An Era of Frankenquality: The GMO Takeover

In America, Bigger is Better

Public interest in organic foods has increased in recent years, but so has governmental experimentationwith genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Almost everyone knows about or has at least heard of, Monsanto—the U.S. based agricultural biotechnology corporation. This monopolized food company is responsible for integrating GMOs into almost every food product available to consumers in the United States and certain areas around the world. Other GMO companies, such as AquaBounty Technologies (a fish aquaculture company), have started their own experiments. Vegetables, traditional farm animals, and now fish are being genetically altered to grow larger. Although many countries frown upon experiments to produce these “frankenfoods”, it has become a norm in American culture.

A Franken-what?

The original term “frankencrops” compares GMO plants to the fictional Frankenstein character. Like the character, these crops are a great idea in theory and are produced with good intent. Both, however, are monstrous and simply not natural in society. Despite the lack of knowledge regarding health hazards, it didn’t take long for the FDA to approve the integration of GMOs into the American consumer market. A study with GMO salmon has surfaced and the company responsible, AquaBounty, is asking for FDA approval in setting these “frankenfish” into the wild, even though projected results are not 100% guaranteed. AquaBounty recently received close to $500,000 from the USDA to test the sterility of the GMO salmon, attempting to make the fish incapable of reproduction. Nonetheless, there is still a small percentage that can reproduce and threatens the wellbeing of wild salmon and other fish if they escape.

What Are the Concerns?

It is obvious that GMO farmed salmon area much larger than organic salmon, (about twice the size of organic salmon). But bigger isn’t always better. The FDA has results from studies indicating that GMO salmon are typically:

• Deformed

• More allergenic

• Carcinogenic

• Less nutritious

• Likely to change bacteria in the human digestive system

Organic salmon are natural, not injected with and additives or hormones. The hormones used to make GMO salmon huge are not only harmful to the fish, but the human body as well. The bodies of the GMO fish are comparable to those of the commonly known GMO chickens; they grow so large so quickly that their bone structure cannot support the weight and deformation occurs. After a GMO has been eaten, the toxins are absorbed in the human digestive tract causing intestinal bacteria to be altered, which can lead to many dangerous outcomes, including birth defects.

What Can We Do About It?

Usually it’s America who rescues the world. Now, it is us who need the rescuing. As consumers, we essentially have the power to change or prohibit the foods that are available to us on the market. Boycott with your checkbooks! If you don’t agree with corporations trying to monopolize an industry and take over our food manufacturers, then don’t buy their products. If you don’t agree with how the animals or crops are farmed and feel they are hazardous, then don’t buy these major corporations’ products. It simply makes sense to support the local, organic farmers. They respect the organisms that they grow and the consumers who eat them. Our nation was formed by hardworking, organic farmers who took pride in their work. Unless GMOs are able to interact with these organic organisms and spread their harmful effects, there is never a concern of malnutrition with organic foods. Let’s save our country and our world; let’s take a stand and end this GMO takeover!

-Jayme Young

Works Consulted

http://www.grist.org/food/2011-09-29-feds-help-gmo-salmon-swim-upstream

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_24044.cfm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/genetically-engineered-salmon_n_958149.html

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Genetically Modified Foods Are Bad!

IT’S
YOUR HEALTH AND YOU NEED IT NOW!

Genetically modified foods have been around for over a century now. Whether you know about it or not it is real and is slowly taking over the farming world. The big question that usually pops up when people hear the words genetically modified is: is it healthy? The answer is no. How would you feel that every time you buy a vegetable or fruit from the produce section in your local supermarket; that it is actually infected already with pesticide repellent? Yeah it’s true and you probably don’t know overall in the last few months which foods you have eaten that have been poisoned from these pesticides. Not only pesticides, but also the genetic mutation itself within the food product.

Allergies Anyone?

