste, faster growth, high resistance to pests, diseases, and harsh climate; thus they depict positive attributes as compared to organic crops. Where there is a high demand for crops, genetically modified foods are in higher supply and are hence cheaper than organic foods, which take a longer time to grow and remain fresh for a short span These negative attributes of organic crops make them expensive, more perishable, and vulnerable to harsh conditions as compared to genetically modified crops. The ability of plant scientists to transfer genes from different plants enables the organisms to have many desirable traits whereas the organic foods retain both desirable and undesirable traits making genetically modified foods more appealing and reliable both to consumers and farmers (Jeffrey, 2012).
Another advantage of GMO foods is that they help in conserving soil since there is reduced tilling as they require less weeding and cultivation. The use of genetic engineering ensures high levels of production and reduced effort and expenses. When comparing them to organic foods, their advantages greatly outnumber those of organic foods. Growing genetically modified foods saves on capital which may be used to boost the economy especially in the developing countries. The money saved by farmers on purchasing pesticides and other chemicals may be used for their own development in line with non-household products.
The Value of Organic Food
Some say that organic food is not healthier than conventional produce. Stanford University professional doctors went ahead to determine the value of organic food and found out that there is little evidence that eating organic food can be much healthier than conventional one (Azadi & Ho, 2010).
Some say that the use of conventional food can indeed lower the exposure to pesticides. However, research has proven that conventional food can do that only within the safety limits. That is to mean that eating organic food including fruits and vegetables has more value than conventional food, because it decreases the exposure to pesticides above safety levels. There are many reasons that lead people to choosing organic foods over conventional foods. These reasons range from environmental concerns to taste preferences. However, supporters of conventional food state that when it comes to individual health, there is not much diversity (Crinnion, 2010). It can be argued that organic foods carry high levels of vitamin C as well as proteins. Therefore, it remains the fact that those people that consume organic foods have a higher advantage of lower risk exposure than those taking conventional foods.
Some also state that organic food offers only a little edge towards food safety having 30% of pesticide remains as compared to non-organic foods. However, the fact remains that organic foods are better than conventional ones since they are safe to feed on. Most importantly, both fruits and vegetables that are grown in the absence of chemical fertilizers as well as pesticides are safer than the conventional foods. Moreover, livestock that has been raised using organic practices are not fed with antibiotics or grown using hormones. In addition, it can be stipulated that organic foods are kinder to the environment than conventional foods. That way, organic farming activities are usually designed in order to remain sustainable and emphasize on both conservation and reduction of pollutants (Dangour et.al, 2010). Despite the many arguments against organic foods, it can be deduced that they are healthier than conventional foods due to the fact that studies have indicated that they have a greater nutritional value than the conventional products.
Some also argue that eating organic food increases one’s exposure to many biological aspects hence putting the person at a high risk of food-borne illnesses. Several concerns have been raised against organic food due to manure, mycotoxins from the molds, and E. coli bacteria. However, organic foods are the best in terms of control of illnesses. They are unlikely to lead to the increased risk of cancer. Any traces of chemicals can also be washed away. Organic food has been proven to be friendly to the environment, because it assists in reduction of pollution as well as greenhouse gases from the production of food through the restrictions on the use of artificial fertilizers and pest control chemicals. Organic farms are also havens for wildlife since they offer homes for bees and butterflies. Moreover, plant, bird, and insect life comprises 50% of organic farmers (Seufert, Ramankutty & Foley, 2012). That means that organic farming has taken a large part of the world. Organic foods are grown under the stipulated standards so that animals should be provided a lot of space as well as fresh air in order to grow and thrive with a guarantee of a free-range life.
Most importantly, some may complain about the prices of organic foods claiming that they are more expensive than conventional foods. However, organic foods offer many advantages that make them better alternative foods. Organic foods assist in prevention diseases such as cancer and other related heart diseases. Research has shown that organic fruits as well as vegetables have almost 40% of antioxidants that help in reduction of cancer, heart disease, and stroke risks. They also consist of salicylic acids that assist in preventing the hardening of arteries and prevent cancer. It can be deduced that organic food provides more advantages than non-organic foods that are considered as fast-growing. Organic fruits and vegetables are only grown by a few farmers across the world despite the fact that they are in high demand. It is wise to state that organic foods are better than conventional foods due to their high value.
