Organic & Processed foods: What’s Better Essay

There are a lot of differences and similarities with organic and processed foods. I’m sure when everyone was a kid they could eat whatever they wanted and didn’t worry about what it did to their body. I remember when I was younger I would cook a whole Tostito’s Pizza and consume the whole thing myself in under five minutes. I wouldn’t gain a pound and that same night I would have two big macs (back when there was a big mac Monday) and sit on my butt playing video games. It’s not like I didn’t have the exercise.

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I played all sorts of little league sports including baseball and soccer. You may think I was writing an essay on the effects of metabolism but I’m more interested in finding out what the words “Organic” and “Processed” foods really mean. What kind of chemicals are in them and what the huge fuss is about.

I think this is an important topic to write about because most people don’t know what the difference is. What makes a food organic? What happens to the ingredients when converting it into a processed food? I think if you understand more about this issue people would choose to live healthier and know how easy it is to alter their diet.

Organic food has gone back in history ever since the first person decided to take and seed, plant it, and then eat what the plant produced. This is known as farming if you were confused. Over the years farming has evolved from types of fertilizer used, machinery, tools, equipment and even animals. Machines can harvest a field of crops in one hour where a hundred years ago it would have taken a full day. Processed foods are more close to our time.

In the 1920s, women were growing weary of preparing foods from scratch, and ready-to-cook foods were becoming more available. World War I brought about new methods of food processing, including canned and frozen foods. When World War II hit by the 1940s people needed away to ration the food for the soldiers. After the war, many new “convenience foods” were introduced like dehydrated juice, instant coffee, and cake mix. Farmers used fertilization and irrigation to increase crop yields, decreasing the vitamins and minerals in those plants.

Government subsidies for corn and soy led to a food industry with a financial incentive to use high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, modified corn starches to produce lots of highly processed (and unhealthy) foods. The U.S. issued guidelines for adding iron, vitamin B, thiamine and riboflavin to bread and other grain products to offset nutrient deficiencies. With all of the changes that were going on in the food industry there was always someone trying to tighten the noose by the power of democracy.

Soon farmers were being replaced by machines and factories. Fast food corporations were growing more and more and farms were depleting less every day. As I researched into the major debating controversy I found that most people would agree that the organic foods are healthier to consume. The organic industry has sky rocketed in the last couple years because of the messages that was sent out saying organic farming is safer and healthier for the environment. But is it actually healthier for you in the long run? Other consumers argue that organic farming can be dangerous and unsafe to digest due to the invisible toxins and pesticide found in organic produce could even be as dangerous as synthetic chemicals.

Most people would agree that switching from a processed food nation to an organic food country would be best. But it’s easier said than done. Organic foods and processed foods are different in a lot of ways. Processed foods contain more bad chemicals and bad fat per calorie than any other natural food. You can determine whether a food is processed by looking at the ingredient list. The longer the ingredient list, the more processed a food is likely to be. Processed foods are usually found in the center aisles of the grocery store and are more likely to contain ingredients that you are not able to recognize.

Organic foods are foods that don’t have any harmful fertilizers, pesticides or sewage. Animals that produce meats, poultry, or eggs and don’t use any kind of steroids in the process are considered organic.

There are a lot of different sides to both of these categories. Most critics who agree with organic foods are humanitarians who believe in renewable resources and not using exotic chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. Also in this case it helps with how the animals are being treated. For example, in a processed factory for animals the cows are caged in tight corners and forced to eat so they are worth more. When animals are raised by farmers, they have the freedom of a decent sized field and their manure will decompose and fertile the land.

On the other hand processed food critics have done research that shows processed food saves on money and meets the demand of the growing population of consumers. The only way to meet this demand is by using steroids and food enhancers/substitutes. People buy processed foods because they have a longer expiration date and you can freeze them. It takes time to prepare a meal from organic foods. Processed foods can be made easily by adding water, boiling, frying or if you’re an American like me, microwaving. Plus processed foods are typically cheaper, you get more bang for your buck.

What is organic food? The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as “organic”. Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Some organic foods contain more vitamins than processed foods, according to Organic Facts.

For example, organic milk contains more vitamins than non-organic milk. Organic milk is believed to be of better quality because the cows that produce it eat a better diet, which includes grazing for large parts of the day. Organic fruits and vegetables also tend to contain more vitamins than processed ones, according to nutritionist Shane Heaton. Not only do many organic foods contain more vitamins than processed foods, they also contain more antioxidants, according to Organic Facts.

A University of California Davis study found that organically-raised tomatoes had higher concentrations of the antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol, both of which may protect the body against certain diseases by helping promote cell health. The researchers at the University of California Davis believe that organic foods contain more antioxidants because plants create antioxidants in order to defend themselves from plant-eating insects. Conventionally raised plants do not need to produce as many antioxidants because any plant-eating insects that might prey on them are controlled with insecticide.

Because organic foods must be raised and processed without insecticides, herbicides or similar chemicals, the finished product available in the store usually contains fewer of these chemicals than processed foods, according to Heaton. Although many pesticide residues may be harmless to humans, people who are sensitive to others may experience symptoms that can be alleviated by reducing the amount of conventionally processed food in the diet. Farmers also use a cycling method when farming so they can reduce the amount of bugs and pesticides.

