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TABLE OF CONTENTS
• Introduction —————————————————————3
• Problem ——————————————————————-3
• Solution ——————————————————————-4
• References —————————————————————-6
Already, one billion people suffer from a lack of food. Approximately 400 million are chronically malnourished. Approximately 11 million children younger than 5 die each year because they are too hungry (Scialabba, 2007). To keep up with the demand for food, people must either come up with a better way to produce food or they must stick to conventional growing methods. In order to address the food shortages throughout the world, people need to recognize that the health benefits they thought they received from these organic products aren’t as real as they imagined. Changing the perspective of people will encourage them to eat food with pesticides and this, in turn, will have society more inclined to live sustainably, which includes the use of pesticides.
Organically-grown food only produces an average of 80 percent of what food grown in the traditional way can produce (Letourneau and Bothwell, 2008). A Wageningen Universiteit study compared 362 published organic-conventional crops and compared the yields. The study claims that there are challenges in the upkeep of nutrients because they are unsustainable when growing organic products. There is limited availability of organic manure.
Not only is an increasing population making this planet unsustainable, but the number of these people being poor is also rising. This makes it further difficult to feed these people’s mouths. The United Nations reported that the countries most greatly affected by this suffering are South Asian, specifically India and sub-Saharan Africa. The UN anticipates the problem persisting through 2020, but predictions beyond that haven`t been committed (Global Poverty, 2009). But poverty is reaching every country on the planet, even the United States and Canada. Fewer people can afford food at current prices, let alone organic foods. Organic foods are 10 percent to 100 percent more expensive than conventionally-grown foods. However, there is no scientific proof that eating organic food has any extra health benefits. Furthermore, organic farmers also use chemicals and pesticides (Melik, 2012). Consumers today see the word “organic” on food labels and automatically assume it is healthier, a phenomenon known as the “health halo effect.” Because of this illusion, consumers perceive these products as tastier and lower in calories. They pay higher prices for them even if they do not really offer health benefits (Lee, Shimizu and Wansink, 2011). Some companies have even been caught labeling their products as organic, when they are in fact the same as the typical product on grocery store shelves.
As if the inability to meet the demand of a growing population who are increasingly poor aren’t enough to deter policy-makers away from the cultural hurrah of organic farming, it should also be noted that organic foods are not as clean as we imagined. In fact, they are full of bacteria, as organic pesticides are not as effective as conventional pesticides. Organic pesticides also don’t pass safety standards. Organic farming can also potentially increase the rate of global warming because it requires more land, water, nutrients, and manpower (Johnston, Rob). By the definition of “organic farming,” organic farms are not allowed to enrich their soils with nitrogen fertilizers, since they are produced from an industrial process. Therefore, many of these farmers rely on composted manure, which creates a perfect home for microbes such as E. coli, a lethal pathogen (Miller, 2010).
More awareness about the effects of eating organically need to be known in order to have a society that eats more responsibly, which is with pesticides. While the idea of living solely on organic farming is ideal because of its ties to treating animals humanely, providing workers with a better environment and apparent health benefits, there is not to this day a clear partnership with organic farming and feeding the world’s hungry. Developed countries should take a lesson from the situation in Third World nations, which are essentially a snapshot of what can happen in developed countries in the future. As more and more pressure is put on water sources in various nations, and the amount of arable soil makes way to development that comes with population increases, countries such as the United States and Canada could more closely resemble places like Kenya and Somalia 20, 30, 40 years from now. If greater attention isn’t given to finding an overarching solution to the hunger pains, rather than reaching for ways to only eat organically, then the list of nations that fall victim to a lack of food will grow until only the world’s richest have an ample food source (Scialabba, 2007).
Lee W., Shimizu, J., and Wansink, B. (2011) Health halo effect: Don’t judge a food by its organic label. Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology.
Letourneau, D. and Bothwell S.G. (2008) Comparison of organic and conventional farms:
Challenging ecologists to make biodiversity functional
Melik, J. (2012, April 1) Just what does organic mean? BBC News.
Miller, J (2010, June 4) The Organic Myth.
N.A. (2009, June 23) Global Poverty Rising: UN. Deccan Herald.
Scialabba, N.E. (2007, May 5) Organic Agriculture and Food Security.