Another considerable advantage of organic foods is that they have good tastes along with high nutritious values as compared to other types of foods. They have a notable natural flavor, because they lack additives that give other foods a diverse taste. Recent studies have proven the benefits of organic foods. They have found out that organic foods consist of more mineral salts along with other healthy chemicals than those consisted by non-organic foods. Most importantly, organic foods have the best effect on the reproduction of animals. Many researches have been conducted on animals and revealed that animals fed with organic foods become more reproductive than those fed with non-organic foods (Dangour et.al, 2010). Moreover, one of the main causes of infertility in animals is a large intake of chemicals that are riddled in their foods. It has become clear that organic foods offer better value than conventional food despite the fact that they have been criticized to have a short shelf life due to the lack of additives.
Furthermore, organic foods assist in controlling weight in humans and animals. Research has provided that obesity is associated with intake of conventional foods such as canned food and fruits among others due to the preservatives. Obesity has become a major problem among Americans and has provoked continuous debates even at the congress level. It has become confusing if to define obesity as an epidemic. Organic foods assist one to control and maintain their diets. It is clear that the advantages of organic foods outweigh the disadvantages of the same meaning that organic foods are better than conventional ones that have been associated with many health problems across the world, the major ones being cancer and heart diseases. Organic foods can be found from farmers, buying in bulk during the peak seasons or growing organic fruits and vegetables (Crinnion, 2010). One can also breed organic animals for food purposes. Therefore, growing and intake of organic foods should be encouraged across the world in order to ensure that people are safe and healthy.
Organic vs. Inorganic Food
Debate on which food is healthy for human consumption has been present for many years. The non-organic versus organic argument has been present since the early 1970s. As early as 1970s, biology professors in different universities around the world were skeptical that there were some major benefits of either consuming organic or non-organic food. In the market, there is a wide variety of food which one can choose. People who are conscious of what they eat will always think about what they are ingesting. However, it is commonly agreed that people will always want to eat nutritious, good and healthy foods so as to live long and vigorous lives. The present world is full of cheap and processed foods. Although organic food promises a better life, it is impossible or hard to stick to one food type. This is because both non-organic and organic foods differ significantly. However, organic food is still favored by many people.
To understand the contentious issue between organic and inorganic foods, it is essential to understand what they are. To start with, organic foods are food items that are produced or processed without the use of chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. On the other hand, inorganic foods are produced with the help of synthetics to get finished products. People believe that organic foods are better than inorganic, but biological test has proved that these two types of foods are almost similar. The pioneers of organic farming saw organic foods as having more life enhancing qualities than the inorganic ones. While there are some heated arguments that encourage the consumption of organic foods, it is still better than regular food that is not organic. In addition, these food items are not genetically modified.
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In the recent past, organic foods have become increasingly popular. The craze for these food items has swept many nations, and the demand for them is now on the rise. New expensive health food outlets have opened up in many regions and are stocking organic foods only. This has been informed by the recent health related issues. Doctors and nutritionist are encouraging people to change their eating habits by embracing natural diets that have been proved to be healthy. Just like the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a research by Chhabra, Kolli, and Bauer has proved this to be true. According to these researchers, organically grown food provides health benefits to Drosophila melanogaster. As stated in their research findings, organic food market is rapidly growing because of consumer’s perception of superior quality of organic foodstuff. To show that organic products were more balanced in terms of nutritional value than inorganic or conventional foods, they conducted their research using flies. Their research proved that organic foods provide greater amounts of nutrients which lead to longevity and improved fertility (Chhabra, Kolli, & Bauer, 2013). In order to show that organic products provided substantial nutritional benefits, the survival times of starving flies were determined. Flies that were raised on organic food (potato extracts) endured wet starvation considerably longer than those raised on inorganic or conventional extracts. The former also had a higher overall activity than flies that had ordinary diets. The fundamental question that begs to be answered is why flies that were raised on organic extracts didn’t show outstanding activity. Was it because of their own developed resistance or because of the food type they were fed? These unsatisfactory questions or issues were addressed by performing preliminary analysis using a simple and convenient model system (Chhabra, Kolli, & Bauer, 2013). The research was conducted using Drosophila melanogaster. Recent studies have proved that this fly can be used to model consequences of disrupted metabolic homeostasis. Therefore, it can be concluded at this point that organic foods have more nutritional value than in-organic ones (Chhabra, Kolli, & Bauer, 2013).
