Organic Foods vs. Conventional Foods

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In recent years, health fanatics have claimed that organic foods have more health benefits than traditionally grown foods, while on the other hand, scientists believe that there has been no proof that organic foods have more nutritional benefits than conventional foods. Organic foods are foods that are grown without the normal use of artificial pesticides, growth hormones, and fertilizers. This process came to be in the 1940’s when Jerome Irving Rodale began to develop methods of “non-chemical” farming.

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This controversy commenced when an immense amount of studies about the advantages of organically grown food, if any, started to be published. Several interested groups are debating the main question, Are organic foods actually more beneficial to one’s health than conventional foods? On one side of the controversy, health fanatics tend to say and believe that organic foods have more health benefits. These people tend to care about the use of chemicals and pesticides in their foods and staying away from them. In disagreement, scientists believe that conventional foods and organic foods have very similar benefits. These stakeholders care about exposing the truth and facts in order to prove their argument, that there is no real nutritional benefit from organic foods.

When it comes to this debate, one important stakeholder is the group of health fanatics. These people believe that pesticides and other such chemicals used in foods grown normally are bad for a person to consume, therefore, they tend to say that conventional foods are toxic for you. Since they care about health in general, they want people to choose organic foods over traditionally grown ones. One example of this type of stakeholder is Mandy Oakland who recently wrote an article titled Why Organic Foods Might be Worth the High Price. In this article, her principal claim that she tries to prove is that organic offers a lot of good that outweighs its sticker shock (par. 1). She supports her argument with two main reasons, one being that organic farming impacts several types of sustainability: productivity, impact on the environment, economic viability and social wellbeing (par. 3).

The other reason she uses to support her claim is that organic foods are the way to feed the world during the climate change that is constantly occurring, she insists that organic yields are consistently greater than conventional during periods of drought (par. 7). And when explaining the sustainability factor, she says that organic farming typically uses less energy, too (par. 8) to convince her readers that they should believe that organic foods are better than conventional. She mentions that studies have found evidence that organic is more nutritious than conventional by having more vitamin C, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (par. 10) when demonstrating that choosing organic is choosing healthy.

While Mandy Oaklander states that choosing organic offers a lot of good that outweighs its sticker shock (par. 1), Jennifer Chait similarly argues in her article Get the Facts Why Consumers Should Buy Organic Food, that organic food is healthy and safe (par. 4). Although these two stakeholders believe and argue for the same side of this controversy, they use different reasoning to try and prove their points. For example, Oaklander claims, organic may even be our best bet to help feed the world in an increasingly volatile climate, (par. 5) while Chait says, organic food farming methods help to keep water clean plus use less water, thus preserving the earth’s water supplies (par. 11). Despite the difference in their assertions, both writers believe that organic foods are more nutritional and better for one’s health than foods that are conventionally grown.

Other people, however, because of their different beliefs and values, take a different viewpoint on this controversy. This group of stakeholders are scientists. They argue that we, as people, should look further into the nutritional values of both food growth methods because they believe that there has been no proof to say that organic foods are more beneficial than conventional foods and they care about exposing the truth to the public. An example of this type of stakeholder is Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe who, in her article, 10 Great Reasons to Avoid Organic argues as her principal claim that organic foods have NOT been proven to be safer (par. 3). She further supports her main arguments with reasons that reflect her values and beliefs. To convince the audience that organic isn’t better than conventional, Curchoe explains, organic pesticides can pose the same health risks as nonorganic ones (par. 4). In order to convince the audience of her argument, she states that it is a myth that organic farming does not use pesticides or chemicals (par. 1). To back this assertion up, she informs the audience that there is a list of certain approved pesticides by the USDA that is allowed to be used in the growth process of organic foods and that it is valuable and worth protecting. When arguing her viewpoint that organic foods are no healthier than conventionally produced foods, Churchoe mentions that the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or safer than conventional foods (par. 13).

