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Organic Foods Issue of “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan


Handling food requires a lot of hygiene and care to keep the resulting cuisine from contamination. With the development of organic foods derived from artificial plant and animals cells, placing strict measures to guide the production, presentation and consumption of such foods necessitated the creation of bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture. In the US, the body undertakes the tasks of monitoring the artificial food handling process against standard regulations procedures.

Usage of these foods has acceptably gained amongst many people and there are questions whether they are right and healthy for consumption relative to naturally farmed foods. In his book, In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan advocates for eating natural plant foods in the same way our forefathers did in ancient years and be conscious of not only the effect of food on our bodies but also the environment.

Natural foods in general are food items derived from plants and animals that do not face any form of alteration whether chemically or synthetically. Considering that, many Americans and indeed people in most western developed countries prefer to buy organic foods instead of farming and taking natural foods, there are divisions on the benefits of these styles of living. Pollan chooses to farm plant foods and advises people who do not do so to develop lifestyles that allow us to access these food products.

Again, the policies help distinguish between natural foods and artificially made foods. I understand Pollan’s arguments but needs to point out that organic food has several benefits over natural intakes that counter-productivity. Therefore, the consumer must make use of all available information while deciding the kind of lifestyle they wish to live. This paper also diffuses some of the myths clouding the usage of organic foods based on their features and living factors that affect our daily lives ((Pollan 81).

Quality and health

The argument when it comes to the quality and health of foods we take is that natural foods and organic foods have relatively equal health provisions. According to organic food certification bodies, there is no scientific evidence to prove that farmed natural foods are healthier than manufactured organic ones (Brown et al. 14). People are who place high preferences on hygiene and safety tend to favour the consumption of organic foods over natural ones. The fact that organic foods have few chemicals unlike mineral constituents abundant in natural foods informed organic food mongers to go in for more of it. For example, the debate of fat and cholesterol in natural milk lost popularity at the finding that organic milk is even more beneficial.

There is also evidence that natural foods contain higher levels of contaminants like pesticides used in their growth, antibiotics, and nitrates but lesser essential nutrients. Higher pesticide residues in food may facilitate infertility in animals and human beings together with their offspring’s and disrupt chemical communication systems regulating the reproductive cycle. Antibiotics are routinely used to prevent and reduce infections in animals and human beings form of growth stimulators and the suppression of diseases. Residues of these antibiotics affect human’s disease immunity.

Organic products have lower nitrate content than conventionally grown plants and higher content of various minerals such as vitamin C. I am an organic food taker because of the high nutrients and fewer contaminants in them (Brown et al 69).

Poisoning of food

Food poisoning is a major health problem that people worry about all over the world. A common cause is poisoning is the bacteria E. coli among others. Although the bacteria are found virtually everywhere: in cups of tea, hands, and the air we breathe, some practices associated with farming and natural foods like the use of manure promote the spread of bacteria. The levels of pathogens in the animals’ faeces, their treatment, processing and storage of the manure used together influence diseases associated with natural foods, efficient application to crops and crop rotation strategies. The reaction of the manure with the soil through biological activities is also another factor that interferes with the final composition of natural foods. These kinds of activities lack organic production of food reducing the risks associated with poisoning from E. coli (Pollan 108).

The US concern concerns of food quality against the health of its population force it to do constant checks to establish whether the food headed to the market meets set standards. The USDA is very effective in this role.

It offers security to users of the products like me by the provision of satisfaction that the products we are using are safe and nutritious. Growing vegetables at the back of my house and plucking some fresh ones just before a meal however cannot guarantee me assurances of health safety at the time. Organic products, therefore, have reduced the risk of food poisoning. In addition, there are legal implications for organic labels implying that manufacturers have followed a certain set of rules and regulations before gaining the label unlike natural labels that obtained free due to inadequate guidelines (Brown, Flavin, French, Postel and Starke 43)


A concern of the majority of people is the affordability of organic foods, availability, and the efficiency of preparing the foods. Most organic foods are less expensive relative to natural foods. People do not have enough money, time or accessibility to natural farmed foods. Average working-class individuals spent a lot of time at work and earn less money. It is therefore natural for these people with inadequate earning to settle for less expensive alternative items like food if it achieves its intended purpose. Organic foods provide this kind of alternative (Pollan 122).

Availability and access are also important factors that make people buy organic foods. For instance, organic foods are available in most supermarkets and one-stop shops. This makes access to the products easy and therefore provides convenience that the reduced numbers of outlets selling naturally farmed foods do not avail. Their shelf life is also longer than for natural foods, which make them desirable for long-term budgetary purposes for most families. The longer hour working people are therefore more likely to settle for organic foods because of the convenience and value that it provides to them. It is easier to walk home when tired from work, open a refrigerator, and warm some food instead of having to detail prepare (Brown et al 57).


Michael’s advice to people concisely is to avoid eating too much food and have a bias to eating plants foods grown through conventional natural means. His arguments are logical and based on common sense realities like the need to make delicious foods. The logics however depend on the opinions that people hold. Organic foods manufacturers and users like me focus on acts that justify their use while natural food campaigners try to validate Pollan’s views. The trend of increasing use of organic foods is due to food scares and poisoning related incidences associated with natural foods, low guarantees on the safety of natural foods, and the value for food generated from organic foods among other factors.

Works Cited

Brown, Lester, Flavin Christopher, French Hilary, Postel Sandra and Starke Linda. State of the World 2000. London: Norton, 2000. Print.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Farmington Hills: Large print, 2009. Print.


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