To show that organic food is better than inorganic, another group of researchers surveyed food patterns among pregnant women. They also investigated dietary quality associated with organic food consumption during pregnancy among women in Norway. This study was aiming at describing dietary characteristics associated with frequent consumption of organic food among pregnant women.
In this study, pregnant women who reported frequent consumption of organic or organically produced foods had dietary of the quality that was in line with public advice for healthy and sustainable diets (Torjusen et al., 2013). The importance of quality nutrition during pregnancy is beneficial to both the mother and the child. Preservatives and synthetics used in non-organic foods are addictive and can have adverse effects on the unborn child or the mother (Torjusen et al., 2013). The main finding from this research was that regular intake of organic foods among pregnant women was associated with good health. Women who reported a high consumption of organic food items scored high on the health and sustainability component (PCI). It was evident that an organic diet composed of fruits, vegetables and whole grain is essential for maternal health (Torjusen et al., 2013). However, a proponent of organic food can argue and say that maternal health is determined not only by the dietary consumption but also by access to health care. The truth of the matter is that a developing fetus depends on the dietary intake of the mother (Torjusen et al., 2013).
Another reason for organic food to remain the preferred food type is because the composition of non-organic food remains a misery to many. Non-organic or inorganic foods use synthetics for production purposes. Some of them include pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, inorganic foods are not safe because producers can modify food items at genetic or molecular level. The use on non-organic food produce has been associated with estrogenic compounds in the body. All organophosphate chemicals from bug spray fertilizers are highly estrogenic. Inside the body, estrogen can cause cancer, uterine fibroids, infertility, or organ malfunctioning. In another research aiming to access the consumer behavior from Moldova area towards organic food, majority of the respondents said that they preferred organic food. According to this research, at the end of 2011, there were more than 37 million certified organic farmers. The largest grow of organic food was in Europe where cultivation of organic foods increased from 0.8 million hectares to 10 million hectares by the end of 2009 (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012). This is a good indicator of the demand for organic food increase. Opponents of organic food claim that when one is growing organic food naturally, there are a lot of contaminations. However, the truth of the matter is that these food items do not utilize chemicals or fertilizers to boost production. Organic food is produced using natural means where even pest control is done using biological methods.
Weeding is done mechanically or manually without the use of chemicals such as pesticides of herbicides (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012). According to the official information or data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania, since 2011, there has been a noticeable increase in organic systems. This has been followed by an explosion of organic food consumption among many people and households. To ensure that consumers are aware of what they are buying, many authorities have made it mandatory for effective labeling of food products. Many countries have introduced the new mandatory EU logo for organic foods (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012). As the aim of this research was to access the consumer behavior from Moldova area towards organic food, consumption frequency of organic products indicated most people ate organic foods. 45.13% of the respondents said that they had consumed organic food more than once in a week (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012). The most consumed organic food items were fruits, basic products, vegetables and beverages. Someone may point out that organic food is always expensive compared to inorganic. Proponents of inorganic food may claim that production of inorganic foods is cheap. While this is true, people are increasingly becoming conscious of what they eat. They are opting for food products that have no chemicals.
Therefore, most people do not consider buying cheap inorganic foods which are full of chemicals (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012). Instead, more and more are turning to organic food despite its high price. What most proponents of inorganic food do not remember is that it is always good to prevent a disease than curing. As a result of increased use of chemicals in the production of inorganic foods, a lot of chemicals end up being used. Some of these chemicals are carcinogenic and people end up suffering cancer. Today, treating cancer is very expensive, and this is what people who prefer organic food have realized. For them, it is better buying the expensive organic foods rather than buy the carcinogenic inorganic ones (Stoleru, Munteanu, & Jitareanu, 2012).
