Organic Vs. Conventional Foods Essay

1157 words - 5 pages

With the world’s population continuing to increase, the demand for food is higher than ever. This increase in food demand also calls for more efficient ways of growing and providing the food. Two methods that are very controversial are the organic and conventional method. While many people support the organic method because of its known benefits, others feel that it is an over inflated industry that cheats consumers out of their money. But recently many studies have disproved those critics. These studies prove that Organic food is a better choice than conventional because it is better for the environment, avoids the use of chemicals, and is generally more beneficial.
To help keep crops from being destroyed, conventional farmers use many methods such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Nearly 1 billion pounds of these chemicals are used every year (“pesticides”). Because of this excessive use, some scientists express concern that using artificial chemicals in the farming process could produce unhealthy crops. People who ate it over a long period of time could suffer from degraded health and stunted growth (“Organic Foods”). For example, in 1989, the EPA banned the use of Alar which was a chemical used to ripen apples (“Farming, Organics”). This chemical proved to be carcinogenic after causing tumors in mice after several laboratory tests (“Organic Food”). As a result of these findings there was a dramatic increase of the sales for organic food (“Organic Food”). Another study found that Atrazine (one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States) has the potential of being carcinogenic and reducing sperm counts in males (“Organic Food”). This was further proven when evidence was found that chemicals used in agriculture like Alar and Atrazine, decreased sperm counts in fish as well as other animals. It also showed that human fetuses that were exposed to these chemicals had an increased risk of later developing breast or testicular cancer (“Pesticides”). It is also shown that pesticides are partly responsible for the rising cancer rates and birth defects among children (“Pesticides”).
Organic farming methods avoid the use of these chemicals and rely on natural method to control crops (“Farming, Organics”). Examples of these methods are crop rotation, which consists of planting different crops every year and disrupts the life cycle of pests and provides a natural fertilizer (“Farming, Organics”). Organic farmers also use natural fertilizers such as sulfur and interplanting methods that alternate crops in the field, which discourages pests to live there (“Farming, Organics”).
By not using multiple chemicals to control crops, organic farming also ends up being better for the environment. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers such as manure so that they do not release artificial chemicals into the ground (“Organic Food”). In June of 1999 a report made by the U.S. Geologic Survey, found that most waterways...

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