Another person who agrees that there is no real benefit to choosing organic over conventional is Steven Savage. Savage has recently written an article called Why I Don’t Buy Organic, And Why You Might Not Want To Either in which he defends his main point that organic foods have not been proven to be safer (par. 3). In order to prove his idea, he says that studies have shown no appreciable difference in nutrition between crops grown either organically or conventionally (par. 7). Steven Savage very similarly argues his viewpoint just as Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe did because they share the same beliefs and values. As Curchoe writes, organic pesticides can pose the same health risks as nonorganic ones (par. 4), Savage likewise states the actual pesticides used today are mostly relatively non-toxic to humans [and] organic farmers also use pesticides…which [are under] the same standard…allowed on conventional crops (par. 8).

Another writer who has the same perspectives on organic foods as Savage and Curchoe is Jenny Splitter. Jenny Splitter grew up with parents that constantly fed her healthy foods, so naturally, when she grew up and had kids of her own, she wanted to do the same. In her article, Why I Don’t Worry About Feeding My Family Organic Food, Splitter explains that at first, she had believed that organic foods were the way to go and that they were less toxic, more nutritious, and better for the planet (par. 1). However, she learned that most of what she thought about organic foods [was] wrong (par. 1). In order to prove her argument, she states that the pesticides used in organic farming are mostly natural, rather than synthetic, but the law regulating organic food even allows some synthetic pesticides too (par. 1), which she believes that many people who eat organic foods do not realize. To conclude her main point, she tells her audience that most studies have shown no substantial nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods (par. 9).

Conversely, Amy Myers in her article, A Doctor’s Top 4 Reasons To Eat Organic, argues that organic foods are the right choice. Myers states that eating organic helps to reduce your body’s total toxic burden (par. 4). She also says that organic crops are more nutritious (par. 14) and backs this up by telling her audience that organic foods are richer in nutrients and antioxidants and lower in heavy metals, especially cadmium, and pesticides (par. 14). Also, Amy Myers supports her main point by saying that organic farming is beneficial to the Earth because pesticides aren’t used to control pests on the farm grounds, which in turn, improves the health of pests and such creatures.

There is much debate between the nutritional value of organic foods and whether or not there is more health benefits from them when compared to traditionally grown foods. Both sides of this argument are trying to answer the principal question: Are organic foods more beneficial to one’s health than conventional foods? The two groups of stakeholders relate to one another by both caring about the nutritional value of organic foods versus the nutritional value of conventional foods. One side of this controversy are those who believe that organic foods provide no more of a benefit to a person’s health than conventionally grown foods. The other side of this debate are the people who argue that organic foods are, in fact, more nutritional than traditionally grown foods. The health fanatics and the scientists disagree about what happens when one consumes organic food versus when one consumes conventionally grown foods. The scientists say that there is no proven nutritional benefit from organic foods but the health fanatics argue otherwise. They dispute about which one has the most health benefits and how the effect someone.

Works Cited

  1. Chait, Jennifer. Get the Facts About Why Consumers Should Buy Organic Food. The Balance Small Business, The Balance Small Business, www.thebalancesmb.com/reasons-to-buy-organic-food-2538039.
  2. Curchoe, Carol Lynn. 10 Great Reasons to Avoid OrganicThe MethodMedium. Medium, Medium, 24 July 2016, medium.com/the-method/10-great-reasons-to-avoid-organic-fb5f87109abf.
  3. Myers, Amy. A Doctor’s Top 4 Reasons To Eat Organic. Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 4 Aug. 2014, www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14763/a-doctors-top-4-reasons-to-eat-organic.html.
  4. Oaklander, Mandy. Why Organic Food Might Be Worth the High Price. Time, Time, 4 Feb. 2016, time.com/4206738/organic-food-worth-the-price-study/.
  5. Savage, Steven. Why I Don’t Buy Organic, And Why You Might Not Want To Either. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 June 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/stevensavage/2016/03/19/why-i-dont-buy-organic-and-why-you-might-want-to-either/#47e3b96269c3.
  6. Splitter, Jenny. Why I Don’t Worry About Feeding My Family Organic Food. Parents, Parents, 5 Apr. 2017, www.parents.com/recipes/healthyeating/why-i-dont-worry-about-feeding-my-family-organic-food/.

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