Sign In
Not register? Register Now!
Essay Available:
7 pages/≈1925 words
5 Sources
Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
MS Word
Total cost:
$ 25.2

Organic Farming Is the Best Way to Go (Essay Sample)

with works cited page and simple outline opposing this essay W/ similar writing style: Organic or Not? Can a consumer ever make an informed decision? In the past couple of decades consumers have been caught in a dilemma: whether to content themselves with normal, commercially produced food or jump on the organic food bandwagon. This creates a controversy that is far from simple, which focuses mainly on what the benefits and limitations are to organic and conventional farming. It also focuses on which method of food production makes sense within the context of global challenges. Imagine being a middle class American citizen who has to support a family and has to pay rent, electricity, taxes and many other bills. And, imagine you have two options: whether to buy the more economic conventional products or to buy the more expensive organic products. For example, if you purchase 72 fuji apples, 72 valencia oranges, 14 broccolis, 48 green onions, 12 cups (4.4 ounces) of blueberries, and 46 tomatoes in a year, the total price (if you buy them as organic products) will be US$ 264.75, whereas, if you buy them as conventional products, your bill will be of US$ 123.00. Would you be willing to pay 141.75 dollars more yearly, which is more than double, just to make a small environmental change? In spite of organic farming's utopian promises, conventional farming remains the better method of food production because it feeds more people, it is less expensive, and it uses less land. Ever since humans abandoned life as foragers and hunters, their future was assured because they were able to produce agricultural surpluses. This means that they no longer needed to be scared of droughts, floods, and other natural incidents, including pest invasions. Thanks to this achievement, numerous members of the community can take on challenges and occupations other than food production, while there is still enough food to feed the entire community. To a large extent, the desire to keep the human race a step ahead of nature, may explain the important milestones in agriculture: grafting, crossing species, adapting varieties to different geographical areas, storage, harvesting and scientific studies that continue to improve the quality of our daily lives. Farming was originally a low-key, small business that took its time to produce any harvests, but later on it changed radically. It started to transition into large scale, industrial farming in the eighteen hundreds. In 1797, Charles Newbold patented the first cast-iron plow, which started to transform farming techniques (Bellis). This was the trigger that set off the industrialization of farming. After this invention, new technologies, such as fertilizers, hastened farming production. With the availability of commercial fertilizers, between 1890 and 1899, the average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer was 1,845,900 tons (Bellis). This shows how fertilizers turned into a very important ingredient for food production around that time. Pesticides were another one of these components that helped the farming process. “A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest,” and they “control pest organisms by physically, chemically or biologically interfering with their metabolism or normal behaviour,” (What are pesticides and how do they work?). Meanwhile, there were similar ingredients being produced, which were created to accelerate the farming process. This new and faster farming method, which is now called conventional farming, turned into the most popular system of farming all over the world. However, some of the new elements in farming were said to be harmful, and this led to other types of farming. In response to the environmental problems caused by inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming began. By definition, certified organic farming products are crops that are produced following the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also recognized as the USDA. They can only use approved materials that do not harm animals, humans or soil life. They also need to have management plans, keep records, and they have to be inspected by a certification agency every year (USDA Certified Organic: What It Means To You). Organic farming started between the 1960s and the 1970s because people started to become aware of the “ecological problems associated with agricultural chemicals in general and the use of synthetic insecticides in particular,” (Baker). DDT was one of these pesticides that caused this sudden need for conversion to organic farming, and it was later banned from the US. Most people believe that organic farms are small, polyculture farms in which many types of crops are grown at the same time and in the same area, but this is not true. Nowadays, organic farms are mostly big and they only cultivate one crop, otherwise known as a monoculture. “As the market for organic foods grew, so did the need for standards, certification, and regulation,” (Baker). Organic farming grew into what it is now, a big business with a lot of consumers. Crop farming is often combined with livestock farming. Domesticated animals such as cows, sheep and pigs, have improved the diet of humans for centuries. As a commercial venture, large-scale animal farming provides proteins abundantly for growing children and even adults. It requires a lot of water supply and pastureland. While the animals can fertilize the soil perhaps the most important contribution of commercial agriculture is that it has helped to alleviate hunger in many parts of the world. Although organic food has its perks it is not all what it seems to be, in the sense of it's superiority. “No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food. And the USDA — even though it certifies organic food — doesn\'t claim that these products are safer or more nutritious,” (Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? 2). In the newspaper, “The Independent” they also say that “the scientific case for the nutritional bonuses provided by organic food is not yet as solid as it might be,” (What effects will organic food have on your wallet?). In other words, there is no proof of the idea that organic food is more nutritious or safer. Even though conventional farming is believed to be worse you may see that organic farming is not all that better. “You may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil faster because they aren\'t treated with waxes or preservatives. Also, expect less-than-perfect appearances in some organic produce — odd shapes, varying colors and perhaps smaller sizes,” (Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? 