|UC Merced Summer 2015
WRI: 10 Reading and Composition
Essay 1: Analyzing a Text
Organic Vs. Conventionally Grown Food
According to TechSci, US Organic Food Markets are expected to surpass 45 Billion USD this year. With that being said, the organic lifestyle has gained a very large momentum since it was re-discovered not so long ago. In the articles; The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals by Blake Hurst, Will Organic Food Fail to Feed the World? By David Biello, and Real Food, Real Farming by Eliot Coleman, are all articles written by farmers who express their opinions on organic food and conventional food. In illustration of this movement, all agriculture was generally organic until the 1920’s and several farmers like Hurst, Biello and Coleman have all shared their perspectives on what we now consider “Organic” food. To know what we eat and how that can affect our health should not only be a given but essentially a right.
Furthermore, to shine some light on what Organic food is, Organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. And animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones (Organic FAQ). If you’re not eating organic food, then you’re eating conventionally grown food, which is the opposite of what organic food is and their practices during growing it. We currently only have Organic food and Conventionally grown food. So the choices are very limited when deciding what you and your family consume.
While the practice of organic farming and conventionally grown food remains to be a large debate today; Hurst unlike other farmers who are standing strong on organic farming and a healthier tomorrow does not agree on organic farming. He argues that organic farming brings too many problems to not only the farmer but the land itself (Hurst). Hurst is also a traditional farmer who believes that in order to leave a prosperous farm for his children to planet, the land, water and air around them, one must continue to do what people have done in the past like his father for example (Hurst). Unlike Hurst, both farmers Biello and Coleman believe in the great benefits of organic farming. Sure the concerns are inevitable of organic farming and whether it can possibly feed the world since industrial food has fed us all for over a century. Further, Biello argues that more knowledge would be key to an effort to boost organic farming or its yield and possibly asses our current food systems and find the best choice to grow better food (Biello). We all question everything we want to succeed, and if we truly want the majority of the population to eat organic and healthier, further research must be done on organic farming. Similarly to Biello, Coleman is all in for organic farming and he does mention in his article how other farmers and corporations ridiculed farmers who farmed organic until they realized how that industry continued to grow. He also states that he believes that agencies like the USDA must certify farmers who grow real food. And by real food, he believes that real food is local food where people know where their food is coming from.
People who consume organic food are not asking for the entire world to eat organic food. Everyone has a choice to eat as they please. But the debate that is known to pertain to organic and conventional food is simply that people who eat “organic” food want their food to be real food and not simply labeled “Organic” and drowned with harsh chemicals. As an organic food consumer, I personally believe that we should know what is in our organic food and where it is being made. At this point of life, I don’t even trust organic food labels simply because so many evil corporations like Pepsi and Nestle have jumped into the organic industry. Oppositely, conventionally grown food protestors argue that we eat merely the same food and it should not change the burden to grow organic food.
In conclusion, organic proponents support organic farming simply because they believe that organic farming can potentially make this a better world by making us healthier, contributing to natures ways, and to end obesity. Hurst argues against organic consumers by arguing that we don’t even know if organic farming can feed the world and that it brings too many problems to not just the farmers but to the land. I personally agree with both farmers Biello and Coleman because to farm organically may still not be the best method to grow our food but it sure is healthier and more sustainable than conventional farming.