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Organic Foods: Benefits and Drawbacks

            Over the past few decades, a strong debate has ensued on the topic of the production of organic foods. Both sides in this argument are adamant and present strong facts. The pro-organic food side argues that they use little to no chemicals in any of their products, that they use traditional methods like crop rotation to keep the earth fresh and avoid overuse, that the foods are free of genetically modified ingredients, that their produce is healthier, and that organic livestock are treated more humanely and without the use of any medicines or steroids. The anti-organic campaign says that organic companies do indeed use chemicals that are harmful, that the manure used in organic growth carries larger pathogen contamination, that there are unique problems with organic animals that present problems for humans, and that organic food production is not adequate to meet the world's food needs. Since 1996, the sale of organic foods in America has increased roughly twenty percent every year, from $78 million in 1980 to about $6 billion presently. Almost 50% of the American population buys at least one organic product at least once a month. About one percent of the United States' food supply is grown with organic methods (Sajn, 1-2) .
             Although organic food is the minority now, the use of chemicals to manipulate fertilization of crops, kill insects and help conventional farmers to mass-produce their products was not always used. The demand for mass production of fruits, vegetables and livestock came after the Second World War when food as a whole was extremely scarce. America needed a fast and reliable method to accomplish a massive production of produce and meat in a short amount of time. The use of chemicals worked extremely well for America in this time of need, and was very cost-effective because with larger numbers of produce, the prices became much cheaper. The methods adopted by farmers of that day and age worked so well for the United States' hunger problems, and were so economical, that they have since taken over as the standard operating procedure in the U.

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