Table of Contents
Organic foods; the ''healthy way eating''
For over half a century now, a new perspective of the model of agriculture involved in producing most foods in American food stores has been disseminated using the name "organic", coined by J.I Rodale, the founding editor of organic Gardening and Farming magazine (Pollan 2006). In recent times though, the new paradigm of thought towards organic food has spread across America with the elite circles opposing the improved seeds and fertilizers being used by traditional farmers. This group comprising of Influential food authors, advocates, and restaurant owners are of the idea that "sustainable food" in the future must be organic, local, and slow (Paarlberg 2010).
Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma stipulates that there are three fundamental food chains that sustain the human folk today: the industrial, the organic and the hunter-gatherer (Pollan 2010). In America however, this is summed up into fast food, organic food or food that is self grown or hunted. This omnivore's dilemma haunts every household since they are confronted by a vast array of food landscapes in the supermarkets together with the dynamism in individual likes and preferences among family members. Consequently a good number of these families opt for the more cheaper and better tasting fast foods as evidenced in a survey that shows that one out of three Americans eats junk food every single day.
Many nutrition organizations and modern "eco-foodies" have embarked on a campaign to sensitize people on the effect of their eating choices to on their own health, their children health, and the environment that sustains life on earth (Paarlberg 2010). Their main intention is to inform the American society of the benefits of eating "organic" and the overall positive effects in saving the planet, helping local farmers, fighting climate change and reducing childhood obesity.
However, new industrial farming methods that employ modern, science-intensive, and highly capitalized agricultural methods are being much embraced in the west since without them food would be more costly and less dependable a lot like in Africa.
Interpretation of modern "organic" foods in American way of eating
The "organic" movement more like environmentalism began in the sixties with a group calling themselves Robin Hood commission. These "agrarian reformers" set out to revolutionize farming by planting trees and starting vegetable gardens; a very promising activity then (Pollan 2006). This trend eventually evolved to the new age Whole Foods shopping experience where foods on display are much superior to fast foods since they bear titles like "certified organic" or "humanely raised". However, there exists a pertinent issue of the availability of more organic foods than others. For example ultra pasteurization of organic milk extends its shelf life but it is an extra processing step which makes fresh milk viewed as more organic than the pasteurized milk.
Of even much concern is the issue of wholesomeness of industrial food showing up in supermarkets nowadays, these products emanate from "industrial organic" farms like Polyface. These farms produce products that are technically sustainable than any organic farms but have other unhealthy additives which can be harmful on the long run. This is evident from the lack of any information apart from the price linking the producers with the consumers.
Organic foods however bridge this gap by giving the consumer at least a narrative of the contents and processes that go into the food. The government, farmers and consumers have proceeded to create a n $11 billion industry out of the single word; "organic" the fastest growing sector of the food economy (Pollan 2006). Whole foods try to combine the two concepts of industrial and organic foods to achieve the original pastoral ideas of the sixties while still maintaining the business aspect of it. For example some organic milk is produced in factory farms rearing confined Holsteins that feed only on certified organic grain.
Ultimately it all breaks down to sustainability, an aspect every dealer in foods embraces dearly to an extent of creating an impression in the minds organic foods shoppers that they are engaging in authentic experiences which impact positively to nature thus fighting against modernization evils.
Analyses of the Whole Foods situation in contrast to Organic farming practices
Industrial food systems may have many unappealing views but they play a major role in ensuring that there is a constant and enough supply of safe foods. Traditional food systems usually lack in authentic refrigeration and hygienic packaging, this leads to the proliferation of disease causing bacteria according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In areas where industrial-scale food technologies have not yet been embraced, contamination of food is a major danger.
Contrary to popular belief, organic foods are not the antidote to health and safety issues, a study shows that organically grown foods possess no direct advantage over conventional foods, no data conclusively denotes any nutrition vantage of these foods over their industrial counterparts. Health professionals also dismiss the notion that organic food might be safer due to usage of lower or no pesticides in their growth.
Furthermore, in the conservation of the environment argument, the use of nitrogen fertilizer causes major environmental degradation in terms of polluted rivers and depletion of the Gulf of Mexico but scientist portray that if these fertilizers are wiped out entirely, it may cause far worse environmental troubles.
In conclusion, organic farming is still the most environmental friendly system of farming, however industrial conventional ways of farming are slowly becoming more sustainable and acceptable due to all the outlined advantages. That's why high-tech farming in the developed countries has become environmentally safer and more sustainable than ever.