The Argument for Organic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 17, 2010
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Cancer or some extra cash? Recent studies indicate that consuming organically grown produce reduces incidences of certain cancers, developmental disorders, and reproductive problems. Environmentally safer foods, grown without the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides, provide Americans with healthy alternatives to typical grocery store goods. A few extra bucks in return for extra years of life is definitely worth it, right? Everyone should embrace the growing availability of organic, naturally grown foods to reduce the risk of disease, decrease environmental pollution, and potentially lower health care costs.

Eating natural foods reduces the risk of sickness and disease. In fact, studies from the American Institute for Cancer Research prove that “some environmental pollutants, like pesticides, have been shown to induce cancer in laboratory animals.” Why put yourself at risk? As the organic trend spreads, more and more individuals are realizing the health benefits of consuming produce and packaged foods without high levels of preservatives and chemicals.

However, many people do not take advantage of this simple and tasty way to stay healthy. According to the Consumer's Union and Environmental Working Group, “popular fruits and vegetables, even baby food, contain residues of dozens of toxic chemicals.” Nobody wants to ingest poison, and buying organic decreases the danger of sickness or chronic illness caused by these harmful additives.

Additionally, chemicals and pesticides don't just harm the human body. Our environment takes the brunt of it. Although farmers use chemicals to maintain the shelf life of foods and to protect them from disease in the fields, these substances pollute the air, water, and soil.

David Hosansky, who writes about the regulation of pesticides, states, “Wildlife is threatened because chemicals contaminate the entire food chain.” The imperative issue of preserving our planet looms these days. Conservation methods like organic farming maintain the quality of the soil and reduce pollution. Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, reports, “580 billion pounds of excess carbon dioxide could be sequestered in the soil every year through organic methods.” Eliminating the use of chemicals is one big step on the way to protecting our world from pollution and deterioration. By growing organically we can help in this preservation.

The promotion of healthy habits, like eating naturally and organically, may also reduce the costs of health care and insurance over time. If fewer people require treatment for illnesses caused by harmful toxins in their diet, the United States may significantly reduce the amount spent on health care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Five preventable chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes) cause two-thirds of American deaths while 75 percent of total health expenditures are spent to treat chronic diseases that are largely preventable.” In 2007 alone, the U.S. spent $116 billion on expenses as a result of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Eating healthily and naturally is the best method of maintaining one's health, and an easy one at that.

Yet, despite compelling evidence that organic foods prevent disease and protect our environment, many argue that because harmful pesticides have not affected them, they do not pose a serious threat. They refuse to believe in a danger they have not experienced. However, I encourage these skeptics to look around, to see the effect of our modern world on the environment, to listen to pleas for help from organizations seeking to cure cancer, and tell me how these realities may be prevented. If everyone would acknowledge the benefits of growing and consuming foods without harsh chemicals, we could greatly reduce future risks.

Changing our eating habits by turning to organic and natural food promotes overall health and improves society as a whole. Foods grown without pesticides and chemicals can reduce the risk of chronic and preventable diseases, help to insure a clean, nourishing environment, and could even lower exorbitant health-care costs. The extra dollars spent on organic versus conventionally grown foods is well worth it in the long run. I encourage everyone to buy and consume organically grown foods as frequently as possible to ensure a wholesome life for you and the world.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Kevin said...
Dec. 2, 2012 at 4:31 am
a lot of people dont realized that GM food has been on grocery shelves of super markets for the pas 22 years and that there are the same type and quantity of pesticides on organic food and GM food. There is not difference in taste according to the WHO. Also there is the false belief that GM produce is "injected" when infact it is the seed that is genetically engineered. It wouldnt be worth a farmers trouble to go up and down the rows of crop injecting each plant with "chemicals&qu... (more »)
LemonQuiche said...
Nov. 24, 2010 at 12:17 am
I fully support healthy eating habits and a healthy environment, but there are really too many people on the planet for them all to convert to fully "organic" diets. Organically grown foods are more subject to deaths, so lower crop yields, and more time and space needed to produce the same amount of food.
ksd603 said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm
After reading this article, I feel enlightened about the positives of consuming organic products. Organic products produce a positive overall outcome in the bodies of humans. Although organic products tend to cost more than standard store items, they tend to positively affect society more than standard store items. This article was extremely enlightening; thank you.
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