The article “Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety” informs about the FDA’s decision to close the sane food loophole where organic food is produced. The author reports about some people starting to prefer organic food after reading Michael Pollan’s non-fiction book Omnivore’s Dilemma. As it turns out, such food has its advantages and disadvantages. Organic food is believed to be healthier and it is produced in conditions which do not harm the environment; however, the scientists are still not sure of whether it is better than non-organic food because the nutritive value of organic food is lower.
First of all, organic food is free from hormones and pesticides which are harmful for both the animal which is bred on them and the person who eats this animal’s products. As stated in the article, factory farm animals are “full of hormones and pesticides, herded into cramped and disease-ridden factory farms, and fattened on corn and animal byproducts” (Levy para. 4) this is why they and their products just cannot be healthy. In contrast, organic food comes from animals which are not fed with growth hormones or antibiotics. Such food is “produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation” (Bowden, p. 187). This makes organic food healthier and safer for a consumer.
In addition, organic food is produced in conditions which are safe for the environment. Environment issues will never stop concerning scientists and ordinary people who have to think about the cleanness of every gulp of water they make. All the chemicals which are used to produce non-organic food are extremely dangerous for the environment, let alone the health of people. As compared to non-organic food production, organic food “is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations” (Bowden, p. 187). Thus, the producers of organic food care not only about the healthiness of their products, but about reducing the damage to the environment while producing this food.
However, organic food, just like everything else, has its disadvantages. Animals which are grown on grain (especially cows which are not supposed to eat it) cannot produce food with proper nutritive value. The matter is that the cows that are fattened on grain produce organic milk and meat which are “not the same meat or milk that comes from their pasture-fed, grass-grazing brethren” (Bowden, p. 188). The main difference between organic and non-organic meat and milk lies in fat content and nutrients. Such food is free from chemicals but it is nutritionally inferior. For instance, as compared with non-organic meat, “grain-fed meat has only one-quarter as much vitamin E, one-eighth as much beta-carotene, and one-third as many omega-3 fatty acids” (Bowden, p. 188). Therefore, even organic food can bring damage to human health.
In sum, organic food has more advantages than disadvantages. The only drawback of such food lies in its nutritive value, but its damage to human health can hardly be greater than that of pesticides and hormones present in non-organic food. Organic food, in its turn, is not only free from all these chemicals, but is produced by environmentally-conscious farmers who utilize renewable resources and try to preserve the environment for future generations.
- Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat And Why. New York: Fair Wind, 2007.
- Levy, Alison R. “Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety.” The Huffington Post. 2009. Web.