Organic food are products of exclusive ecological purity, that passed certification; it certifies compliance of all stages of the organic products production with stringent requirements, including the rejection of usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, growth regulators, and genetic engineering techniques. While the food market of many countries is stagnating, organic market develops intensively. Continuously deteriorating environmental situation, genetically modified scandals contribute to the growth of organic products segment. However, organic food is not only about healthy lifestyle, but also about the problem of hunger in Africa and increase of croplands.
During the last 10-15 years, organic products, special stores, public cookery, confectionery and even offering cakes without sugar and gluten have become very popular. Organic became a kind of lifestyle for many people. It is important to understand the necessity and cost of organic food for society and the whole country. There are the following advantages of organic food consumption:
1. Products labeled organic and eco are grown/ produced without the use of genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, hormones, synthetic dyes, chemical preservatives, flavors, toxic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. This sounds attractive, but it is not the only benefit of organic products.
2. Organic product is not covered by toxic chemicals. On average, even on the well washed peel of an apple, there are 20-30 inorganic chemical poisons. With apple, chemicals get into the human body. This situation sounds the most terrifying when the issue concerns children.
3. There are 50% more vitamins, nutrients, enzymes and micronutrients in fresh organic products than in the same products grown using intensive chemical treatment. The difference is obvious.
4. Consuming organic food is the only way to avoid genetically modified foods. Preferring organics, one may express his/ her protest against GMOs and their distrust of similar products. Nowadays, the fight for organic food is a problem of American courts, as in case of legal battle between Rawsome Foods, who illegally produced and sold raw milk, meat and other products, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Goodyear 32-37).
5. For those who do not follow a vegetarian diet and eat meat and dairy products, the consuming of organic food is very important. All animal grown on inorganic farms were crammed with dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, growth hormones and drugs against parasites. Moreover, they are fed with drugs, regardless of whether an animal has some parasites or not. Along with meat and dairy foods, all these substances get on peoples tables. With these unwittingly eaten substances, one can associate the fact that meat products allegedly cause coronary disease and high blood pressure. Moreover, inorganic farm animals are fed mainly with genetically modified soy and people still do not know how it will affect children. By the way, there were no cases of mad cow disease on organic farms. All this speaks in favor of organic products and subsistence farming.
6. Comparing the taste of organic and inorganic apple, one may notice that organic apple is more juicy, fragrant and tasty. After the long-time usage of organic products, inorganic foods seem to be tasteless, as well as dishes cooked of them.
7. Many countries are exploring their soil and come to a disappointing conclusion. Soils used in the inorganic agriculture farms are poor in minerals and dirty. Each crop year depletes them more and more due to the processing of synthetic fertilizers, forcing soil to produce more than it can. Soil does not contain minerals, so it cannot arise out of nowhere. Moreover, the use of synthetic substances and chemical enrichment of crop protection leads to the fact that many species of birds, insects, wild mammals and reptiles are on the verge of extinction. Organic farms also support and cherish nature and the soil because it does not use chemical fertilizers.
8. Moreover, the use of inorganic chemistry in agriculture is detrimental to the health of farmers. There emerge more and more cases of cancer and respiratory problems. This is especially noticeable for farmers in developing countries. Thus, moving on to organic products, one also takes care about the health and well-being of others.
9. Claim that organic foods are more expensive than inorganic is not more than a myth. In case one will calculate how much money is spent annually on purification of drinking water from pesticides, which are contained in the soil, how much the world economy spends on the splash of BSE, avian influenza and other things, it will become apparent that organic food is more cost-effective.
10. Organic products develop creativity. People are not only discovering foods rich in vegetable protein such as lentils and chickpeas, which can partially replace animal protein foods, they become more creative in the kitchen. People remember that they can cook for themselves instead of buying harmful concentrates and intermediates. In case one will try to bake homemade bread at least once, and he/ she will not want to come back to the industrial. Homemade baked cookies not only have a distinctive flavor, but are also much cheaper than at the stores.
Despite all benefits accompanying organic food, there are a number of obvious disadvantages. Technological progress is often determined not by inventions but ideas. The problem of existing technologies is that many people are reluctant to use them. The forward edge of resistance to scientific and technical progress has long been and remains agriculture. One of the most enduring myths is that modern technologies either spoil the quality of the products, or are harmful to the environment. Therefore, many people consider that everyone should eat foods grown without pesticides, plant fertilizers and genetically modified foods as much as possible. Such a method of managing exists almost exclusively due to a widespread misconception of all kinds and some advantages that were listed before. In case an irrational fears (GMOs) and opinions regarding taste could not be eliminated, the pseudo-scientific arguments, fortunately, can be combated (Holzman). In particular, the researches refute the popular belief that organic farming gently relates to nature.
A recently published study of 192 fields using different methods of cultivation has estimated how the use of old-fashioned farming methods improves the diversity of fauna and flora. It turned out that the number of species of birds, insects and plants on organic fields is higher on 12.4% than on normal fields, i.e., using modern methods of farming. Efficiency of organic farms in terms of increasing diversity was slightly higher in case they occupy a large area, but it rarely happens. At the same time researchers got the assessment of productivity of organic fields: the results claimed that modern fields are more than twice (55%) productive than organic fields. Thus, all the positive effects of traditional agriculture are negated by a twofold increase of arable land (Gomiero, Pimentel, and Paoletti 95-124).
Organic farms take less than 1% of the agricultural products market; studying of their impact on the environment would be virtually pointless, not whether it was associated with two important political issues. The first question is whether a conscious rejection. Some studies gave a full response: much more favorable to leverage farmland, and protect animals through the organized reserves on the vacant land. The second question is purely practical, much more important: how to effectively fight hunger in countries, where the occurred in the 1960s green revolution in agriculture not affected.
Agriculture, unlike Space or mobile, is rarely associated with progress. However, in this area, progress over the past half century has been particularly impressive. Thanks to the emergence of new varieties of crops, fertilizers and GMO production of agricultural products has increased over the past 40 years by 25% (despite the population growth) in the world, where food production has decreased over the same period by 10%.
One of the reasons of the agriculture ineffectiveness in Africa is, of course, its dependence on international charity organizations. Researchers explained deplorable situation in Africa by the fact that non-profit organizations and international agencies, starting with the UN, hold unscientific views and spread in Africa farming methods suitable only for prospering Western countries. Organic farming is a luxury that can be afforded only by the inhabitants of the first world. It seems that the world begins to treat to organic products as they deserve: as to dangerous for biodiversity luxuries. Refusal of one irresponsible delusion is worth more than a few inventions.
In conclusion, it should be noted that organic food is a natural alternative to the modern food industry. However, it is not worth the effort. Perhaps, organic food is beneficial to consumers due to the taste and absence of any impurities, but it is still more expensive than other products. The problem of environment preservation is also questionable, since the organic food production takes twice more land than traditional one. To my mind, the society will get more benefits in case all people in the world will not suffer from hunger, but be happy and satiated with non-organic food.
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