Organic: Nutrition and Food Essay

Submitted By Pogeditor08
Words: 1525
Pages: 7

What do you picture when you think of the word “organic”? Do you see the fruits and vegetables that are found at your local farmers market? Do you see farmers working from dusk till dawn to provide you, the consumer, with a healthier alternative than the plants sprayed with pesticides that are found in most supermarkets? Do you think of your bank account and how much it is going to cost you to be able to eat like that? To keep food affordable and to help families be healthier should be everyone’s focus, but we also have to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the journey or process it takes for food to get to our tables every night. We need our food to be organic to help make a better Earth. I am sure that there are some people who really do go through and look at every little thing that is posted on the labels on different products while shopping at the grocery store. Normally I am not one of them. I would usually just grab what catches my fancy and not stop to think what exactly I was purchasing. Oh sure, I knew I was grabbing a gallon of milk, but I didn’t stop to read past the part of the label that had the date stamped on the side and to make sure I had whole milk or two percent. It didn’t cross my mind to think of what farm the cow that produced my milk came from, or whether it was homogenized or over pasteurized or if the cow had been fed whole grains or grasses. The closest I ever came to that in the past is to think of the “happy cows come from California” slogan that was adopted a while ago for marketing purposes. But throughout Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivores Dilemma” There is a recurring theme he touches upon that definitely goes along the lines of you are quite literally what you eat. He constantly talks about if you fill your body with junk food or foods that are very processed and greasy like fast food then there is no way you can live a healthy life. So if the cow that produces your milk isn’t being fed very well or has a bunch of chemicals in it to make it taste better, then you are drinking that in your milk every time as well. And don’t even get me started on the fast food industry. I have a four year old niece and it pains me every time I hear her ask us to pull over at McDonalds or at Taco Bell whenever we are in the car. While it has been shown that of all the fast food places Taco Bell is the “healthiest,” it still is not a healthy thing to be eating. That statement alone makes people think that it is ok to be eating from there on multiple occasions instead of very infrequently. I know that half the battle of that is from the convenience of fast food places. On the way home from work, instead of having to get home and then take an hour to cook a complete meal that might be a lot healthier for you, you can just pop into a drive through, not even get out of the car, and drive away with a complete meal within ten minutes and not have to worry about dirtying a dish or pan. But is the calorie intake of that more convenient meal worth it? There have been studies done to show what you can get for your dollar. “The researchers found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips and cookies; spent on whole foods like carrots, the same dollar buys only 250 calories” (Pollan 108). You don’t need to sacrifice healthy food for convenience. Instead of popping into the local drive-thru, stop off at Subway on the way home if you really don’t want to make dinner or don’t have the time to. Their menus and their entire marketing campaign is all about eating healthier, and even though they aren’t organic, they do get some of their vegetables from local farmers when they can. Other times, you kind of do need to outsource your vegetables from other countries when things aren’t in season here. “I am not, contrary to what you might think, an absolutist on local food. I recognize that there are times and cases when supporting local agriculture in other countries is the best way to go” (Pollan in