Long-Form Research Essay

Dominic Mendiola

Martha Rusk

English 214

24 May 2016

Long-Form Research Essay

            Organic foods are the essential way that people in our current culture like to go; it is a way to live a better lifestyle. Organic food is a growing market despite of the high price compared to conventional foods. People these days purchase organic food rather than the traditional food because organic foods have many advantages like better nutrients, fewer pesticides, better for the environment etc. However, there are some disadvantages in Organic foods that people would argue about. But overall in my opinion I believe that organic foods are the essential way to go because they are more beneficial than non-organic foods.

A main reason that many people choose organic foods over non-organic foods is that organic contains fewer pesticides. In the article All You Need to Know the authors state, “Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat”. Now you may be wondering why pesticides are bad for you. Well according to All You Need to Know, “some studies have indicated that the use of pesticides even at low doses can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as leukemia, brain tumors, breast cancer and prostate cancer”. This is a huge reason why many people choose organic foods because why would anybody want to risk the chance of getting cancer, of course it is not guaranteed cancer but knowing that you have a possibility of receiving it gives a reason why organic foods can be better for you. Also according to All You Need to Know, “children and fetuses are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their immune systems, bodies, and brains are still developing. Exposure at an early age may cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, autism, immune system harm, and motor dysfunction”. No one wishes this upon his or her children, and everyday is another day where they risk getting these symptoms because they are eating conventional foods daily. But switching to organic can lower the risk of getting these symptoms, which can be a big factor to any family. This is why organic foods can be more beneficial in your life rather than non-organic foods.

Another reason why organic foods are more beneficial for you is that they contain more nutrients. According to Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies by Monte Morin (covers science and health at the LA Times) states that, “after reviewing 343 studies on the topic, researchers in Europe and the United States concluded that organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods”. This shows that organic grown produce is more beneficial towards your health. Also in the article Are Organic Foods More Nutritious by Steve Meyerowitz, he states, “there is mounting evidence that organically grown foods generate more nutrients and fewer nitrates. In a review of 400 published papers comparing organic and nonorganic foods, Soil Association Certification Ltd. Of the United Kingdom reported that organic crops were higher in essential minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamin C”. Showing that organic foods can produce more vitamins and minerals, giving it another reason why organic foods are more beneficial towards your health.

Organic farming is important for helping out our environment. In Organic Foods: All You Need to Know, it states, “organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and small animals as well as people who live close to or work on farms”. As a firm believer of enjoying and helping out Mother Nature, I really thought this point was interesting. Knowing that organic produce is helping out our environment just gives another reason why organic is more beneficial. In Organic Food: Good for You and the Environment by Tandis Bishop, she talks about how, “when you buy organic foods, you do not have to worry because organic farmers follow strict standards to grow the most natural fruits and vegetables. They do not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones, antibiotics, sewage sludge, irradiation, or any genetically modified organisms. And organic farming does not destroy top soil and pollute our waters like conventional farming does”.

An advantage that organic foods have over conventional foods is that organic is GMO-free. “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide. GMOs have been linked to increased food allergens and gastro-intestinal problems in humans. Many people think that altering the DNA of a plant or animal can also increase the chances of developing cancer” (All You Need to Know). Every time the word cancer comes up, it usually does not mean a good thing. I do not wish cancer upon anybody but knowing that organic foods can lessen the risk of getting it, is a big reason that organic is better for your health.

Although there are many advantages to organic foods, there are also some disadvantages. In Why Is Organic Food Bad by Michelle Powell-Smith, she talks about the main claim that organic foods are better. And a big point she mentions is that, “Cost is one of the biggest disadvantages or organic foods. Organic farming is more time and labor intensive, and the organic certification process can be costly and difficult”. Which I thought was interesting because before I did not know that organic food cost more than non-organic foods but when the author mentions that, it makes me think. One claim that really stood out to me is when she talked about productivity. She mentions, “Organic farming allows for less productivity per acre of land farmed than conventional industrial farming methods. The increased popularity or organic foods may lead to more large organic farms, with a higher use of fossil fuels and other resources” (Why Is Organic Food Bad). This stood out to me because as a buyer sometimes you want the best productivity; you want to pay for quality of the foods you are eating. She does a good job proving her point, and backing up her claims with factual evidence. It is nice to know about the other side of the topic, which is a reason why some people choose non-organic rather than organic foods.