Are you allergic to soy? Well statistics show in this following article that soy allergies are now 50% higher than when soy was introduced. Not only can you not have it, but the scientists who are trying to make a healthier alternative for you are actually making you more allergic! When you go to the doctors and take the prick allergy test to see what you are allergic to; genetically modified soy shows up faster than natural soy itself. Tests have been done for allergy tests for soy, corn, and papaya and all have failed. They failed because some of their genetically modified proteins have a source of allergens in them.

When you are allergic to certain foods, wouldn’t you want to find an alternative for that product? As scientists try to modify
certain foods, they actually make it worse than before. Digestive enzymes are
being reduced from soy products and peas. Your digestive system is now more sensitive and open to further allergic reactions. Genetically modified foods are slowly being taken over from certain products for the worse. Certain people around the world might actually have a favorite food; then have it taken away from them just by a little genetically modified product. Is that fair? I don’t think so.

Thinking About Having Children?

Genetically modified foods have been tested through thirty pregnant women and toxins were found in ninety-three percent of them. There isn’t a known fact that these foods have been deadly, but it could lead to further forewarnings on whether or not your child will have an allergy, disability, or a tragic miscarriage. The foods that can be traced on having toxins transferred into their system are meat, milk corn, and eggs. Corn is also one of the huge ingredients to almost every food label. With it being modified and being made on acres upon acres of fields. There are going to be pesticide repellent going to be sprayed all over these fields. Those chemicals are now being affected upon all the corn that came from that field. Then there is a chain reaction to the next corn field, then on to the next field etc.

Naturally Grown Food, I Think Not

Do you wonder where your food really came from? In this
case I would hope to keep on further research on the food products that you
consume in the near future. Knowing that your food has been tested and genes have been crossing barriers it shouldn’t be. How would you feel knowing that your food is coming from a laboratory and not a field? Let nature take its course, just not in the course of a chemical study that can cause harm to the human race. Genes are being twisted and skewed to make the perfect product for the foods that you eat. Using bacteria as an open door to further invade that food and inject the gene to make it “healthier”.  Not only are these foods being grown, but there are also being put on shelves at our local stores daily. These foods are now spreading what is wrong with them, to the produce next to them. Employees don’t know that what their putting on the shelves could potentially harm others because they are not paid to know that much.

The Food You Just Ate Is Still Inside You

Just got done eating a nice huge meal and your full. You go to the bathroom thinking that the food you just ate is now gone. Think again. The genetically modified foods that you just ate are still inside you! The bacterium clings on to your intestines and continues to function that way it was made. Bacteria like this have had a slim chance that more of the gene transfer could create diseases which antibiotics can’t fight. All this talk about genetically modified food has gotten you worried now. Let’s just hope that the next time you eat, your food has been naturally grown and not modified to be a better alternative. These foods are slowly taking over and it is our job to stop it.

-Alex Ham

Works Consulted

Poulter, Sean.  GM Food Toxins Found in the Blood of 93% of Unborn

Babies. Mail Online, 2011. Web. 20 May 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-93-unborn-babies.html

Smith, Jeffrey M. Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risk of

Genetically Engineered Foods. Institute for Responsible Technology, 2010.

Web. 1 December 2010.

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/AboutGeneticallyModifiedFoods/HealthRisksBrochure/index.cfm#0.1__edn28

Too Much of A Good Thing: The Truth About Vitamins

By Andrew Hammond

Vitamins: Savior or Grim Reaper?

Many of us believe that we can never take too many vitamins. They are, after-all, essential micro-nutrients to the body. New scientific evidence seems to contradict this, however, as Jaakkoo Mursa’s recent findings show. Mursa, along with his colleagues from the University of Minnesota, declare that taking multivitamins and supplements can in the long run kill you faster than if you hadn’t taken them.

To reach this conclusion, Mursa and colleagues followed the lives of 38,000 over the span of 19 years, painstakingly recording their habits, their diets, and their health. What he found contradicted most modern day thought: vitamins can kill you. In fact, women who took the multivitamins had a 6% chance of dying before the women who had not taken them.  The strange thing is that the women who were taking the vitamins and supplements regularly also tended to be “less likely to be overweight and have diabetes or high blood pressure and were more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables and avoid high-fat foods.”

