The Instigator
saamanthagrl
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
zach12
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Organic is better.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
zach12
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,899 times Debate No: 7231
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (13)
Votes (5)

 

saamanthagrl

Pro

Organic" is a term that I would like to refer to as producing food without the employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides. Though organic foods may be pricey, overall they have great benefits. Not only benefits for your own self being, but benefits on your environment and your planet, Earth.

Now in order to completely understand this debate, you should be aware of the history of organic food. Organic food (farming actually) was first introduced in the 1920 by Rudolph Steiner, the father of Bio dynamics. Organic crops must be produced without conventional pesticides (including herbicides), synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organically raised animals must be given organic feed and kept free of growth hormones and antibiotics. Organic farm animals must have access to the outdoors, including pastureland for grazing. Advocates say organic food is safer, possibly more nutritious, and often better tasting than non-organic food. They also say organic production is better for the environment and kinder to animals.

1) Organic is better for your health.
"In a recent study, Scottish scientists found that organic vegetable soups contain almost six times as much salicylic acid as non-organic vegetable soups. Eleven brands of organic soup had 117 nanograms per gram, versus just 20 nanograms in 24 types of non-organic soup. Salicylic acid is the main ingredient in aspirin; it helps fight hardening of the arteries and bowel cancer, and is produced naturally in plants as a defence against stress and disease. If plants don't have to resist bugs because of pesticide-use, they generate less salicylic acid, and pass less on to us. The same scientists found significantly higher concentrations of salicylic acid in the blood of vegetarian Buddhist monks, compared with meat-eaters. According to a recent study by the Globe and Mail and CTV News of the nutrient quality of fruit and vegetables, compared to 50 years ago, today's regular fruit and vegetables contain dramatically less vitamins and minerals. The average potato has lost 100% of its vitamin A, 57% of its vitamin C and iron, 28% of its calcium, 50% of its riboflavin, and 18% of its thiamin. Out of seven key nutrients studied, only niacin levels increased. Similar results applied to 24 other fruits and vegetables. For broccoli, all seven nutrients fell, including a 63% decrease in calcium and a 34% decrease in iron. No wonder we are gulping down the supplements."

2) Organic is better for wildlife.
'A report by Britain's Soil Association shows that wildlife is substantially richer and more varied on organic than on conventional farms. A typical organic field has five times as many wild plants, 57% more species, and 44% more birds in cultivated areas than a regular farm. Two 1996 studies show that organic farms have twice as many skylarks, and twice as many butterflies. Every time we eat an organic lettuce or tomato, we help restore wildlife. "

3) Organic is safer.
"Organic farming generates more jobs, produces more profits, and doesn't pollute groundwater with nitrogen run-off. Farmers in Canada, Kansas and Nebraska who use the pesticide 2,4-D suffer a higher rate of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a cancer). The same applies to dogs which play on lawns that have been sprayed. In Sweden, exposure to phenoxy herbicides has been shown to increase the risk of contracting lymphomas six-fold. In the US, the death rates from myeloma (a cancer) are highest in rural farming areas. And so it goes on. Migrant farmworkers suffer an abnormally high rate of multiple myeloma, stomach, prostate and testicular cancer. Organic farming carries none of these risks. There is a strong association between breast cancer and exposure to chemical pesticides. Atrazine, a common ingredient in pesticides, causes breast cancer in rats, chromosomal breakdown in the ovaries of hamsters, and hind-limb deformities in frogs. A Finnish study showed that women whose breasts stored the highest levels of a lindane-like residue were ten times more likely to have breast cancer than women with lower levels. (Lindane is a pesticide). "

We can end all this by shifting to organic food. We can be healthier. Our children can be healthier. Our farmers and farm workers can be healthier. Frogs, worms, butterflies, skylarks and the soil itself can be healthier. All that it takes is to turn away from chemically grown food, and embrace organic food. As said by Guy Dauncey, the author of Earthfuture: Stories from a Sustainable World.

Need Sources?
http://www.saskschools.ca...
http://www.earthfuture.com...
http://www.webmd.com...
zach12

Con

Thank you, Saamanthagrl, for posting this debate.

Organic food may not necessarily be organic. A product which bears the label "USDA organic" has only to be 95% organic. This means that the farmer could use pesticides in small amounts, artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth stimulants.

My opponent's source for the Scottish study provides no proof and the only thing they put is "written by Guy Dauncey." We know nothing of his credentials or his knowledge of the subject.

Salicylic acid has a few problems. It has been proven to reduce hearing in zinc-deficient individuals and to cause bleeding if used in the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy. It can cause skin damage if a person fails to use sunscreen after using a salicylic acid based skincare product.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Organic farms may be better for the environment in the short run but they have major drawbacks. At most, organic farming can only feed 4/6ths of the world's population, and that's if every bit of arable land is used and many ecosystems destroyed in the process. Not to mention that we would have to move to inhospitable housing to make room.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Green Revolution, which is a method of genetically altering wheat and other crops to attain higher yields and create immunity from diseases, has had many positive affects on the world. When Mexico began using this method in 1945 they imported half their wheat. In 11 years they were self sufficient and soon they were exporting wheat. This has helped the economy of Mexico and created a higher standard of living for its citizens.

