Organic Foods And Science Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Agriculture Type: Term Paper Paper: #77302207 Related Topics: Science Fiction, Healthy Food, Hacking, Physical Science
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Organic Foods

The idea behind organic food is a good one, in that it implies there is food that is free from pesticides and other chemicals that would be found on more "standard" food. Going organic can also imply the way a type of food was raised, and how it was cared for during the process. People who buy organic produce want items that are free of residue, and people who buy organic meats and poultry want animals that were raised in a particular way based on what they were fed, how they were caged, and how they were killed in order to be consumed. Despite the growing interest in organic food, however, there are concerns that the people who raise them are not really providing anything different from more standard fare, and that the public is just being charged extra based on the idea of what they are allegedly receiving. Whether this is actually the case is worthy of study.

Organic foods are in the news and in the minds of the public now more than ever before. They have been touted as being healthier, and free of pesticides and other dangers that a person would encounter with non-organic options. Many people who raise organic food also address how meat is raised and how they care for the animals they raise to slaughter. A number of countries, including the United States, require a person who wants to sell organic food to go through a certification procedure.2 By doing that, the person can get a certification that can be placed on the organic food itself, which will guarantee the public they are getting what they expect. The government sets the standard for what qualifies as organic food, and farmers and others who want to sell organic have to make sure they meet those standards.2 If they do not continue to meet the standards, their certification can be revoked, as receiving the organic certification is not a one-time event.

Whether the organic food craze is really legitimate, though, is something that has to be carefully considered. There is a great deal of bad science around, in that people make claims that are not backed up by true, scientific evidence.1 For people who buy organic, the issue is not so much that the food has not been prepared or grown differently, but whether the claims that organic food is better are actually true. If organic food is not providing a benefit to the consumer, there is no reason for people to choose it over more standard options, and those standard options are significantly less expensive than organic choices.4 People often get swindled out of their money because they think something is going to work for them, only to find out that there was no scientific merit to what they were trying.1 If this is found to be the case with organic foods, many people will have lost a great deal of money buying foods that were not providing them with any kind of expected benefit. While it will not harm them, it could cost them more money that they needed to spend.

This topic is important to public health, because the majority of people who purchase organic food do so because they believe they can get a better quality of food that way. They see it as being free of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, and they equate that with being healthier in the long run.5 However, they do not always investigate the true issue, and as such they may be losing out on important information that would have affected whether they chose to continue buying organic, or whether they decided it would be better for them to return to buying standard produce. If there is a dangerous level of pesticides on non-organic food, that is also a public health issue that can and should be addressed, but government entities charged with the duty of controlling and caring for the food supply are insistent that there is no


Some do not believe that, and that generally leads them to buy organic food instead.3

Dealing properly with public health is an issue for the government, and also for the people themselves. They want and need to have healthy food, but they often rely on the information they are given by others.2 Because they do not do their own research, they can end up without true knowledge of what would be best for them and their particular needs. Of course, doing that research can be difficult because they often do not know where to find the right information and whether the studies and articles they read are accurate.1 Until they understand how to determine fact from fiction where information is concerned, the public will struggle with organic vs. non-organic food, and which one is necessary for good health. Whether organic food is an excellent health choice or just something that has been made up to get more money from the consumer has to be determined, but studies often conflict on the true value of eating organic foods.

There is a great deal of controversy around the issue, including the aforementioned issue of whether organic food is a health benefit or a money-grabbing scheme. There are studies and arguments that address both sides, and many of these appear to be very logical. That can make determining what is truly accurate a difficult issue that cannot easily be addressed. No matter what information comes to light, there will always be some people who have a different opinion, or who choose to believe something else, and that is another consideration that can and should be looked at in light of all the evidence found, both for and against organic foods.3 In short, solving the argument is not as easy as conducting a study on the pros and cons of eating organic foods. Numerous studies of this type have already been done, and the results have been mixed.4 Generally, studies can be adjusted to say nearly anything the researcher wants them to say, making it difficult for the public to know which studies to trust, and further fueling controversial issues.1

Many implications exist in the scientific community, including the thought that organic food is all a scam.4 The beliefs surrounding this often come from studies that have indicated the level of pesticides and other chemicals found in non-organic food are minimal and not enough to cause harm to people. If that is the case, then there is no need to eat organic food. However, not everyone in the scientific community agrees with that assessment, as many researchers believe even very small amounts of chemicals could be contributing to long-term health problems.4 If that is the case, then it is very important to eat organic food. There are no easy answers, because there does not seem to be a level of agreement reached, even within the scientific community. Because that is the case, it is necessary for consumers to learn to think for themselves, and to look carefully at the information they are being given, so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.1

It is not just scientists who must address the issue, as it has significance for laypeople, as well. Unfortunately, a large number of people who do not work in the scientific community find that they simply rely on scientists to tell them what they should and should not be doing.1 That is not the right way to handle things when it comes to issues such as organic food, because of the lack of scientific agreement when considering the perceived health benefits. Whether something is healthy or not may be difficult to determine, but each and every person who makes a choice about health can and should make that choice for himself or herself. There are so many scams going around with homeopathic medicine and other types of claims, and these claims can seem realistic to people who have not done their research.1 It is possible that organic foods fall into this same kind of category, especially if they are not providing a health benefit that goes beyond what would be seen in standard, non-organic foods. With such conflicting studies on the issue, the possibility that organic foods are not any safer or healthier is real, and something each person who eats them should consider.

The issue of organic food is more relevant today than ever before, because more and more people are choosing to consume it, believing that it will keep them healthier, and that the level of pesticides in non-organic food is far too high.2 Naturally, people want to avoid chemicals that could harm them, but they also have to be aware of truth in advertising vs. making false claims just to sell something. Since there is no scientific…

Sources Used in Documents:


1. Goldacre, B. (2010). Bad science: Quacks, hacks, and big pharma flacks. NY: Faber & Faber.

2. Hamilton, D. & Crossley, S. (ed). (2004). Pesticide residues in food and drinking water. NY: J. Wiley.

3. Wargo, J. (1998). Our children's toxic legacy: How science and law fail to protect us from pesticides. NY: Yale University Press

4. Canavari, M. & Olson, K.D. (ed). (2007). Organic food: Consumers' choices and farmers' opportunities. NY: Springer.

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