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Individual Project 1 Dan - Di Dan 10/14/2010 Is Organic...

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Di Dan 10/14/2010 Is Organic Food Healthier for the Planet (and us)? Introduction The varieties of food that we eat every day are largely produced in two different food production systems—conventional and organic. The former represents the mixed ways of utilizing varying levels of fertilizers to promote plant growth, spraying insecticides to reduce pests and disease, and using herbicides to control weeds. In addition, with modern technology antibiotics are given to animals to prevent disease and boost quicker growth, whereas organic avoids those synthetic external aids. Not surprisingly, more and more people consider organic food to be healthier, embracing the natural characteristics of organic food. But at same time, a lot of people disagree with this view. Behind the controversy lies the future trend of diet choices made by humans and reconfiguration of the agricultural technique system. It will directly influence our longevity, which is closely associated with the health of this planet and us. Roni Neff, the Research and Policy Director of the Johns Hopkins Center, and John Carlisle, the Director of the National Center for Public Research ‘s Environment Policy Task Force, expressed their conflicting attitudes towards organic food in their published articles: Summary and Analysis “Yes article” Summary Current industrialized food production model, or conventional food production is
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providing very economically efficient, profitable and cheap food, but at the expense of the environments and people’s health. Everyone should take action to support the healthier, more environmentally-friendly, pesticide-free organic food by changing food choices, demanding food from local farms and switching toward a more sustainable food and agricultural system (Neff, 2009). “Yes article” Analysis The “Food Matters” article first introduced the importance of food, the author’s profession and her career goal to provide the academic credibility. Next it discussed the downside of current U.S. industrialized agricultural production system from various aspects, such as large amount of chemical inputs(pesticides, fertilizer, and fossil fuel, etc.) and land use, the intensely concentrated animal feeding operations, those of which creates tremendous externality costs to the environment and public health. The intent of this article, which was showed very clearly in the subsequent paragraphs, was to urge her audience to seek organic food, local food and encourage other people to do so as well. Overall, Neff made a very strong point on the significance of food and the “factory food’s” negative impact. However, when it comes to urging people choose a more sustainable food system, she didn’t really explain why organic food and local food is better, so to speak, the reason for people to
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course ISPL 203 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Michigan State University.

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Individual Project 1 Dan - Di Dan 10/14/2010 Is Organic...

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