What Should Be Considered Organic?
The definition of organic food is crops grown without artificial pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, irradiation, or sewage sludge, and animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. Certified Organic methods follow specific rules established by USDA. (Nestle) With this being the definition of organic food, how could companies sell food that has a percentage of GMOs in it? Though the GMOs inside this “organic” food weren’t intentionally put there, it still can be considered lying to the consumers.
People who buy organic food expect their food to be exactly what it says it is. Organic food is usually more expensive than nonorganic food, therefore consumers who are willing to pay more for organic produce should be getting what their paying for. Yet produce that isn’t seasonal shouldn’t be considered organic either. Produce not in season that is labeled organic has to travel to you, emitting carbon dioxide into the air, which defeats the purpose of buying organic produce. A truly organic product shouldn’t have any added GMOs or other unnatural chemicals, and should be grown locally.
Despite my belief of what can be considered organic, it is understandable why companies still consider themselves organic though their produce contains some GMOs. Organic farmers aren’t intentionally using GMOs, so it seems unfair that they have to pay for it. As explained by Dan Charles in A Growing Debate: How To Define ‘Organic’ Food, “Organic farmers aren’t allowed to plant GMO seeds (Charles). But most conventional corn in America is genetically modified, and among all grains, corn is perhaps the most promiscuous cross-pollinator, so its genes often migrate into organic fields via windblown pollen that lands on the tassels of organic corn.” This is the reason most organic farms become contaminated, which makes it difficult for farms to keep up with high quality and quantity demands. Due to such a high demand for organic food, its understandable that the USDA isn’t as strict with what can be labeled organic.
Charles, Dan. A Growing Debate: How To Define ‘Organic’ Food. NPR. March 01, 2011.
Nestle, Marion. Defining Organic: The Difference Between Sustainable and Local. The Atlantic. January 10, 2012.