You are on page 1of 5

Gibbs 1

Samantha Gibbs
Professor Lisa Packer
English 1010
11/24/2015
The Fallacy in the Organic Food Industry
Our communities are not seeing the big picture when it comes to organic and sustainable
food. In our society today, labelling our food sustainable and organic has become a requirement.
Today the ingredients in food are being closely monitored by picky suburban moms and
pretentious hipsters everywhere. Many who have jumped onto the organic bandwagon have seen
this trend as a wonderful way to create a healthier society. What most dont consider when
looking to see if their food is organic, is if the working conditions of the employees who
harvested and packaged said food, is substantial. In addition to this many dont really look into
how the organic food benefits themselves and the environment. Organic food may not be what it
has been cracked up to be.
We live in a very giving yet selfish society. I have noticed many people do good for
others in need, solely for the purpose of getting recognized. There are many companies such as
TOMS and People Water who donate a certain amount of their products to poor countries for
every product purchased. Though these charitable campaigns are inherently good, we should not
think that a solution a corporation advertises to us is the best or only way of helping those who
are in need. Corporations advertise their organic food as a sort of food savior which will
somehow solve the worlds food problems. It seems that our priorities may be out of line due the
way that organic food is portrayed.

Gibbs 2
Farmers produce organic food by not using chemicals, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
They used different methods, such as using nature to fend off insects and using compost instead
of synthetic fertilizer. Despite the price of organic food, it does not cost considerably more to
grow or raise food than other agricultural methods (Organic Food). Though standards in the
organic industry are surprisingly low. In Dont Believe the Hypermarket by Sarah Irving the
following is indicated; In 2002, the US Department of Agriculture relaxed organic regulations,
allowing supermarkets to increase the availability of produce labelled organic without the
expense of genuinely improving standards.
Though we think that our standards are high when it comes to food, we may have
considerably lower standards and not know it. The standards should be much higher in this
industry and it is disturbing that they are getting lower and lower each day. Large corporations
have put up a faade of healthiness and sustainability with organic food. The people who were
originally supposed to benefit from organic are agriculture are no longer benefitting and are in
fact being hurt by it.
As a society we are willing to pay large amounts of money for organic food but do not
necessarily understand how it is affecting us or the environment. Organic food is quite often
paired with eating local organic farming started as a way for local farmers to grow food more
sustainably. The industry in organic food has grown tremendously and so has large corporations
interest in it. Ironically, the large companies which are buying out most of the organic food
companies are actually hurting our environment. These companies are some of the leaders in
pollution, land right abuses and genetically engineered crops (Irving).
It is not a secret that organic food is expensive and hard to afford for those on a budget.
We have major corporations to blame for this. Though organic foodies also happen to say they

Gibbs 3
support local food agriculture, the large corporations which are hiking up the prices in organic
food are actually hurting local farmers and small local businesses. (Irving) There is no way for
them to keep up with constantly rising prices and the greedy corporations which are ready to buy
them out as soon as they go under. By doing so you are taking jobs away from the community
and therefore hurting the local economy.
Unfortunately the labor conditions in most organic farms are not exactly good
conditions. Many might believe that the organic industry would be exceptionally better than
other types of farming, though that is far from the truth they may avoid exposure to pesticides
and other harmful chemicals but they do not avoid being mistreated as a worker. Regulations and
laws meant to help organic farm laborers offer little to no help in covering these individuals. In
the article Ripe for Abuse by Kit R. Roane be specifies; labor inspection reports show that
they often toil in dangerous, unsanitary conditions for wages that sometimes don't approach the
legal minimum. Roane goes on to talk about how conditions are undesirable on organic farms.
The undesirable conditions are brought on because organic agriculture calls for a much
more labor intensive process. This is because pesticides are not used so there is a higher amount
of weeds with need to be pulled. Because of a ban on a certain type of hoes, workers were sent
out without any tools to complete their work. Ironically, the hoes were banned because they were
dangerous to workers. Breaks are scarce and sometimes workers are not even given a proper
amount of hours to work for their money though the wages are hardly livable wages. It does
not cross ones mind when buying organic, whether or not the person who harvested and
packaged the food was given fair wages and a safe work environment (Roane)
Some might argue that organic food is better for you no matter where it came from and
how it got to your plate. Organic species are 30% more rich than conventionally farmed species.

Gibbs 4
Organic farming has also been proven to increase biodiversity more than conventional farming
does (Tuck, et al). Though because of the increase of larger corporations owning organic food
companies, a double standard has been put in place. This is due to the fact that most of these
larger corporations affect the environment negatively for many different reasons. Overall, the
mass production of organic farming by these corporations is in retrospect harming the
environment.
We all have the responsibility to take a closer look at what foods we are eating. It is
extremely important to take care of yourself and to choose food which is healthier for you and
your family. Organic food is healthy choice compared to many of the processed foods which are
marketed towards us on a daily basis. What we need to do is put where our food comes from and
what it takes to get it to our plates at a much higher priority. Organic does not always mean it is
better.

Gibbs 5
Works Cited
Organic Food. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2015): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls
New World Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Nov. 2015
Irving, Sarah "Don't Believe The Hypermarket." New Internationalist 395 (2006): 10. Points of
View Reference Center. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.
Tuck, Sean L., et al. "Land-Use Intensity And The Effects Of Organic Farming On Biodiversity:
A Hierarchical Meta-Analysis." Journal Of Applied Ecology 51.3 (2014): 746755. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.
Roane, Kit R. "Ripe For Abuse." U.S. News & World Report 132.13 (2002): 30. Academic
Search Premier. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.