Organic Food: Is it Worth it?

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The USDA states that organic food comes from organic food from hens that live in barns, uncaged and have outdoor access. The dairy cows are put out to pasture to graze for at least one hundred twenty days per year. None of the animals have been treated with hormones or antibiotics and their food has not been treated with synthetic fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides.

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The crops have not been treated with those things either. That sounds great, but it is really better? Organic farming is more expensive, yields less crops than conventional farming and has no proven health benefits and in fact, may very well contain known carcinogens. Organic food is a waste of money in almost every way over just normal crops and normal livestock. My partner, Karla, will present the other side of this topic which is the benefits of organic food.

Why is buying organic food a poor choice? First, organic food is more expensive than non-organic food. The demand for organic food is higher than the supply so higher prices can be charged. According to Chait, the more consumers who buy organic products the higher the demand would be and that would allow organic operations to increase their operations. That would eventually lower costs (Chait, 2018). However, because organic food is so expensive, those who might want to buy it often cannot afford to. This keeps the market for organic from expanding enough to lower prices. Labels can be deceiving and that might also keep the market from growing. Many people who believe they are buying organic food actually buy foods labeled as natural and those are often not organic.

Production of organic crops is more expensive for many reasons. This makes those who raise organic food must charge more to make a profit. Organic farming yields less crops. This is sometimes debated but according to studies done by the USDA, it is true. In 2014, if all crops would have been grown as organic crops it would have been necessary to farm an additional one hundred nine million more acres of land. To put that in perspective, that would have included all the parklands and wildland areas in the continental United States. That is almost 2 times as much as all the cities, towns and suburbs in the country. In 2014, only 0.44 percent of all farmed land was farmed as organic but if organic farming increased, there would be problems because it has a lower land-use-efficiency. This information makes it hard to claim that organic farming is more environmentally friendly (Savage, 2018). It seems it would be next to impossible to sustain life on an all organic planet. There is simply not enough land. When using crop rotation, it takes time for the soil to become usable again after each harvest.

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