An Argument for Organic
By Cathryn D. Blue, PhD
ORGANIC: of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides. Organic foods are real foods that come from nature without artificial processes and flavors.
Now that we know what organic means, let’s explore what organic means to you. The food that we eat today is exponentially different from the food our parents and our grandparents ate. In the past 30 years, the United States population has grown in size and in consumption.
With the American ideology of “more is better,” our collective waistlines are expanding, our consumption is becoming greater, and food production industries are taking advantage. In order to keep up with the demand, chemicals, pesticides, and hormones have been infused into our foods to make our buffalo wings more buff, our apples more ample, and our barley more burly.
If these inorganic means of growing and raising food affect what we eat to this extent, what does this mean for our health? Let’s explore some of the following facts:
• Factory farm animals are much higher in fat than the pasture-raised animals of 30 years ago because they get very little exercise and their feed is designed to intentionally fatten them as quickly and cheaply as possible. Higher fat in the animals means higher levels of saturated and unsaturated fats in our food.
• The use of hormones to make animals larger for consumption has lead to increased levels of early onset puberty in young men and women.
• There is overwhelming evidence that pesticides cause cancer and are extremely dangerous to humans and the environment. Pesticides are not only used on produce, but factory farm animals eat great quantities of feeds that are often grown on land heavily sprayed with the most dangerous pesticides. Therefore, these chemicals are not only in our fruits and vegetables, but they are also in our meats.
• In 1900, cancer was responsible for only 3% of all deaths in the United States. In 1987, cancer was responsible for 20% of all deaths. Today, 35% of deaths in the United States are caused by cancer alone.
• Foods highly processed and infused with chemicals are designed to keep you hungry. The more you eat, the more money food production industries make…but the wider and unhealthier you become!
Your health is your main priority. Taking care of ourselves by eating real foods will prevent us from having to spend thousands on medications, surgeries, and hospital visits. Today, unlike 80 years ago, there are enough resources for us to be able to choose what we put into our bodies. What we do now influences not only our well being, but the well being of generations to come. Make everything count, and your body will be there for you and for those to come.
Food Facts and Statistics obtained from: Robbins, J. (1987). Diet For a New America. NH: Stillpoint Publishing.
Dr. Cathryn D. Blue is a social/experimental psychologist and consultant for independent artists. Her research interests include racial ideology, time orientation, human cognition, emotion and motivation as predictors of behavior.