Aye, there’s the rub.

Numeric Information

The statistics included in the report are also unsettling. If one were to take folic acid tablets, they would have a 15% of dying early. For copper supplements, 45%. This anomaly, however, is explained quite adequately. As I stated earlier, women who took supplements usually had good health and ate healthily. This good diet, when done in conjunction with supplements and multivitamins, caused the early death. When one eats a healthy diet, they obtain most of their necessary nutrients. Taking supplements actually raises the level of the vitamins and minerals in the body to toxic levels, effectively harming rather than helping.

The one bright spot in this case is the use of the supplement calcium. By taking calcium supplements, women were able to ward off osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Mursa goes on to say that emphasis should be placed on a good diet, as it is “It’s safer and more practical.”

Vitamins can do what?!

I, for one, was slightly shocked by this development. I had always thought that you could never take too many vitamins, even though I was never a fan of taking them myself. It wasn’t until I researched further that I learned that you could actually harm yourself from consuming too much vitamin A, C, and E. It would be wise to actually study the word supplement for a minute. The word supplement can mean one of several different things. In this case, however, it means to take the space of or to fill the space of, as in, to fulfill the requirement. Supplements were only meant to be taken as measures to ensure homeostasis in the body, not to be used as part of a daily, long-term health regimen. I also concur with Mr. Mursa in that we should instead focus on a good diet instead of taking vitamins and supplements.

Debunking Vitamin E

As if to add insult to injury, studies have recently shown that too many vitamins are bad for men too. Vitamin E may increase the instances of prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. This study directly contradicts earlier research that had shown that vitamin E was a viable deterrent against prostate cancer. The effects of vitamin E have been shown to remain with the patient even after testing has stopped as well. As researcher Dr. Eric Klein has stated, “People have to get out of the idea that taking vitamins is innocuous, and that their effects stop when they stop taking them.”

It was also once widely accepted that vitamin E could ward of vision loss, breast cancer, and heart disease. These claims have also been debunked, further taking away steam from the vitamin movement.

There is still a silver lining for vitamin E, however. Research has shown that patients exhibiting early signs of dementia can slow the rate of decay in the mind by taking vitamin E. The research, sadly, is not conclusive enough for doctors to recommend it. Klein is not sure as to what causes the increase of instances of prostate cancer or the hindrance of dementia, but he’s sure that his massive collection of tissues from effected patients can reveal those mysteries of science soon enough.

The Verdict

I do believe that these recent findings provide the balance that the world craves. These articles show that too much of a good thing is bad, but did not implicitly say that taking vitamins and supplements are dangerous. The exception is, of course, if one is on a good, healthy, balanced diet where the nutrients are readily accessible and absorbed. This research also provides warnings against possible diseases, information that could potentially save someone’s life. The research even shows that there are possible uses for vitamin E against dementia and Alzheimer’s. The only question now is whether or not further research will show that vitamins are dangerous and whether or not more diseases can be treated with vitamin therapy.

Click here for more information on vitamins and death and click here more information on vitamin E and prostate cancer. Both articles were written by Alice Park of Time.com.

Works Cited

Alice Park, “Vitamins and Supplements Linked to Higher Risk of Death.” HealthWorld.Time.com, Time, Oct. 11, 2011. Accessed Nov 5, 2011. Web.

http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/11/vitamins-and-supplements-linked-to-higher-risk-of-death-in-older-women/

Alice Park, “Vitamin E May Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer.” HealthWorld.Time.com, Time, Oct. 12, 2011. Accessed Nov 5, 2011. Web

http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/12/vitamin-e-may-increase-risk-of-prostate-cancer/#ixzz1cm4BVR58

 

 

 

 

 