In conclusion there are a lot of advantages to why people think organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods. Main reasons revolving around more nutrients, fewer pesticides, better for the environment etc. Many people never knew the facts around organic foods; hopefully after reading this, you gained some more knowledge about the topic. You can further explain and spread the word now to others if they are ever wondering about organic foods. I know organic foods may not be for everyone, but knowing all the benefits that organic foods have make it difficult to not want to switch. Although, there are some disadvantages to organic, I still believe that organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods. What do you think?

 

 

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My Position

Throughout my research of organic foods, I have come to conclusion that organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods. Of course there is controversy relating to this topic, but today I will be talking about my stance on this topic. Organic foods are always a topic up for debate because many people believe that organic foods are pointless. But of course, many people do not know the facts. Which is why I believe organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic produce and today I will be giving information about how that is.

For starters organic foods contains fewer pesticides. According to Organic Foods: All You Need to Know by Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, and Robert Segal, they state that pesticides are, “chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat”. So, what exactly does that have to do with organic produce? Well also according to Robinson, and Segal, “some studies have indicated that the use of pesticides even at low doses can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as leukemia, brain tumors, breast cancer and prostate cancer”. Why would anybody want to risk getting cancer, of course it is not guaranteed cancer but knowing that it is a possibility gives me a reason why organic foods can be better for you.

Robinson and Segal also mention that organic farming is better for the environment. They state, “organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and small animals as well as people who live close to or work on farms”. As a firm believer of enjoying and helping out Mother Nature, I really thought this point was interesting. Knowing that organic foods are better for the environment just gives me another reason why organic is more beneficial.

Another important reason that organic foods are more beneficial is that organic food is GMO-free. Robinson and Segal state, “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide. GMOs have been linked to increased food allergens and gastro-intestinal problems in humans. Many people think that altering the DNA of a plant or animal can also increase the chances of developing cancer”. Again going every time the word cancer comes up, that usually means something bad. Although I do not know exactly what increased food allergens and gastro-intestinal problems mean, it probably is a bad thing.

Those are the main reasons I believe that organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods. Of course everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and many people believe vice versa. But giving the readers some information about the topic, hopefully it can give them a different view on the topic. But in my opinion I believe that organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods.

Rhetorical Analysis (Part 2)

The text that I am analyzing today is from a site called Live Strong, and the article is called, “Why Is Organic Food Bad” by Michelle Powell-Smith (has been writing professionally for over a decade and has a masters degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia (LiveStrong)). The writer definitely seems interested in writing about this topic, ranging from the tone of the paper to just the overall information she conducted. This topic contradicts my overall main topic, which is, are organic foods healthier than non-organic foods? I really enjoyed reading this article and I thought it was very interesting and gives us another opinion about my topic.

While reading this text I really thought Smith was trying to prove a point, which I thought motivated her to write. By that I mean, everyone thinks that organic foods are healthier but do not know information on why that may not be the case. She gives information saying why organic foods may be bad, which should give readers another point of view on the topic. Once people hear the word organic they automatically think, “Organic is healthier, everyone should eat organic produce,” or something in that area. So, I really thought her motive trying to tell readers that organic produce is bad was very interesting, especially since many people think that organic is always better.

Like I mentioned a lot in the previous paragraph, the author was trying to prove a point that organic foods are bad. The author does a good job on backing up her claims with factual evidence. The main claim is that organic food is bad. A big point she mentions is the cost or organic food. She states, “Cost is one of the biggest disadvantages or organic foods. Organic farming is more time and labor intensive, and the organic certification process can be costly and difficult”. Which I thought was interesting because before I did not know that organic food cost more than non-organic foods but when the author mentions that, it makes me think. One claim that really stood out to me is when she talked about productivity. She mentions, “Organic farming allows for less productivity per acre of land farmed than conventional industrial farming methods. The increased popularity or organic foods may lead to more large organic farms, with a higher use of fossil fuels and other resources”. This stood out to me because as a buyer sometimes you want the best productivity; you want to pay for quality of the foods you are eating.

The author’s audience seems to revolve around teens/adults. The author made the article easy to read by listing out the points, and not making everything confusing. I thought that was very helpful because as a reader I want to find the points right away, and the author made that possible. Her tone of writing was very organized and easy to understand. I really enjoyed reading this authors work, and hope to read more about what she has to say in the future.