Organic Foods: The All Around Healthier Alternative
Organic foods are becoming more available in all types of stores where food is sold. Nowadays, instead of scouring many stores looking for organic foods, they have become available for purchase in everyday shopping locations such as Vons, Ralphs, as well as Target and Wal-Mart. With most of the population being consumed with healthier eating and fitness, eating organic foods is a step people make in bettering oneself. Additionally, it is essential to protect our planet in as many ways as possible. Organic foods have grown nationally, are healthier and safer to consume than conventionally farmed foods, and are beneficial to the environment. Originally, there was no such thing as organic or conventional foods. All farming was organic as there were no pesticides available. However, as the demand for foods increased, farmers had to figure out how to increase the production of their product, as well as preserving the food to be available for longer periods of time; therefore pesticides were born. The term organic foods is defined by the article Is Organic Food Better For You, as “crops [that] must be produced without conventional pesticides (including herbicides), synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.”(1) Basically the article is saying that organic foods must be grown naturally without any “help”. This implies that farmers can use natural elements but nothing man made. Robin Parnes emphasizes that “organic food, [is] defined by how it cannot be made rather than how it can be made” (Parnes 2). Parnes is insisting that it is more important to state what cannot be used to ensure an authentic organic product. This is because what is NOT in a product is what makes it organic, not what IS in it. A common misconception about organic foods is that they are “natural”. This is not true. According to Parnes, “Natural foods can include organic foods, but not all natural foods are organic”. The essence of Parnes’ statement is the misconception is just that, a misconception, with the fact foods may be classified as “natural” but not classified as organic. Food that has been minimally processed and contains no preservatives is referred to by the food industry as “natural” (2). Given that the definition of organic food is very similar, it’s understandable why the two would be lumped together as one. However, the main difference as stated by Laurel Vukovic, is that foods must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients in order to be classified organic (50). Organic farms are not always “small family farms” like consumers would think. Shapin states, Earthbound Farm, a large organic producer, was once a small “two-and-a-half acre raspberry-and-baby-greens farm”. Like most great things, the company grew and they now have large farms in nine different counties in the states of California, Arizona, Colorado, and even farms in three Mexican states. When organic farming first started in 1993, the owners of Earthbound Farm were asked by Costco, their first client, to drop the term organic because they were afraid their customers would be “intimidated” and not want to buy the product, because the entire concept was too new. In 2004 Earthbound’s farms had grown nationally with twenty-six thousand acres and is now “available in supermarkets in every state of the Union” (Shapin). Organic foods today have become a more common household name and consumers are flocking to buy more of it. Katherine DiMatteo states that there has been a “strong 20%-a-year growth rate since 1990” (qtd. in Is Organic Food Better For You?). DiMatteo is explaining that organic farming is becoming more in demand as people look more to eating right. Parnes supports this fact by stating that “according to the Food Marketing Institute, more than half of Americans now buy organic food at least once a month” (1). Considering that organic foods used to be very difficult to find and most...
Cited: Alsever, Jennifer. “No Twinkies? Vending Machines Go Organic.” Going Green. NBCNews.com, 12 Jan 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Ciampa, Linda. “The Organic Debate: Healthier or Not?” In-Depth Specials. CNN.com. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
“Is Organic Food Better for You? Here’s How to Decide If it’s Worth The High Price.” Food & Recipes. WebMD. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
Parnes, Robin Brett. “How Organic Food Works.” How Stuff Works. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
Shapin, Steven. "Organic Food and Farming Has Drawbacks." The Local Food Movement. Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
Vukovic, Laurel. “A Shopper’s Guide to Organics”. Better Nutrition. Organic Directory, Sep. 2008. PDF fiile. 12. Feb 2013
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