Another study aiming to access consumer attitudes, knowledge and consumption of organic yogurt was conducted. The research findings indicated that most consumers had a positive perception of organic yogurt quality. Most people evaluate organic yogurt more highly than conventional yogurt on the aspects of healthiness, quality, taste safety, packaging, environmental friendliness and trustworthiness (Van Loo, Diem, Pieniak, & Verbeke, 2012). Consumers rate the healthiness of organic yogurt as the attribute with the greatest difference between from inorganic yogurt. This is consistent with other studies indicating that health and food safety are the key drivers for organic food purchase. The second largest perceived difference is the perception that organic yogurt is environmentally friendly (Van Loo, Diem, Pieniak, & Verbeke, 2012). This is also a good indicator of why organic yogurt has continued to be bought in large amounts. Therefore, it can be concluded that organic products such as yogurt will continue leading in terms of purchases (Van Loo, Diem, Pieniak, & Verbeke, 2012).
In a research conducted by Murali Gopal, Alka Gupta and George Thomas, soil microbes need food that is provided through recycling Agro wastes. According to this research, if enough compounds can be introduced to the soil through recycling, there is no need to use synthetics such as fertilizers. Increasing evidence is indicating that soil microorganisms are responsible for the provision of food to the world (Gopal, Gupta, & Thomas, 2013). However, less importance has been given to satisfy the needs of millions of soil microbes. Carbon presented as soil organic carbon is the food that these microbes eat. In India, hundreds of tons of carbon present in agro-wastes are squandered by burning. Through recycling of agro-wastes, carbon is returned to the soil to provide food for the microbes. Therefore, there is no need of using synthetics or chemicals to produce food (Gopal, Gupta & Thomas, 2013). However, one may ask if recycling can control pests in the process of organic food production. The answer to this question is that there are better methods of controlling pests and weed. Biological control of pests has been known for not only enhancing safe food production, but also to be environmentally friendly. Therefore, there is no doubt that organic food is a better option when compared to inorganic foods (Gopal, Gupta, & Thomas, 2013).
In an effort to prove that inorganic food is better than organic, Rafi Grosglik conducted a research on organic hummus and cultural globalization in Israel. Hummus has become a common food in Israel and its becoming a cultural identity of the country (Grosglik, 2011). It is customary to see organic food representing locality, health, ecology and social justice. It also embodies representations of globalism and westernism. This is because of its addition to the international industrial system and its background among the materialistic social elite in the Western world. The production, distribution and consumption of organic hummus show an increase in its demand. Global socioeconomic situations and concepts entrenched in the model of organic food associated to hummus allow the imagined localization of the dish (Grosglik, 2011). Hummus is a dish assumed to represent earthiness, local simplicity and rootedness. However, in the current context of organic and inorganic, the organic version of hummus wears a symbolic and economic framework. This is not only in Israel but globally. It has been used to demonstrate a symbolic cosmopolitan. In conclusion, this argument of which food type is better for human consumption should come to an end because organic food is the best without any doubts (Grosglik, 2011). Organic foods have an extremely high profile and are continuing to be popular in many grocery stores. People should not be blinded by cheap inorganic foods that have been linked to various cancers.
Genetically modified foods have a great impact on the world today. If more countries accepted the consumption of GMO foods, the problem of hunger would be long gone. The number of deaths associated with starvation would reduce considerably, and poor countries would use their income on economic development rather than on household items. Many people would also earn their living through farming regardless of their climatic location since GMO foods are resistant to harsh climatic changes. The issue of environmental conservation would also be boosted since there would be less pollution from pesticides and other farming chemicals resulting from their reduced application. Developing countries should also embrace genetically modified foods to counter the effects of droughts on food production. Genetically modified foods are the solution to many of the food problems facing numerous countries today and should be accepted instead of being rejected.
Advantages of organic foods outweigh their disadvantages. Conventional food have been known to cause several illnesses and obesity meaning that overtaking them renders people to high risks of illnesses. Organic foods have also been cited as safe to both humans and animals. Moreover, they are environmentally friendly since they help to control pollution. Organic foods have also been associated with good tastes despite the fact that they are in low supply since they are produced by counted farmers across the world. Therefore, organic foods are better than non-organic.