2). If it spoils faster, a lot of food could be lost, which means that there would be money lost as well. In addition, if you buy organic products, you would have to take many more trips to the supermarket in order to always have a fresh supply of food in your household. And, these are just a few of the negatives. Organic foods also bring malign and unhealthy things. “Large studies in Holland, Denmark and Austria found the food-poisoning bacterium Campylobacter in 100 per cent of organic chicken flocks but only a third of conventional flocks,” (Johnston). You are more likely to get food poisoning from organic products than you are from conventional. If you test the synthetic chemicals to see if they can cause cancer, you learn that half are carcinogenic. “Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well,” (Hom). Both organic and conventional products have the same likelihood and disposition of causing cancer because half of both chemicals are carcinogenic. Some risks posed by conventional foods are the same as for organic so they are equally “bad” in this sense. As you may see, organic farming is not this perfect solution for the unfavorable aspects in commercially produced and conventional foods. Moreover, organic farming causes some harm to the environment. “A liter of organic milk requires 80 per cent more land than conventional milk to produce, has 20 per cent greater global warming potential, releases 60 per cent more nutrients to water sources, and contributes 70 per cent more to acid rain,” (Johnston). So, not only does it take up more land, but it also partly leads to global warming and brings more acid rain. The people that want to save the world by going with the organic craze probably do not know this key piece of information which shows how it has its detrimental effects as well. “Also, organically reared cows burp twice as much methane as conventionally reared cattle – and methane is 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. Meat and poultry are the largest agricultural contributors to GHG emissions.” The energy spent to create the pesticides for the cattle's food is counted and it is shown “that a kilo of organic beef releases 12 per cent more GHGs, causes twice as much nutrient pollution and more acid rain,” (Johnston). This acid rain that can happen, later ruins plants, animals and even buildings. The positive aspects of conventional exceed the negative sides of organic. Apart from the environmental consequences there are other bad things. In addition, organic farming's transportation does not help the environment either. This is so, because there aren't as many organic farms in the world, and the existing ones are not located as prevalently as conventional farms. So, the shipping of organic foods to merchants actually has a great environmental impact. And, even though organic farming aims to reduce farming's environmental impact, the shipping methods used in order to distribute organic goods are not very environmentally friendly. And, due to the great environmental impact that shipping for organic products some environmentalists even claim that it might be better to buy locally produced foods, whether they come from an organic or conventional farm (Butler). Regardless of its obvious contributions to sustaining large populations, commercial farming has its limitations, such as, the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. “Conventional farming sprays pesticides to get rid of pests, while organic farmers turn to insects and birds, mating disruption, or traps,” (It's Easy Being Green). What organic farmers do is similar to the process used prior to conventional farming and more natural. “Conventional farming uses chemical herbicides to manage weeds, while organic farming rotates crops, hand weeds, or mulches,” (It's Easy Being Green). Since there's much more work involved in pulling out the weeds by hand there are chemical herbicides to do this. These pesticides harm the environment. “Conventional farming uses chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth, while organic farming employs manure and compost to fertilize the soil,” (It's Easy Being Green). This says that conventional farming uses chemicals to make the plants grow more. These are not readily “decomposable” and may make their way into drinking water, causing cancers and other pathologies in humans, birds and other mammals. However, sometimes, organic products are not completely clean of synthetic pesticides because there are remains of these in the water and rain (Questions and Answers About Organic). Second, it pollutes the earth and exploits some natural resources. “Over 20% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions come from food and farming today. Nitrogen fertiliser manufacturing is the worst offender. To produce just one tonne of food takes one tonne of oil, one hundred tonnes of water and produces seven tonnes of greenhouse gasses using modern industrial methods,” (10 Reasons to Go Organic). This states how a lot of natural resources are needed to produce conventional products. Conventional farming methods are “gobbling up the world\'s water supply and rain forests, mistreating animals, exposing people to salmonella and other illnesses and causing obesity,” (Green). Again this shows the negative things of conventional farming that are being exposed to the environment and the people. As a result of these two key shortcomings, organic farming has been suggested in some places as the universal cure to the dilemma because it is perceived as more environmentally friendly and least likely to affect public health but this is not true. When transporting organic products around the world there are a lot of fossil fuels emitted into the environment. One of the things that are said of how organic farming is better is that it is good for the environment. The Soil Association says “organic farming is friendlier to the environment as organic farmers can only use – and only as a last resort – a limited range of pesticides, meaning there is a much greater diversity of birds, butterflies and plants on organic farms,” (What effect will organic food have on your wallet?). “The method of organic farming has been brought into use to preserve water and soil and also to reduce the pollution that can be caused because of faming,” (Pitts). These