Organics Are the Future

The Bad Guys You
Didn’t See

     There is amonstrous curtain being pulled over our eyes on just about everything that goes on in this country including agriculture. The war between industrial farming
and organic farming is ever raging. I believe that organics are the way to go. Humans
as a race have always been innovative and found new ways to solve existing
problems. However, some of these ‘solutions’ have not been for the greater
benefit of the people as much as a way to make a profit. Corporations began to
form at the beginning of the 1900’s. This brought about big change in the
United States, as well as the entire world. Corporations generally have one and
only goal: to make as much money as humanly possible. They have become so
powerful and integrated into our economy that if they fell, our economy would
surely crumble, even more than it already has. Corporations such as Monsanto have been given too much power and say over the industry and people are beginning to notice.

Once corporations began to really prosper, they fundamentally changed the world
operates but also how our food is processed and manufactured. With agriculture,
they started to treat our food as if it was on an assembly line. They began to
pump out more products faster, quicker in a more efficient way than ever before.
The only problem with that is when using these means to manufacture food goods;
the quality of the food pays the price instead of the corporation. The bigger
they got and more involved they got in the agriculture, the less they had to
worry about rules and regulations. Eventually they began to infiltrate our very
government so that they may change how the food industry is regulated.

The Environment Needs Your Help

     If there is one thing that is in dire need of help, it’s the environment. If we continue to let big corporations to do as they please with chemicals, growth hormones, and GMO’s;
we may just be letting them ruin the environment, more specifically the soil.
Although corporations are beginning to see that consumers are becoming more environment conscious, they are not doing enough. As for the rest of the world, we are just now really starting to change our ways for a greener future. Industrial
agriculture is not a green method of producing meats and crops. They highly
contaminate the soil and products and in turn future generations. The entire
world is beginning to put into place new laws and measure that will shoot us
into the next generation, a healthy, greener, cleaner environment.

First thing is first, soil is by far the most important component of agriculture. The
problem with conventional farming is that it causes the soil to be massively
deficient of key nutrients and in turn doesn’t allow for the crops to reach
their full potential. On top of that, they use all kinds of chemicals and
hormones to kill weeds and make the products grow faster. This causes
unspeakable harm to future newborns as well as the soil itself. The chemicals
and hormones soak into the soil and therefore our water supply. It also gets
into the food, and the grass that animals eat. There are no consequences for
corporations to use these methods of farming. This allows them free reign and
no way for us to hold them accountable for their actions.

Organics Are the
Key

     Organic farming is by far the best and safest solution to replace these mega giants we call food companies. There are numerous advantages to going organic on farming. With organic farming, no pesticides, herbicides, or any type of chemicals are used
on the crops. Animals are not injected with growth hormones and fed modified
corn; they are set in grass fields or in open pins to grow in and fed organic,
healthy foods. If you start out with a healthy product, what you get out of it
will be much more beneficial than synthetic methods.

There are substantial benefits to growing food organically. The productions costs used to farm organically are drastically smaller than conventional farming. It also allows for the reduction of soil erosion. Because industrial agriculture has deficient soil, it is not able to hold it form as well and result in soil that erodes much more quickly. Cattle being raised using organic methods actually have higher yields of milk and are also less
prone to disease. Anybody will tell you that organic food generally tastes
better than conventionally grown food. Whether that holds true or not is based
on your opinion.

The only downsides to organic farming are the fact that it takes more work and it
doesn’t yield nearly as much product as conventional methods. Although this may
be true, there will be new and innovative ways to solve these issues that will
allow us to move past this obstacle. It is true that we may never be as quick
as using a machine and chemicals but the food will always be of a higher
quality that machines and chemicals will ever produce. These are very small
prices to pay considering all the benefits gained from switching over. It’s
only a matter of time until the entire country demands organic food.

