Organic farming a natural alternative



Campus Times
September 27, 2002

 

What goes into the food you buy and consume? If you have ever asked that question, you were probably stumped and had no clue as to what goes into your groceries or into your fast food burger.

Sadly enough, if your food is not organically grown, it is filled with chemicals, pesticides and hormones.

Also, your food may have been sprayed with fecal mater, been exposed to radiation or has been genetically modified. Sound appetizing?

But wait! There is an alternative.

In response to the obscene amounts of unnatural additives that go into our food, organic farming is the up and coming alternative.

Organic farming is not only better for your health overall, but it is also safer.

In plants, one in three non-organic foods have pesticide residues on them.

In organic food, this is rarely the case. Even though pesticide safety is tested for individual pesticide compounds, little is known about the "cocktail effect"-that is, the mixtures of different pesticide compounds.

So why risk it? If you eat organic produce, then you reduce your chance of consuming lab experiments instead of the juicy sweetness of a naturally ripe apple.

The taste of natural food can not be beat, so why alter it? Many food manufacturers place more than 500 additives in different foods.

These additives are harmful to our health. Stuff with hard to pronounce names like asparatame, hydrogenated fat, phosphoric acid, sulphur dioxide, monosodium glutamate, artificial flavoring and colorings, can all be harmful.

Just because people can not tell what they are by reading them, manufacturers assume that we will ignore it-and many people do.

Organic farmers, are prohibited from using such chemicals and additives. Reading labels is more important than you thought and you get more points for your health and safety.

Studies have shown that animals that have been organically fed are healthier in terms of growth, reproductive health and recovery from illness.

So naturally, the food that comes from these animals is as healthy as they are.

Organic farmers prohibited the feeding of animal protein to farm animals even before the "mad cow disease" crisis occurred in the United Kingdom. And there have never been any recorded incidences where "mad cow disease" hit any organically fed animal. In Idaho, ranchers have caught on to the organic trip and produce the only certified beef that comes from cows that have never been fed antibiotics or hormones.

They are also breeding in living conditions that suite their nature. Here is another example where your health and safety are assured by doing research and reading labels.

Genetically modified organisms are another sketchy venture that organic farmers have steered clear of due to insufficient evidence of their safety. Again, why risk it? If GMOs can be harmful, why put them in the food we eat?

It seems that food manufacturers and "modern agriculture" are completely in it for the profit. Mass production and "production efficiency" at the cost of quality and health, is how they run their business.

To get the most that they can out of their livestock, many non-organic farmers use massive amounts of antibiotics. This increases the growth of animals, and also prevents disease in the animals. This problem can be fixed by raising the standards of animal welfare and cutting out the overcrowded, unsanitary style of farming. A recent government survey gave organic food high marks and confirmed that with organic farming methods, like proper composting of manure, such risks as E. coli are minimized. This is real product efficiency.

Organic food products are sometimes hard to find, however, due to the fact that it is a small but growing industry. However, your local Trader Joe's is stocked full of organic goodies at extremely affordable prices.

The industry is growing quickly-in the U.S. alone, certified cropland has more than doubled from 1992 to 1997. Perhaps with more demand, the supply will increase and more and more markets will meet the demand.The food you eat is all a part of how you live your life and how you feel about yourself. Treat your body right and it will do the same for you. How does a yummy bite of fecal matter sound? Bon Appetit!