The word organic agriculture is used to refer to a situation where chemical interference is not allowed in the cultivation of plants and rearing livestock that eventually end up as human food. This is the kind of plant cultivation and animal keeping that used to take place before the industrial revolution. It still takes place on a fairly large scale in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America where the agricultural industry has not witnessed much industrial growth.
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Over the last decade, there has been a hot debate on the kind of food that is fit for consumption by humans. The decision that has been reached by many is that there is a need to go back to organic food. This means that consumers who purchase foods from grocery stores as well as other food outlets be exposed to foods that have not been grown under heavy pesticide or chemical intervention. What are the disadvantages of doing this?
The first advantage of organic food is that the element of diseases in humans will be reduced. There is a certain degree of truth in the belief that some types of cancer and other human diseases are caused by the numerous chemicals that are used during crop cultivation. These chemicals such as copper and sulfates of ammonia that are part of the fertilizers and pesticides are not eliminated from the plant body but instead stay on till the foods are consumed by humans.
In the human body, these chemicals are not equally eliminated successfully due to a lack of a means to get rid of them in the form that they are consumed. So what happens is that these chemicals accumulate in certain parts of the human body such as the kidney, liver, lungs, and heart and attack the cells that make up the interior lining of these organs thus causing organ malfunction. Therefore by going back to organic foods, this menace of diseases that are caused by these chemicals will be eliminated.
Secondly, animals that get exposed to chemicals through such processes as genetic modification that is done to produce fast-maturing breeds develop complications on most occasions. These animals that have these complications are potential risks to humans given that the fitness verification that is based on science is not one hundred percent effective. Thus there is room for error which can lead to heavy harm to humans if they consume the products from such animals. This means that if chemicals are not used and genetic engineering is not avoided on animals, humans will not have to worry about these potentially risky animal products.
The third aspect is the impact these chemicals have on the animals themselves. Organizations that fight for the rights of animals have raised concern over potential unfair treatment of animals as they are taken the rigorous scientific processes that are related to genetic modifications. What then will happen if consumers are given organic foods? The result will be that the market of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be eliminated and therefore there will be no need to subject these animals to further suffering due to the absence of markets for products that come from these processes.
Another crucial advantage that will come with the exposure of consumers to organic foods is the idea of lowered costs. Some have argued that genetic modification of foods makes the supply adequate and this takes prices down, and this has been cited as a potential gain from genetic modifications.
The same is however discounted by people who believe that the investment of huge sums of money in the development of technology that leads to the production of genetically modified foods makes the end product expensive when compared to what is produced without any technological investment. For example, a genetically modified mango in the United States that has been produced after heavy technological investment cannot be the same price as a free wild-growing mango in South America or Africa. The wild mango will be sold at a lower price due to little or no human intervention at the time of growth.
On the other hand, organic foods will have potential negatives if taken as the sole source of food for consumers. There is evidence that the technologies associated with crop modification and animal enhancement have led to more yields and therefore reduced the effects of famine in the world. This is something that will be reversed if this wonderful technology is discarded. The world will go back to extreme hunger again.
In conclusion, we can see that the elimination of diseases that come with the scientific modification of crops and animal genetic engineering are some of the advantages of taking consumers back to organic foods. Other advantages include the reduction of adverse effects on animals as they are taken through genetic modifications since such processes will not be necessary anymore, and the reduction of food prices since the technology makes them expensive.
The other side of the argument however envisions a world that will go back to the days of extreme hunger, a factor that has been reduced by the abundance of food that is made available through scientific intervention in food production. Taking consumers back to organic foods is therefore a balancing act that has to be done with careful consideration of the gains and losses to be made by the whole shift or change.