Looking into the facts between organic and conventional food
By: Caridad Valle (Entertainment Editor) – 5/8/18
The debate between conventional food and organic food is a hot-button topic because it is something that all families need to take into consideration. Pro-organic individuals argue that there is no need for food to have hormones or GMOs. Scientists insist that GMOs are harmless and there is no need to invest in organic food.
Let’s start with the facts. GMOs are genetically modified organisms that’s genes have been altered by scientists. A 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center records that every 9 out of 10 scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science says that GMOs are generally safe to eat. Altering gene DNA is not necessarily a bad thing. Mixing plant species is how we rid papayas of viruses, how we gained potatoes that do not bruise, and produced crops that give more and cost less. Some GMOs are made specifically with extra minerals and vitamins to improve human health.
Soybeans have been altered to be more similar to olive oil and can be turned into heart-healthy replacements for oils and trans fat. Besides health benefits, GMOs are essential for population growth. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that food production will need to double in certain parts of the world by 2050. GMOs are the only way to create enough food for everyone.
“Organic” food simply means how the food is grown. Organic food does not use pesticides, GMOs, or petroleum-based fertilizer. Organic livestock also cannot be fed antibiotics or growth-hormones. According to the Non-GMO Project. growing evidence shows that GMOs have been connected with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers and consumers’ rights. They state that there is an absence of credible long-term feeding studies so the safety of GMOs are unknown.
Some positive aspects of GMOs are that they are designed to increase a plants resistance to insects, tolerance to herbicides and heat, cold, and drought. Since there is not much credible research supporting that GMOs do not affect health in the long run, people speculate about its safety. GMOs may be linked to allergies, antibiotic resistance, or cancer.
Organic food has been booming for the last two decades. Many people believe that organic food is healthier alternative, as US consumers spent $39.1 billion on organic produce in 2014. Organic crops are grown with natural fertilizers and tend to improve soil quality and the conservation of groundwater as well as helping reduce pollution. Choosing to opt to an organic diet may also help reduce exposure to toxins, pesticides, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One of the biggest cons of organic food is that it is more expensive than food grown with GMOs. Organic foods are typically more expensive because they often require more labor. This puts lower-class individuals at a disadvantage because they have a hard time even considering trying organic food solely based on the cost. Organic foods also have a shorter lifespan compared to non-organic food because they are not treated with preservatives.
GMOs are essential for the indefinite growth in population. It’s cheaper to grow, but the health outcomes are still unknown. Organic food is grown with hormones and pesticides but there is no for sure clinical studies that organic food will benefit human health and is more costly than GMO raised produce. The only thing people can do is know that facts and make their decision.