Organic Food: Good for You, Good for Nature, Good for Business?


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The US government should create a new law that requires all food to be produced organically. Food integrity is lacking in the US and we often have no idea what we are consuming. The majority of the food we consume has artificial ingredients and or traces of pesticides. Although science and technology have greatly increased the efficiency and pace of food production, the industrialized, mass production of food has caused the integrity of the food industry to suffer. It will most likely take years for this law to come into full effect but it would be worth the wait. The organic food movement has taken off in the past several decades but its growth could be greatly enhanced with more support from business, government and society. Organic food sales doubled globally from 2002-2008 and future growth estimates range from 10-15% annually.

By enforcing the “all organic” law, the government would impose stricter regulations on the food industry to ensure the integrity of the industry is upheld. The current lack of transparency of the food industry is frightening. The government agencies that regulate the food industry are not doing enough to protect consumers. They need to impose more regulations in order to ensure that the food we consume is safe and also high quality.

Society will benefit from this because organic food production is more environmentally friendly and creates more health benefits—organic farming, by definition, does not use environmentally harmful chemicals. If this law is instated, more and more local farms will be utilized which will bring wealth to local farmers and decrease the amount of fuel used in transporting food. The consumer will also know where their food came from. Fast food could probably even still exist—you could still get your hamburger, fries and vanilla milkshake on the go. Although it will cost more, the food quality will be  better and you will no longer have to settle for mystery meat.

Although it will take time for businesses to adjust and make the changes to meet organic regulation, businesses will gain more customer loyalty because consumers will not be skeptical of what they are eating. Consumers might still feel guilty for going out to eat at a fast food restaurant but they will most likely feel less guilty because they will be consuming organic food. This law would also provide a huge opportunity for new businesses.

This idea is not new and many people doubt that making all food organic is possible. Like I mentioned before, I am aware that it would take many many years for the US food industry to become fully organic. Even if this is not achieved, the food industry needs to change and be more consumer driven rather than profit driven. There needs to be more transparency and less mystery.

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3 comments on “Organic Food: Good for You, Good for Nature, Good for Business?

  1. I’d love to see the organic movement continue to grow. But our idea of organic is that fresh food comes from small, local farmer. In Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, he notes that this perception is largely a myth. There are two main types of organic farming: big organic (Whole Foods) and movement organic (local farmer described above). Pollan visited some “big organic” farms that were nearly as horrific as the industrial farms, but had a door open so that the poultry could go outside. Unfortunately, the body composition of the chicken was so meat-heavy, that the animals found it difficult to move in order to get outside. “Organic” is such an umbrella term; I think we need to be specific about the conditions we picture for our farming system. It would be very difficult to fit small organic farmers into our grocery food system that demands massive quantities and consistent supplies. But maybe that is where an organization like Red Tomato comes in?

  2. I like the boldness of your idea.

    Food experts will tell you it is “impossible” to feed the world on organic technologies. It is easy to feel discouraged by such proclamations from experts. However, it also seems to me to fall into a classic trap of policy debates- to over infer from the status quo. I’ll bet 50 years ago, a gas expert would say it is “impossible” to horizontally hydrofrack. A computer expert that it is “impossible” to get the computing power we have in cell phones. A public health doctor that it is “impossible” to ban smoking in bars. And so on…

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