In India, before the Green Revolution was introduced, inevitable famines plagued the area frequently. Now there has not been a famine for over 40 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

While the use of pesticides presents real health threats to the farmers, they pose little threat to the consumer, as most scientists agree there is little left on the food once it has been cleaned, packages, and shipped. However, many non-organic farms do not use pesticides because their crops have been genetically engineered. Just because one part of non-organic farming isn't desirable doesn't mean every farmer uses them or that we should stop. On balance, non-organic is better.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Conclusion

reasons why we should embrace non-organic farming methods and crops:

1.) Higher yields
2.) Better economic opportunities
3.) Little dependence on foreign-grown crops.
4.) Minimal farmland so as to better preserve the environment
5.) Less salicylic acid

Thanks for reading, vote con!
Debate Round No. 1
saamanthagrl

Pro

Thanks for accepting my debate, I wish you great luck :)

Unfourtantley, I would like to state that I find all of your points irrelevant because of the fact that they are from wikipedia. According to(http://www.associatedcontent.com...) Wikipedia is not a reliable source because it describes itself as "an online free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit", which I translate to mean that anyone can cite one's self as an authority on any and everything.

And I would like to clarify that Guy Dauncey is President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association; Executive Director of The Solutions Project; board member of Prevent Cancer Now and Publisher of EcoNews, a monthly newsletter that promotes the vision of a sustainable Vancouver Island. With that said, we now know that he has knowledge of this subject. Additonaly, my opponnet failed to refute any of my points specfically.

With respect to his population and Green Revolution contentions,

'Organic could feed the world. In a 2002 Greenpeace report, the authors found that organic and agro-ecological methods of growing in the Southern hemisphere produced a dramatic increase in yields, as well as reduced pests and diseases, greater crop diversity, and improved nutritional content. In the Tigray, Ethiopia, organic crops raised 3-5 times more food than chemically treated plots; in Brazil, maize yields increased by 20 – 250%; in Peru, uplands crop yields increased by 150%.

In 1998, the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, published the results of a 15-year study that compared 3 ways of growing maize and soybeans – a conventional chemical rotation method, an organic system involving crop rotation and legume crops, and an organic system using cow manure. The yields were similar for all three systems, debunking the myth that organic methods cannot feed the world. In Britain, an experiment run at Broadbalk by the Rothamsted Experimental Station for 150 years has shown that wheat yields on manured plots average 3.45 tonnes per hectare, compared to 3.40 tonnes on the chemically fertilized plots.

A recently completed 21-year Swiss study, on the other hand, showed that organic yields were 20% smaller than conventional yields. The organic plots required 34% to 53% less fertilizer and energy and 97% less pesticide, however, and produced more food per unit of energy and fertilizer. The soil microbes, flora, fauna and soil fertility also increased, leading the study's authors to conclude that the ecological benefits of organic farming make up for the reduced harvest. '
(http://www.earthfuture.com...)

Thanks for debating, for PRO!
zach12

Con

Thanks for posting this debate and I wish you luck as well.

Wikipedia is often the best source of information on the net. It is one of the biggest websites in existence. Because of the fact that anyone can edit it, it stays up-to-date and correct. Also, experts can easily and quickly post their knowledge. Some articles are semi-protected or fully protected to prevent vandalism and false information etc. Citations are on almost every page so you can check the information there as well. If an article lacks a citation this fact is stated very esthetically at the top of the page. Books are considered credible sources because they are peer reviewed. So too is wikipedia and since so many people use it any mistakes are quickly edited. Also my opponent's source is incorrect in saying that information can not be challenged by the site's editors. If someone spots a problem on a protected page they can dispute the info and eventually get it removed.
http://news.cnet.com...
http://arstechnica.com...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...

Those sources demonstrate wikipedia is about as good a source as Encyclopedia Britannica

>>> Organic could feed the world <<<

This is simply not true as demonstrated by these sources
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu...
http://www.organic-center.org...
http://orgprints.org...
http://oega.boku.ac.at...

I have refuted all my opponent's arguments. Thanks for reading, vote CON!
Debate Round No. 2
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
lol something i just noticed... in your first post you never said what organic was better than. I could have made it anything
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
lol
Posted by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
Oh well if you don't debate at tournaments, just think of this online debating as prep-time for future arguments you might have with people (:
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
you're right, except i don't have any real debates...
Posted by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
Don't put so much energy into it. This is just a website, votes and points don't mean anything. This website just preps you for "real" debates. You did really good in this debate, I think we both deserve to win.
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
oh my god i'm tired of this... i lose every debate with like an hour left to go by like 1 or 2 points.
Posted by trendem 8 years ago
trendem
I think zach adequately demonstrated that wikipedia, given its safeguards and citations, is a reliable source. Since most special knowledge in wikipedia has citations, people can follow the information to its source. To dismiss wikipedia off hand as a source is simply being evasive.

Moreover, the reliability of wikipedia is usually content-specific. Wikipedia is generally reliable for general points of knowledge, but requires corroboration for specialized points.
Posted by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
The number of sources has nothing to do with it actually. It is how well your present yourself and your case. In your last round you just put random links with no meaning. I feel that you didn't provide enough information, to me it looks like you googled it, then posted them. This would of been a better debate if you actually understood it.
Posted by gregthedestroyer 8 years ago
gregthedestroyer
That is true. It is not about who had more sources. It is about more reliable sources. Wikipedia is not reliable to me. sorry man.
Posted by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
Yes.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by pieman 8 years ago
pieman
saamanthagrlzach12Tied
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Vote Placed by trendem 8 years ago
trendem
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Vote Placed by brendizzle29 8 years ago
brendizzle29
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Vote Placed by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
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Vote Placed by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
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