-Chris Billingham

Works Consulted

Ujwal Deshmukh. “Benefits of Organic Farming” http://www.buzzle.com. Web. 5 October 2011.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/benefits-of-organic-farming.html

ActionAid. “Power Hungry: six reasons to regulate global food corporations”        www.actionaid.org.uk. Web. 5 October 2011.

http://www.actionaid.org.uk/_content/documents/power_hungry.pdf

270,000 Farmers v. Monsanto

Written by: Colin Hudson

Monsanto, the GMO seed giant, may be receiving a taste of their own medicine. On March 30, 2011, 270,000 organic farmers and seed growers filed a lawsuit that demanded legal protection from Monsanto should their fields be contaminated by stray, genetically modified seeds.  The suit is a first in the current war on agricultural big business as it seeks to approach the problem preemptively.

A Brief Monsanto Back Story

     Monsanto is  one of the largest developers and sellers of genetically modified crops and seeds in the world.  Monsanto holds the patents on many different forms of proprietary corn, soy, and canola seeds, all of which work in conjunction with their RoundUp range of non targeted herbicides.  These seeds have been genetically altered to be able to grow in harsh conditions and survive direct contact with RoundUp pesticides and herbicides.  This sounds good, and may very well be, but these crops have many side effects.  For one thing, these plants are also bred to be sterile. This means that the plants do not naturally reproduce.  So in order to continue to grow Monsanto crops, the farmers must rebuy the seeds each season.  This is just one example of how Monsanto maintains a strangle hold on the seed market, but they have other ways of making sure that farmers do exactly what they want them to.

Since 1997, Monsanto has filed lawsuits against 178 farmers on grounds of copy write infringement.  Monsanto claims that these farmers were guilty of growing Monsanto crops without permission.  The problem with these lawsuits is that the majority of the farmers who were targeted were not at fault at all.  The majority of these farmers’ fields were contaminated through the natural spread of seeds from neighboring farms. 128 lawsuits in over ten years does not appear to be a large number, until you look at the fact that Monsanto has settled more than 700 other cases out of court for undisclosed amounts during the same time period.  This aggressive, and successful, legal strategy had many farmers running scared for the better part of 10 years.

The Organic Farming Movement Attacks Monsanto 

Now, there is a new kid on the block. As the worlds view of the food industry gradually changes due to documentaries and exposes such as Food Inc. and Food Matters, some farmers are standing up to the corporate tyrant.  The organic food movement is a fast growing business sector.  Organic farmers must adhere to strict guidelines in order to acquire and  maintain USDA Organic status.  One of the things that threatens this status is involuntary contamination by GMO seeds and crops.  Such contaminations could result in loss of Organic status as well as an unfriendly visit from the Monsanto legal team.  This is why a large group of organic farmers have decided to make a stand and fight for protection from the corporate giant Monsanto.

A group of 270,000 organic farmers and seed growers filed suit on March 30, 2011 asking for protection should their fields be contaminated by Monsanto crops. This step is a huge upset to the Monsanto legal machine.  Monsanto has been very slow to respond and reluctant to sign any type of legally binding agreement.  Monsanto has stated that it would not sue any farmer whose crops contain trace amounts of GMO seeds or whose crops had been involuntarily contaminated.  Although Monsanto made this statement, it refused to sign any form of legal document that would solidify this claim.  So, at this juncture, Monsanto has not really done anything of note and is not budging on its aggressive legal stance towards small farm owners.

So what does the future hold?

     It is very difficult to tell what will come of this lawsuit. Ideally, the small business organic farmers could win some form of legal protection from the harassment of Monsanto. However, Monsanto is a huge corporation with many millions of dollars to throw around.  In the world that we live in, full of corruption and greed, it is no long shot that the court’s decision will be bought by Monsanto and they will be allowed to continue to terrorize farmers as they have been for over a decade.

As for now, the farmers have done all that they can do.  They have gone through the proper channels to try and achieve some sort of change.  They have brought the fight to Monsanto, now the waiting game begins. The American Legal system takes forever to achieve any type of results.  This, coupled with the fact that Monsanto has a crack legal team, means that this case could get dragged out for years.  One of the greatest tools for a corporation is making a lawsuit a war of attrition.  If a company can drag out a case for long enough, the other side, in this case the farmers, will inevitably run out of money.  This is the path that I predict this case will follow.  Now we just have to wait and see how it all unfolds.  Hopefully there will be a verdict at some point during our life times.

