“To Be Organic or Not To Be Organic”

The organic food movement in this country is latent with misleading information, as well as uniformed but self-righteous consumers.  In my opinion, the term organic is used so loosely that it turns into something with no actual meaning at all.  By definition the term organic is supposed to be- with no man made chemical pesticides, growth hormones etc.  So to most people this means safer food.

But what most people fail to realize is that there are still pesticides used in some organic farming.  Albeit “natural” chemical pesticides, to me that doesn’t exactly scream safer foods.  Mercury is a natural element but I tend to avoid chew on thermometers.  But yet we still are forced to make a choice while grocery shopping or even going to a restaurant to dine out.  Do we choose to spend more of our hard earned money on a “new fad” that is being crammed down our throats and into our wallets? Or shall we accept the fact that we have been consuming none “organic” foods for our entire life and yet have not experienced any wide spread health impactions?

Now this presents a new set of issues for an operational manager, whether it is an established business or a new establishment.  Do you follow a new trend to try and hit this niche market? Also, by doing so if you so choose does this alienate the rest of the population who would also make great clientele?  By choosing to go “organic” your product and food cost would grow vastly.  Also, you have an obligation to be as well informed as possible, which will add on to the various tasks already at hand.  There is a social responsibility I feel that we must hold ourselves to in these situations.

I personally have seen nothing proving to me that the organic movement has any health merit.  As a future operational manager I would choose to stick with the healthiest options available without putting a moniker on it, especially one distinguishing myself as part of a new unproven trend.

-Do you feel that organic products have a misleading trend? And if so do you feel that would affect an operational managers position and duties in an establishment, such as a restaurant that may prompt “organic” products?

6 thoughts on ““To Be Organic or Not To Be Organic”

  1. I agree with your opinion on the organic movement. I recently watched a msnbc show about the same topic. Organic products are more expensive to produce and have an extremely shorter shelf life. The upside though is that the “organic market” is huge and continues to grow. This growth in the market allows companies to overcharge. So, although it may not be the healthiest option, to go organic, it is probably more financially smarter to go the organic.

  2. I think the term “moniker” you used is very correct. Becuae I once read an report which depicts that some “non-organic” products are better that the organic one, such as non-organic potatoes content more vitamin C than the organic ones. Also, I feel that non-organic food, most of time, taste nice than the organic one. Therefore, I think the value of higher seling price “organic” has weights more than it’s healthy theory.

  3. I would have to say that I do think it is worth it to spend more money on organic foods. Although it might be misleading, it still does not have far as many chemicals that non organic food does. When I eat apples I always peel off the skin because it has so many chemicals in it. It has been proven that the non organic food we eat is bad for you and after time can cause cancer. My good friend’s father got cancer because all the red meat we eat has so many chemicals in it. Not everyone’s body reacts the same, but it can harm some. Sadly, not everyone can afford to buy organic food, but if you can I would go for it!

  4. From my past experience in both my courses and in the food industry I believe that the conception of “organic” is misconstrued. There are two types of organic out there, the “mass-produced” and otherwise “individualized” organic consumer. A farmer’s market is a great example of a positive impact that organic foods can and will supply. Your food is grown nearby, reducing transportation costs and extending the shelf life of the product. Inversely, the corporate grocery store that advertises organic is most likely not the healthiest option when it comes to the true “USDA organic” rating. The downside of pesticides as well as GM foods is unbelievable, but the costs for farmers to revive their land without these items present will not create a profitable market. A newer trend, something that I believe will take a large transformation in the upcoming decade is rooftop gardens or warehouse produce (aquaponics). An example in Chicago for a restaurant that provides its ingredients from it’s own rooftop garden is: http://www.uncommonground.com/

  5. Another fascinating trend I have noticed that relates to the organic food movement is that of locally produced goods versus larger mass produced food products. I have noticed in particular in the restaurant and food industry many companies are now boasting not only for organically grown foods, but also locally. I work at a restaurant that creates it’s entire menu from local, nearby farms which change seasonally. This idea receives extremely positive feed back from many of the restaurants main consumers. This restaurant in particular, while still embracing the organic trend, does not allow that idea to grow stagnant or become generalized. They take it a step further to keep pace with a changing consumer base and present a fresh perspective on this organic market trend.

  6. I would like to use Whole Foods as an example as it is a full service grocer that sells most (if not all?) organic products. They have scientifically cornered the market to maximize profits in that area. Yes, organic food does cost a bit more to produce but not as much as they price their foods. This whole fad and the way the product is designed and marketed to you justifies a higher price. Because they market it being “better” for you or “healthier”, a gallon is organic milk is 300% more expensive. They know consumers will pay for what they ask because of what Whole Foods has made them believe.

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