Organimental Science

For our health people  eat fruits and vegetable, but for our environment (and everything in it) locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables are the key to maintaining its health.

When people visualize a farm they often revert to the romanticism of it all, imagining large lots of green land and good old farmers working as nature had intended for humans.

Americans often forget that most of this country’s farms are run like industrial factories, with a corporate structure behind the facade of a natural looking exterior.

In real life most farms are far from their natural origin; with the use of bio-engineered crops, pesticides and fertilizers. This streamlining of production in American farms has greatly reduce the cost of produce, but at the cost of locally run farms.

 In the late 90’s locally grown and organic foods began to make a comeback as scientist swore that they were healthier and less dangerous to eat when compared to “the corporation crops”.  But as more studies began to present themselves these claims became less and less robust and scientists no longer agree on whether or not organic and locally grown really mean healthier.  So now the question is why should people continue to pay for the USDA APPROVED sticker?”   Many people are convinced that because locally grown foods travel less that they must be healthier.  It is true that as fruits and vegetables age that they loose nutrients.  So common sense says that locally grown will be fresher.  But as a Harvard Medical School study points out, all parts of food production has been heavily industrialized.  This allows for big corporate farms to package, ship and produce with efficiency. These processes keep the nutrients sealed in.

Many people feel the same way about organic fruits and vegetables, that some how the higher variety of the produce magically means that it is a more nutritious option.  In both the Cambridge Journal and Helpguide.org found that there were a lot of studies on the matter, but the results were so scattered that it is unclear to scientists whether or not organic foods have a higher nutritional value.  Simply there are just too many variables in the production of food to truly determine if organically produced foods are actually more nutritious.  Whether or not organic foods have higher levels of nutrition all depend on what study the person chooses to trust.

People also choose to eat organic and locally grown foods because they believe they are safer for them.  But many studies have shown that the only people that need to fear the effects of residuals of pesticides on foods are fetuses.  Unborn children that are exposed to higher levels pesticides could be effected by developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction.

 Today humans rest comfortably at the top of the pyramid and actually may need to fear the effects of chemical build up in between trophic levels. Take for example the Japanese Minamata disease.  Nearly everyone in the small town of Minamata, near the coast of Japan, became sick with mercury poisoning in the 1950’s. This is just one example of how increased industrialization has made the possibility of heavy metal poisoning higher.   But the chances of this happening today are still very slim, and this can be prevented by improving the health of our ecosystems.  

Switching over to organic farming would help reduce the intoxication of  our prey, but in reality the unsafe dumping of chemicals and industry are really to blame. So with this information, why should people continue to cough up the extra dough to purchase products?
The Agricultural Industry is the largest contributor of particulate matter pollution. PM10’s and smaller are known as non point source pollutants that highly affect photo chemical smog  Photo chemical smog is the brownish haze that is often seen in large metropolitan areas.  It’s caused by volatile organic compounds that react with sunlight to create stratospheric ozone, which is one of the biggest components of global warming. Global warming is causing the earth’s biosphere to slowly heat up; causing higher sea levels, infestation of bugs and the destruction of ecosystems. These affect the agricultural industry greatly, seeing as much of its successes relies on a good steady climate.  Many farmers have given up on the farming industry because the climate is too volatile. Inorder to make profits farmers have been forced to streamline production in a corporate like fashion. Like having large farms all owned by a single corporation.

which need to ship their products,

 Use efficient machinary that also rely on gasoline,

                                                        and using more pesticides.

WHICH ALL MEANS MORE PARTICULATE MATTER POLLUTION

 Plus Importing gasoline and using riskier methods to produce fossil fuels

Which is a reason for increases in food cost, which has a rippling effect on the economy.

Organic farming can help mediate this chain reaction (which all stems from the health of our environment). Organic farming is usually usually means  smaller farms, that use less machinery and don’t spray pesticides. At the same time locally grown foods aren’t shipped as far so they also reduce pollution.

Bibliography at:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FPYXD5TvyeO1ZU1_QCF3FAaYrPleFtVl2GCdPvot2qg/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

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