Target: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Goal: Stress the importance and numerous health benefits of buying local, organic foods.
Recently, a study was conducted by Stanford University scientists on whether or not organic foods are really worth their sometimes pricey cost. They concluded that organic foods have the same nutritional content as conventionally-produced food items. What the study fails to examine however, is the process in which organic foods are grown and just how beneficial it is to spend the extra dollar on a product that is free of pesticides and promotes a sustainable environment.
An agricultural product is considered organic if it meets specific requirements regarding the means in which it is grown and processed. Organic crops must be cultivated in safe soil, free of petroleum and sewage-based fertilizers and never exposed to synthetic pesticides. Instead, organic farmers use more environmentally-friendly practices of reducing pests such as introducing beneficial insects and birds as well as mating disruption techniques and traps. This ensures both the livelihood of the crops and the well-being of the human who chooses to eat the product. By using these non-conventional farming practices, the environment is spared by reducing pollution and soil erosion, and conserving water and energy. Humans are spared the negative side effects of ingesting any pesticide, chemicals that are known endocrine disrupters as well as cancer-causing carcinogens.
Organic livestock are raised with access to the outdoors, instead of cramped slaughterhouse pens, and fed organic feed mixes. This keeps the animal much healthier than if it were to be confined in a tiny space. Organically-raised livestock are not allowed to be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-product. Conventional meat producers use antibiotics to prevent an outbreak of disease or illness within their livestock. If just one of their animals gets sick, they give the entire group a round of medications only to make sure they don’t end up losing profit in the long run. These antibiotics aid in the creation of additional antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can end up making a person very sick.
There are many reasons to buy local, organic foods knowing that there is a higher level of standards for the production of the agricultural items. If future studies conducted continue to disregard the proven benefits of organic products and health hazards spawned from conventional farming methods, people will be easily misled and possibly make the choice to stop buying organically. Tell the U.S Health Department that awareness must be brought to this issue and more studies should be conducted on the advantages of organic foods.
Dear U.S. Department of Agriculture,
A recent study conducted by Stanford University scientists triggered the release of many news articles claiming that organic foods are no better than their conventionally-grown rivals. The report stated that the nutritional content are the exact same between the two, persuading consumers to either continue or go back to buying non-organic fruits, vegetables and meat products. However, the study failed to point out that the benefits of organic agricultural crops not only lie within their nutrition content, but, maybe even more importantly, within the methods of growth and production.
In order for a crop to be labeled “organic”, it must meet and maintain a set of certain requirements. These requirements include not allowing farmers to grow fruit and vegetables in unsafe soil, meaning petroleum and sewage-based fertilizers are prohibited. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bio-engineered genes, and their crops must not be modified. This not only promotes an environmentally-sustainable production process, it also protects humans from chemical pesticide’s and their carcinogenic properties. Livestock must be given extensive access to the outdoors and never given antibiotics, growth hormones or animal-by-products to be considered organic. This ensures that the animals are kept healthy in a natural way and not kept in small, confined factory farm-like pens. Humans are therefore shielded from diseases and antibiotic side effects that would otherwise be passed up through the food chain onto their dinner plates.
Please continue to promote organically-grown and raised crops and livestock as well as conduct more studies on the long-term advantages of eating pesticide and antibiotic-free food items. Of course consumers should be aware of the nutritional content facts introduced in the recent study, but they must also know the health hazards of conventionally-grown and raised crops and livestock.
[Your Name Here]