They will plant different crops in each cycle so that they do not get the same pesticides returning. Organic farming is designed to protect the environment. By removing chemicals and other artificial farming methods from the equation, you save soil and water and reduce pollution. Organic farmers also use more humane methods of producing their meat, eggs and other animal products. For those concerned with the environment or the treatment of the animals they eat, the peace of mind is worth the extra cost.

With all of the good that comes from organic food what could possibly be some negative things about eating organic foods and why does everyone think that processed foods are so bad? Because organic farmers do not use artificial means to produce their products, they tend to produce less. Organic farming is also more expensive than conventional farming, as can be seen with the cost of using a chemical weed killer versus the manpower required to manually pull weeds and rotate crops, for example.

The combination of lower production rates with higher overhead makes organic products more expensive. One can also argue on the fact that it may be more environmentally friendly if you drive the shorter distance such as 50 miles to your local farmer to purchase food rather purchasing the organic food that has traveled over 1500 miles to get to you. Organic food can sometimes be limited to people, especially if you live in more rural areas. The most important issue that seems to affect all of America is the simple fact that because organic food is harder to process and is more time consuming to grow there is a shortage of it.

Organic food does not come in huge quantities like other food does. So because of organic food being in high demand from grocery stores and other consumers the prices are extremely high. That then means there are a high percentage of people in our society that cannot afford to eat organic food, to me that is just reminding someone that they are basically “poor”. So what if they want to eat healthy as well? We are just going to say sorry you are out of luck because you can’t afford it?

Next let’s talk about processed food. What is processed food? Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or for convenience. The methods used include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing. Processed foods are very convenient for the society because they can usually be prepared very quickly and allow minimal time and energy. By processing food we can also preserve food so that it will have longer shelf life, allow us to lower prices, and get food to more rural areas.

When we process food we are putting preservatives into them so that they will last longer which allows stores and consumers to sell them longer without them spoiling. By allowing the foods to not spoil as quickly as others the stores can lower the prices which allows everyone of all social classes to be able to buy the foods. Another huge reason that processed foods is very ideal for our society is the fact that we are able to get the food to more rural areas.

When we transfer organic foods to rural areas it ends up costing more because to get it there before the food would spoil would cost an extreme amount of money which then makes the prices of food go up. By being able to preserve the food so that its expiration date is longer we can get the food to rural areas in more effective ways that allows the environment to be safer and cleaner, then also reducing the prices in which more people can afford the food.

We tend to think of processed food as bad, like most high-fat, high-calorie snack foods or even those prepackaged meals you fix in a skillet, but it turns out that some of these foods are not bad for your health at all. For example, milk would be considered a processed food because it’s pasteurized to kill bacteria and homogenized to keep fats from separating. Some people prefer raw milk, but it can lead to lead to food-borne illness, so most of us are happy to consume the healthy processed milk we find in our grocery stores.

Freezing vegetables preserves most vitamins and minerals and makes them convenient to store, cook and eat all year around. Fruit and vegetable juice is also an example of a healthy processed food — usually. In fact, some orange juice is fortified with calcium to make it even more nutritious. Oatmeal, unbreaded frozen fish fillets, canned salmon, frozen berries and 100-percent whole grain bread are also examples of processed foods that are good for you.

Sure, there are a lot of processed foods that aren’t good for you. Many of these bad ones are made with trans-fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar. These processed foods should be avoided, or at least eaten sparingly. Processed foods are also more appealing to the eye and because of food additives they can taste even better. Basically the biggest downside to processed foods is one will lose a few nutrients. After researching these two topics I understood what the communal agreement was and the controversy that surrounded it. But I needed to find out what else needed to be further questioned.

There wasn’t a lot of information surrounding what affects it would have on the grocery stores. The prices that were listed on a trusted source showed that the organic food was often priced higher than any processed food items, usually forty to fifty percent more. This is because it takes a lot of steps to grow and distribute organic foods, here are some of the steps it takes to successfully distribute the produce. Prepare the field and properly fertile the land after the previous plants have been harvested, this process is what takes most of majority.

They have to buy the seed themselves and base off what they want to sale the crop for to turn around for some profit. They also have to put in the man hours and distribution cost. As you can see it takes a lot of time to complete this process rather growing and distributing it all in one location like how the processed food organizations do it. As I was saying I would like to see what the total cost was on organic food verses processed food, maybe from a big corporation like Wal-Mart to compare the differences.

One other thing that I think should be a little more covered is the shelf life on an organic and non-organic food item. Because non-organic food has preservatives in them they can last a lot longer. In this case you would have to make less trips to the store and save money on gas, it will also help with the environment. But would it be worth it in the end. Organic foods can go bad very quickly but it needs to be broken down to a science.

How much longer will a processed mango last than organic mango. After the experiment has concluded customers will have more knowledge of what to buy accordingly. Between organic and processed foods organic foods may have more natural nutrients when eaten. But you can get just as good nutrients from processed foods. It really boils down to what one chooses to eat and what they prefer.

There are alternative ways to getting all nutrients one needs for their body without having to pay a high price if you can’t afford it. Even if you eat organic foods that doesn’t mean someone will not indulge on the fatty foods such as ice cream, potato chips, etc. It comes down to what one will eat whether it is processed or organic.

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