Organic Food Puts A Pricetag On Health

Tony Trujillo, Staff Writer

I want to declare that organic foods are a scam and a half. Half since they do have some benefits but not enough to justify the cost. Organic food doesn’t even fully deliver at the promises that it’s supposed to. That’s where the scam part comes in. We should understand why people go organic in the first place. It’s the lack of pesticides, increase in quality, and more environmental and health benefits, but are these arguments scientifically sound or are they false assumptions? Senior Angel Ortega expresses his opinion by saying, “I believe organic foods are healthier because they don’t have a bunch of extra materials [pesticides] added to them.” Just like Ortega, avoiding pesticides is actually 95% of people’s reason for choosing organic foods, so it’s obviously an important factor. With this being the BIGGEST reason, is it valid? Well no, actually. To many’s surprise, organic produce still uses pesticides! The difference is that they use organic pesticides. This type of pesticide uses safer chemicals and thus it’s considered the safer alternative of pesticides. The question is, how much safer is it? In an article by npr, Jeff Gillman, a professor of nursery management at the University of Minnesota, is asked about organic pesticides. He simply states, “‘I could use a tiny amount of a potent synthetic [conventional pesticide] that has proved safe over the last 50 years, or a much larger amount of an organic pesticide.’” The safety of this type of pesticide depends a lot on the dosage. The problem is organic pesticides are not as strong as conventional pesticides, so to be just as effective they must be utilized in higher doses making them just as harmful as conventional, if not worse. If this is the case, then why on Earth is organic so expensive? Most people may believe that organic foods’ prices are as high as they are because they cost much more to grow or make, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the difference between conventional farming and organic farming is roughly 5-7%, but organic foods are generally about 47% more expensive. That means that organic farming is sold for almost double the price. To be fair, organic does have some inherent benefits. With livestock, it includes giving outdoor access to livestock and growing it without growth hormones. Food is grown without GMOs (which are genetic mutations to food, although science is inconclusive about how harmful they are). Organic food is terrible for you, but rather that it doesn’t offer enough benefits to you to really justify a double in price. To get the “true” organic experience you have to just grow it yourself, but that’s not possible for everyone. Organic means you’re buying the mildly healthier alternative at double the price.