Samples Nature Organic Produce

Organic Produce

1201 words 5 page(s)

“Organic produce” has become a buzzword among consumers. Grocery stores and food markets emphasize the advantages of organic food products. More consumers choose organic produce, as they believe that such products will protect their health and enhance their wellbeing. However, customer perceptions of organic farming vary considerably, as well as professional opinions regarding the safety and suitability of organic products. I have chosen the topic of organic products and farming, because I have always been concerned about the quality and effects of traditional foods on my health and the health of my family members. I always knew that one could not be healthy without eating healthy foods. I always believed that organic produce had to become more affordable and available to be included in every person’s diet. However, as more people express distrust in relation to organic food products, I have decided that it is time to explore the issue in more detail. With the growing diversity of organic produce in the food market, it is likely to have enormous impacts on individual and public health. This is one more reason why I consider the topic to be significant.

The topic of organic produce affects all population layers, since more people are willing to switch to organic foods in their striving to become healthier. The media, the government, and public health agencies constantly reinforce the complexity of the major public health issues, such as obesity, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Not surprisingly, many customers come to believe that expensive organic products could minimize the risks of various health complications. What customers fail to acknowledge is that organic farming is a relatively new area of human performance. Consequently, little data are available in relation to the safety and quality of organic produce. The problem is caused by the lack of honest labeling and user-friendly policies that could assist consumers in making the most relevant food choice. This is why it is important to know what organic produce can offer to customers and what stands behind the growing popularity of organic farming in the developed world.

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This being said, I started with the basic Internet search. The words “organic produce” retrieved too many results. Therefore, I decided to narrow the topic and limit my search to interviews. I thought that an interview would create a better picture of organic farming. I wanted to see why organic farming inspires so many people around the globe. I found an interview with Jim “Jimbo” Someck, who was a pioneer of the natural food industry in the U.S. Dr. Mercola (2014) shares the enthusiasm and ethical spirit that shape the atmosphere in the organic foods industry. Yet, I did not find any relevant information that could be helpful in determining the nature, consistency, and safety of organic produce. Therefore, after reading the interview, I switched to scholarly databases, which provide easy access to rich empirical and theoretical data.

The search terms “organic produce” retrieved several hundred thousands search results. Yet, most titles and abstracts did not provide any relevant content, which is why I also used the search terms “organic farming” and “organic products”. The terms “organic products” were particularly useful, retrieving a lot of relevant data about various aspects of organic food consumption and its implications for consumers. One of the most interesting articles was written by Vasudevaraju and Padashetty (2013). The authors perform a detailed analysis of the organic foods concept, evaluate the advantages and significance of organic produce, and share recommendations to increase the supply of safe organic products in the market. They define organic foods as those, which are produced by using organic methods of agriculture (Vasudevaraju & Padashetty, 2013).

At this point, it was essential to consider the difference between organic and conventional foods. I wanted to gain a better understanding of organic foods and their key characteristics, so that I could judge their safety, utility, and possible effects on consumers. I used the terms “organic” and “conventional” and found an editorial, in which Campbell (2012) says that consumers buy organic foods to protect themselves from the disruptive effects of chemicals, and not because organic foods could be more nutritional. This is where I first questioned the usefulness of organic produce and its potential advantages for consumers.

Many contemporary researchers agree that organic produce is particularly useful in reducing consumers’ exposure to pesticides (Forman & Silverstein, 2012). I found the article by Forman and Silverstein (2012), who describe organic food products as a source of considerable societal advantage, since they can greatly contribute to improving public health. As I continued my search, I discovered that not all professionals readily accepted the benefits of organic produce. The search terms “organic foods safety” led me to a literature review by Magkos, Arvanti, and Zampelas (2006), who suggest that the term “organic” is not necessarily synonymous to “safe”. My doubts as to the quality and efficacy of organic foods became even stronger, when I discovered that Wal-Mart widely misrepresented the nonorganic foods in their stores as being organic (Anonymous, 2015). The news was found with the help of Google, and I suddenly realized that most customers were unaware of the true nature of organic produce.

This is why I paid more attention to the analysis of consumer choices. I used the search terms “organic foods” and “consumer perceptions”, retrieving hundreds of scholarly articles on the topic. Google Scholar showed approximately 101,000 search results. According to Honkanen, Verplanken, and Olsen (2006), consumers choose organic products, as they seek to protect animal and environmental rights. The article by Raab and Grobe (2005) confirms these findings. I have also discovered that better labeling standards could enhance consumer trust in organic produce (Raab & Grobe, 2005). However, before that happens, the real advantages of organic produce should be identified and recognized.

To conclude, the Internet provides rich data on any topic, regardless of its novelty or complexity. We are entitled to make grounded decisions with regard to the relevance and consistency of the information retrieved online. Scholarly databases represent a proven source of peer-reviewed articles that cover a diversity of issues. Still, it is too early to say that organic produce can help consumers improve their health and wellbeing. A whole range of factors can drive consumers’ decisions to buy or not to buy organic foods. What consumers need is more reliable information as to the real advantages of organic produce.

    References
  • Anonymous. (2015). Organic fraud: Wal-Mart accused of widespread distortion. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/organic-fraud-wal-mart-accused-of-widespread-distortion-53560547.html.
  • Campbell, A.W. (2012). Organic vs. conventional. Alternative Therapies, 18(6), 8-9.
  • Forman, J. & Silverstein, J. (2012). Organic foods: Health and environmental advantages and disadvantages. Pediatrics, 130, e1406-e1415.
  • Honkanen, P., Verplanken, B., & Olsen, S.O. (2006). Ethical values and motives driving organic food choice. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 5, 420-430.
  • Magkos, F., Arvanti, F. & Zampelas, A. (2006). Organic food: Buying more safety or just peace of mind? A critical review of the literature. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 46, 23-56.
  • Mercola. (2014). Interview with Jim “Jimbo” Someck. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/10/someck-supports- organic-farming.aspx.
  • Raab, C. & Grobe, D. (2005). Consumer knowledge and perceptions about organic food. Journal of Extension, 43(4). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2005august/rb3.php.
  • Vasudevaraju, N. & Padashetty, S. (2013). Organic food products: A conceptual overview. International Journal of Retailing & Rural Business Perspectives, 2(2), 462-466.

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