 Works consulted:

“Organic farmers sue Monsanto.” rt.com. RT, 28 Jul. 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

http://rt.com/usa/news/organic-monsanto-lawsuit-seed/

Magnuson, Danielle. “Organic v. Monsanto.” growswitch.com. GrowSwitch, Jul. 26, 2011.      Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

www.growswitch.com/blog/2011/07/270000-organic-farmers-sue-monsanto/#.TrgKqmAcU18

“Case Update: 270,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto.” wakeup-world.com. Wake Up        World. 19 Sep. 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

http://wakeup-world.com/2011/09/19/case-update-270000-organic-farmers-sue-monsanto/

Organic is the safest option

Organic is the Safest Option

            There is so much talk right now about the food industry. So many years ago there was nothing wrong with eating chips, McDonalds, cookies, or whatever you wanted. Now you hear about people filing lawsuits against corporations for health problems, and the news is flooded with debates about organic foods being a great option, or if organic food is overrated.

            People are saying that organic food is good. Other people are saying that conventional food is better and more logical. But what it really comes down to is education. People shouldn’t eat food that they know nothing about, but it happens every day. Foods filled with toxic chemicals are being fed to children and adults all over the world because consumers just do not know any better.

What Does Organic Even Mean?      

           Blah, blah, blah- everyone is always using the word ‘organic’, but what does it even mean? Why are organics so ‘good’ for you? Well my friend, I am here to answer these questions.

            You see, the term organic is simple. It basically means that there is nothing harmful in your food, or any other organic product. It’s natural. Organics are naturally grown, naturally made, and naturally good for you. Non-organics contain harmful toxins that are awful for your body, and harmful for the environment.

How Much Safer is Organic?

            Organics are grown without pesticides, antibiotics, and irradiation and so on—this is wonderful news. However, you could be eating an organic apple in New York that was grown in California. With all the traveling it took for that apple to get from the West Coast to the East Coast, all the pollution and all the toxins that have wound up on this organic apple, it is still better than eating an apple that has been grown in poison.

Small Choices Make Huge Impacts

            Yes, organic products can cost more than the toxic junk people fill their grocery carts with every day, but what happened to quality being more than quantity? There are simple choices you can make in the grocery store that will help your nutrition and not empty your wallet.

            Dairy, fruits and vegetables are very important in anyone’s diet. They are also the three things filled with the most pesticides, antibiotics, and herbicides. GROSS. Luckily though, organic milk, dairy, vegetables, and fruits can all be found in your grocery store or at your local farmer’s market.

            Commercially-farmed fruits and vegetables vary in their levels of pesticide residue. Some vegetables, like broccoli, asparagus and onions, as well as foods with peels, such as avocados, bananas and oranges, have relatively low levels compared to other fruits and vegetables.

            Replacing just 5 common products to organic ones can make a huge impact- milk, potatoes, peanut butter, ketchup, and apples. The antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides used in the commercial dairy industry are repulsive.

  • Drinking non-organic milk is basically drinking a glass of poison. Organic milk can be found almost anywhere and is not much more money- it also stays fresh a lot longer.
  • 81% of conventional potatoes still contain pesticides after being washed and peeled.
  • Over 99% of peanut farms use conventional techniques, including using fungicide to treat mold, which happens to be a common problem in peanut crops.
  • Organic Ketchup has almost double the amount of antioxidants than conventional ketchup. Seeing as children put ketchup on almost everything, why wouldn’t everyone give their child organic ketchup?
  • Apples are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits, and also one of the most commonly eaten fruits. Organic apples can be found easily and are not more expensive than other apples.

