November 25th, 2011
Every Penny Counts
While shopping at the market everyone experiences the same thought: “Organic or regular?” If one does decide to go organic, a few things come to mind: Is organic worth the price? How do I know if it really is organic? Why should I buy the organic five-dollar raspberries, while the normal raspberries are only two dollars? These are thoughts that strike every one's minds while shopping at their local super market. The majority of people would turn away from organic products due to the price. Not only is the price a factor, but people also like the consistency of their normal brand products. Recently moving out myself, I have become very much aware of the money I spend on groceries. Even though it may seem like health comes at a price, it is a price I am willing to pay. This is a decision that could potentially affect people’s lives, yet is constantly being ignored due to the price of organic foods. The society we live in today has evolved greatly. Today, we are experiencing a green/organic movement. Many people wonder about the origin of this movement. In the early twentieth century, all food was organically grown. However, people didn’t know any different. Organic food was simply food. As genetic engineering replaced organic farming, no one thought of purposely putting chemical spray to enhance crop growth and yield. The only concern of the farmers was how they could be more efficient in a less costly way. As petro-chemical industries began to rise in the early 1900’s, agricultural research shifted its focus to which chemicals were needed in order to promote plant and animal growth (Callaghan par. 6). These chemicals were convenient because they came from finite resources. At first, these chemicals sounded like a brilliant idea: they were efficient, cheap, and easily accessible. Genetic engineers did not know what a horrible effect these chemicals would cause, but soon became a problem they couldn’t ignore. There was a reaction against chemical-induced food led by Rudolf Steiner, who reintroduced organic farming in the late twentieth century. It was people like Steiner who reinstated the healthier lifestyle that most people wish to take part in today, such as the green movement (Callaghan par. 7). Some people may find themselves buying organic foods mainly because everyone else is, although most people do not know what organic foods really are. Like them, I did not have a true understanding of what organic foods were until I researched them. Organic foods and products are produced without the “use of most synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, pesticides, antibiotics, added growth hormones, ionizing radiation, or genetic modification” (Reinke par. 3). The fields where the food grows must be free of any prohibited material for three years before the soil can be used to grow organic crops. Since 2002, organic food and farming have been regulated by the USDA National Organic Program (Reinke par. 3). Animals are also allowed to grow as naturally as possible without any synthetic growth hormones. Livestock must eat organically grown food, as well as spend their time in pastures instead of constricting buildings (Reinke par. 4). It is important for people to be aware of what is going into their own bodies; in fact, it is their right. People need to realize that what they have been eating for years has been harmful to their bodies. Most consumers are oblivious to what they put into their bodies and the processed junk that surrounds us daily. Organic production is an inevitable factor that easily accommodates the everyday healthy lifestyles for which our society yearns. Living in a society that thrives in this green movement really makes us consider the pros and cons of organic foods. The benefits of practicing an organic lifestyle largely out weigh the disadvantages of the hormone-induced diet that most consume. The overall gain we...