Are The Premium Prices of Organic Foods Worth The Buy?
Given the circumstances of the nation’s economy: Are the premium prices of organic foods worth the buy? We live in a polluted world that is added to daily with chemicals and disease. While interested parties have created heated controversy about which kind of farming production is most efficient in solving this worldly cry for help. The environment and human health remain at risk. Researchers have found that food quality is affected by pollution and is linked to causing detrimental diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes (Rider 2011). Specifically, Type II diabetes affects 28.5 million people in the U.S today, primarily tied to inadequate food (National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2012). This has affected me personally, for my family accounts for 2 of those millions affected. With this family background, I have seen first-hand how one’s health can be affected by the quality of food and has influenced me to attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. With so many options to choose from in the food industry, it is hard to decipher the “good” from “bad” choices. Consumers today walk into supermarkets to find that there is a wide selection of plums to choose from; they all appear to have the same distinct characteristics, of being plump and purple. Yet the only difference being that one is labeled organic with a higher price tag while the other alternative displays no label and a slightly lower price tag. This brings many consumers to choose from being for organic, conventional, or feeling indifferent.
Many people argue that organic foods are the key to a healthy life style and either way you may pay a price. You either run the risk of the pesticides affecting our health from the chemical tainted foods or the high price of organic foods that still may be unregulated (2012 IFOAM). The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) defines organic agriculture as a growing system that utilizes the soil, ecosystems and community for an environmentally friendly and highest quality for all of those involved. The food is grown without synthetic fertilizers and relies on the traditional form of production to keep the production efficient.
The article “Why Organic?” from Organic Farming magazine by Henry Katters, an agricultural farmer and agricultural researcher for Consultative Group International Agricultural Research program (CGIAR) explains why the process of organic farming is essential for the highest quality of product for both the environment and human consumption. He notes that certified organic farmers have to undergo strict guidelines from the local, state, and national levels of food hygiene and safety, along with an additional independent inspector. He stresses that the processes such as rotation of crops and biological diversity used on organic farms eliminates unwanted weeds and pathogens harmful to the environment and human health (16). He points out that by not using synthetic chemicals saves 45% of energy and conserves soil fertility; in doing so it releases no harmful chemicals into the air to create chemical pollution (25). In addition, Katters states that chemicals added to the production can lead to detrimental pathogens that can later lead to illness such as cancer and Parkinson’s disease (27). He highlights that high temperatures used in the aerobic composting process decreases microorganisms that are found in salmonella. Katters concludes by admitting that although not all unwanted pathogens are eliminated from organic production, organic production has fewer pathogens than those of conventional methods (29).
Katters knowledge, experience and profession as an agricultural researcher made a compelling argument for organic agriculture. Although, his expertise both validate and inhibit biased believability towards his argument. It was powerful that he started his article with the vital steps organic farming is