Those are just 5 simple products that consumers use on a regular basis. They are all found in local grocery stores and will make a positive change in everyone’s health.

Saving Ourselves and Saving Our Earth

            Everyone wants to be healthy. Everyone wants to make sure their loved ones are healthy. Knowing that we can control our health with just a few modifications within our diet is something everyone should take control of. By changing a few products here and there with organic products, it will result in a healthier life.

            Conventional foods are filled with toxins, poisons, pesticides, fungus and herbicides. While organic foods are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and do not contain harmful toxins. Is there even a question on what to pick?

-Andrea Sponer

 

Works Consulted

TIME Magazine. “Eating Better Than Organic – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1595245,00.html&gt;.

The New York Times. “Five Easy Ways to Go Organic – NYTimes.com.” Health and Wellness – Well Blog – NYTimes.com. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/five-easy-ways-to-go-organic/&gt;.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1595245,00.html

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/five-easy-ways-to-go-organic/

Are Organic Foods Worth the Cost?

Are Organic Foods Worth the Cost?

      There is still fierce debate going on in this country on whether or not organic foods are

Organic Foods are being sold in more supermarkets around the country

worth the cost. The prices of organic food products are an average of 50% higher than non-organic food products. But people often ask “Is the extra cost worth it?” I say yes it is. Would you rather spend an extra dollar or two to help the environment and to eat healthy?

We live in the age of information. There is increasing public awareness of the foods that we eat and how they are made. The more the public knows about our food, the less they want to eat. Public awareness of our industrial food process is steadily growing. We know more about the negative impacts of herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer use now than we did 20 years ago. More organic brands are being carried in supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and K-mart. The USDA and other regulatory agencies are creating policies for organic foods to make sure that a products that is labeled as “organic” is actually organic. And yet, with all these things happening to push organic foods into the spotlight for consumers, there is still the issue of the price. Why are organic foods more expensive?

To put it plainly, it’s the only way that organic companies can stay in business. It takes more of an investment to produce organic foods. It takes more workers, more land, and more seeds to produce organic foods, so of course you would have to pay more for organic food. But the only things that consumers look at in the supermarket are the price tags. This must change.

What You Can Do

To get organic foods to the point where they are widely accepted by consumers, we must 1: educate the public on the benefits of organic foods, and 2: buy more organic foods. It seems simple, but it’s harder to do than you think. Unfortunately, with organic foods being as expensive as they are, the average worker doesn’t make enough to buy completely organic. For organic foods to become a bigger market, we must all sacrifice something. The more we buy of organic food, the lower the price becomes. Getting started will be hard, but every organic product we purchase means less chemical products going into the soil, the air, and the water. The system of industrial agriculture is ruining our planet. Would you rather have cheaper food, or a cleaner environment?

Most people think that they can’t do much to help environmental problems caused by industrial pollution. The more organic foods are sold in the country, the less conventional products are sold. In time, the market can trend away from industrial food products, and to organic foods. We can use the law of supply-and-demand against the current market that revolves around industrial food.

The world today is growing more crowded every day. In the rush to feed a growing population, more crops are being grown using fertilizers and pesticides, which means the pollution from these products is also growing. Organic foods are worth the cost. We must sacrifice and pay a little more for organic foods if we want to change the current system. Every time we check out at the supermarket we vote for either conventional foods or wholesome healthy foods, depending on what we buy. With this, I ask you to buy 1 organic product every time you buy groceries. If every person bought one organic product every time they went to the supermarket, we would save thousands of tons of chemicals from going into our environment. Organic foods can help the economy and the environment, but only if we decide to make the choice to support them.

–  Cal Kingry

Organic Food: Healthier for You and the Planet, Collin Dunn,      http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/organic-food-healthier-for-you-and-the-planet.html                                                                                                                                          Organic Foods: Are they Safer? More Nutritious?, Mayo Clinic Staff, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255                                                                 The Advantages of Organic Food, Virginia Louise, http://www.organicfoodinfo.net/