When comparing organic food with Genetically Modified Food (GMO), the differentiation is not limited to the genetic constitution of the products. Organic food refers to any products of consumption that are produced and processed in natural methods. Various countries, however, differ in the parameters used to classify food as either organic or inorganic. In most states, organic food must not utilize petroleum and sewage-based fertilizers, must not use any inorganic chemicals, and must not be genetically engineered. Organic animals raised for consumption or their products must only be given organic foods and get time outdoors to access sunlight and scavenge on the natural environment and must not receive treatment on antibiotics, growth hormones or any fed premixes.
On the other hand, GMO foods are any products used for human consumption and have been altered in their genetic makeup through genetic engineering. The process of genetic engineering creates combinations of plants, animals, bacteria or viruses that do not occur in nature or by conventional breeding methods. The majority of the GMOs have been modified in their genes to create plants capable of producing insecticides or withstanding herbicides (Snow, Allison Ann, et al. 388). All these processes have been attempts by man to improve production due to the increased demand for food as well as minimizing loses accrued from diseases and unfavorable environmental conditions.
When it comes to the issue of identifying what food is better between organic and GMO, it becomes a matter of belief in what one thinks is right. Although many people prefer growing their food, substantial research has not been conducted to disregard GMOs as a source of food. Both types of foodstuff come with their advantages and disadvantages. It is, therefore, a matter of opinion and choice to pick the kind of food one prefers. To help in deciding the type most favorable, below are some advantages and disadvantages of each kind of food.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages of GMOs
The primary benefit of GMOs is that they allow maximum production of the crops hence a consistency that prevents incidences of hunger and malnutrition across the globe. Another advantage of GMOs is the opportunity to improve the nutritional content of the plants. By altering the genetic makeup of some less nutritious food such as rice, deficiencies where the crop is the staple food can reduce. Another advantage is increasing the freshness of the plants to improve shelf life thereby minimizing the use of preservatives. GMOs can also increase the value of crops aesthetically to make them more appealing. GMOs are also more natural to transport due to their reduced perishability. Another significant advantage is the reduction of pesticide use pest and disease resistant crops Mohylna, Oleksiivna, & Magufwa 277).
Some disadvantages associated with GMOs include their association with human and animal antibiotic resistance. The scenario occurs when drug modified crops contain traces of chemicals that induce resistance when consumed in small doses over time thereby making conventional medicine ineffective. Another disadvantage is the legal requirement of GMO producers to contain their seeds to themselves where any spillage even through pollination is executable. Another drawback of vital importance is the risk of carcinogenic exposure from the pesticide resistant crops as tested in rats.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Food
Holistic health gurus have ascertained that the process of growing food brings a significant difference in the status of mind, emotions and environmental effects. Such food has also been shown to contain fewer beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants. Individuals who have developed allergies with some foods have also been shown to reduce the symptoms after changing their diet to organic. Other advantages of organic foods include the fact that they contain fewer chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and herbicides hence a lot of health benefits.
Organic food is also seen to be fresher since it does not utilize preservatives thereby f5resh from the farm. Another advantage is the importance of being friendly to the environment since its practice reduces pollution, use less energy, and improve the fertility of the soil, conserves water as well as lowering incidences of soil erosion (Harper, Gemma, & Makatouni 290).
Since organically raised animals are kept free from other animal by-products, growth hormones as well as antibiotics and feed premixes, such animals are free from diseases such as mad cow disease and do not promote drug resistance. Organically raised animals also possess the freedom to move around outdoors hence remain happy and healthy. Organic food is additionally healthier because it does not allow the utilization of sewage in its cultivation.
Organically grown products are also labeled which gives them a higher price hence an advantage to the farmers who put a lot of effort to produce them. The disadvantages of organic food would only accrue to the buyer who has to pay for more (Magnusson & Maria et al., 113).
From the above analysis between the two types of foods based on their production processes, one can easily conclude that GMOs are not as healthy as organic foods. Although GMOs are easy to grow and favor the farmer who does not have to put a lot of input, the organic food favors the farmer as well as the consumer. It is chemical free and therefore best conditions the body, mind and the environment.
Annotated Bibliography on GMO vs. Organic Foods
Snow, Allison Ann, et al. "Genetically engineered organisms and the environment: current status and recommendations 1." Ecological Applications 15.2 (2015): 377-404.
The article is a product of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) on the evaluation of the potential uses as well as current effects of GMOs on the ecology. The paper looks into both positive and negative effects of the GMOs on the environment. The ESA also gives some recommendations about GMOs by science.
Mohylna, Nataliia Oleksiivna, and Alex Magufwa. Genetic modified foods: advantages and disadvantages. Diss. Vidavnictvo SumDU, 2014.The article delves on the potential benefits exploited in the production of crops globally. It highlights the reduction of hunger and malnutrition as well as insisting on the protection and conservation of the environment by cultivating plants that reduce the usage of herbicides and pesticides. The write-up also emphasizes the responsible use of the GMO technology to avoid unintended harm to the environment and human being.
Harper, Gemma C., and Aikaterini Makatouni. "Consumer perception of organic food production and farm animal welfare." British Food Journal 104.3/4/5 (2012): 287-299.
The paper reports on consumer attitudes, perspectives, and attitudes of two closely related trends in animal welfare and organic food within the United Kingdom. The study shows that consumers do not differentiate between free range and organic food. The results also indicate that people from the UK regard higher standards of safety and health in their lifestyles and diet.
Magnusson, Maria K., et al. "Choice of organic foods is related to perceived consequences for human health and environmentally friendly behavior." Appetite 40.2 (2013): 109-117.
The research was conducted to determine the behavior and attitudes towards organic food, environmentally friendly behavior, and perceived consequences of natural food choices among the Swedish citizens. The results found out that people purchase organic food for better health rather than a contribution to the economy.
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