are very widespread facts that are known of organic farming. Water is a very important component of life and is needed in order to preserve human life so the fact that there is less water wasted is very significant. In Health Guidance they also say that organic farming will “help you in saving the environment and the ecosystem,” (Pitts). This constant idea that is everywhere you go makes more people believe that organic is a great solution because organic farming helps the environment. Nevertheless, not only does organic harm the environment with its transportation but it also has some natural emissions of deleterious gasses that come from organic cows. Organic foods are also said to be healthier for the body. “Many people buy organic food because they believe that it tastes better or because they have concerns over food additives linked to asthma and heart disease which are banned under organic standards,” (What effect will organic food have on your wallet?). People who are very concerned about their health make sure to get the best for their body and health. Since organic farming has been so popular and most say it is the best, they buy these products. “Organic farmers don\'t use herbicides so they have to weed some crops, such as onions and carrots, by hand,” (Leifert). This more natural product that does not contain herbicides is much enjoyed by the healthy crowd. They choose organic over conventional that does contain herbicides. All of this makes organic farming appear to be the optimal side. However, experts agree that organic produce is not necessarily more nutritious, is sometimes more likely to contain food poisoning and has the same chance to contain carcinogenic chemicals as conventional produce. Even though organic farming has several pros and conventional farming has its limitations and weaknesses, conventional farming is the most practical method. This is especially true when we consider the troubled financial times we are living in, in which 80% of humanity lives on less than US$10 a day and over three billion people live on US$2.50 a day (Shah). So, is it fair to expect half of humanity to have to spend double what they used to have to spend in feeding themselves and their families? Not only this, but “Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted,”(Shah). Which is why it would not make sense to change to a new system of farming, which has the ability to feed far less people than the conventional system we are using today. Not only this, but organic farming's shipping methods are having an equal, if not greater environmental impact than conventional farming. And, organic products have a much greater chance of causing harm to our bodies. So, even though the common misconception is that organic farming is a better method, the world is not yet prepared to convert to that type of farming. source..
Student`s name
Instructor`s name
Course title
Submission date
Organic Farming Is the Best Way to Go
The world`s population has been on the rise since time immemorial. It is of paramount importance to note that initially many people were hunters and gatherers because in this way they were able to access all the food that they wanted. However, technology advancements have helped man to make innovations that are able to push farming to another level. In addition, man has been able to improvise techniques that are not labor intensive as he tries to make farming the easiest thing in the world of agriculture. However, one ought to note that the technological advancements that have been made have had a great impact in the world that we live in today. Man has invented pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides in addition to the heavy machinery that are used in most conventional farms. This has changed the environment to a great deal although initially farmers used to employ traditional methods, which did not have any chemicals involved. Although it may be expensive, organic farming is the best form of agriculture because it ensures safety to the consumer as well as the environment and the other organism that live in that environment.
The environment has everything for all organisms to survive on it if things are kept constant. This is the reason why Long says "To the organic farmer, organic agriculture is a way of thinking; a statement of faith concerning the natural world. They seek to raise food in accordance with basic biological truths;. Conventional farming is the main reason why farmers have opted to take it as the main way to go. This can be attributed to the fact that conventional farming is less labor-intensive because machines and chemicals do most of the labor-intensive works. However, it is worth noting that the chemicals that are used in conventional farming are very harmful to the environment. Since the environment is self-satisfactory "Instead of chemicals, organic farming uses a lot of organic matter to give crops the nutrients that they need to grow" (English-online). This shows that it is possible to produce large-scale agricultural products without the usage of chemicals that are employed in conventional farming. However, this can only be achievable if farmers realize the need of keeping the environment safe for all organisms.
The ecosystem provides a balance that keeps all organisms in a given environment in situation whereby no single species will be able to have advantages over the other. When in conventional farming chemicals are used, it leads to the death of certain organisms, which are very useful to the environment. "Chemical pesticides destroy or weaken many of the natural enemies of pests, like birds or frogs. They also can kill those insects that control a great number of pests" (English-online). All organisms in the environment have a role to play in order to ensure that the environment is safe from any misf...
Get the Whole Paper!
Not exactly what you need?
Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:

Other Topics:

  • Death of a Salesman
    Description: Undergraduate Essay: Death of a Salesman...
    2 pages/≈550 words | No Sources | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |
  • A Farewell to Arms
    Description: Undergraduate writing level 1 page Literature and Language Format Style English (U.S.) Essay. A Farewell to Arms ...
    1 page/≈275 words | 1 Source | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |
  • The development of Burn Man's character
    Description: Undergraduate Essay: The development of Burn Man’s character...
    4 pages/≈1100 words | 1 Source | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |