Steven Shapin's 'What Are You Buying When You Buy Organic'

Strolling through Stop and Shop, customers always seem to lay their eyes on the organic aisle for a split second, and think "What really labels this aisle as organic? Why would I ever want to be healthy?" Some, nonetheless, walk through the aisle, picking up these overpriced products that claim to allegedly be free of artificial flavors and genetically modified chemicals; products that claim to be unlike those found in the other ten aisles of the supermarket. The article "What are you Buying When You Buy Organic," by Steven Shapin depicts the corporate food industry, specifically Earthbound Farms and how the discussion of organic produce is more of a profitable matter, than what matters most, the health of an individual. Organic food is dictionary …show more content…
Growing up, I was always taught to choose the more expensive version of a food product, as they all claim to be organic, 100% natural and free of artificial preservatives. Labels that read “No toxic pesticides or additives” would appeal to me; making me believe that I was benefiting for the amount of money I spent. Consumers, much like me, who attempt to live healthy lifestyles are now unable to know how much healthier organic food is than regular food. Shopping for produce at my local supermarket will be a a bit more challenging, for I will now question if the price reflects the nutritional value at all. Shapin’s argument thoroughly shows how the use of such pesticides allows us to be retrospectively “safer.” Since we know the supposed “risk factor” or what is more likely to be in our food, rather than the bacteria from a tractor or a horse and plow, I can agree that it would be safer to go by the use of such pesticides. Shapin’s work depicts the bias of corporate America and how our foods are not all they are made out to be. Therefore, I would like to know how corporations can be better regulated in order to stop such forms of false advertising. In addition, I agree with Shapin’s idea that “how we want our food produced and delivered are decisions about what counts as social virtue.” (435) I believe that consumers and producers should communicate with one another more, which would essentially benefit both of them, as well as society itself. If consumers knew what producers were manufacturing, consumers would be more likely to purchase it, which would help producers economically. Shapin's piece helped me realize the true meaning of natural food and how there is no way to truly eat

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