“Organic” has become somewhat of a buzzword today. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the definition of organic agriculture is the following:
Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on a minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
Consumers have been led to believe that organic foods are natural and therefore better. We want to investigate the level of truth behind that statement by looking into the nutritional value of organic foods compared to conventional foods. The perception that organic is healthier has led to price hikes in products marked with this label. Fruits and vegetables are the most commonly consumed among organic products. While delving into how crops are grown, we are interested in talking to managers of local supermarkets that carry both inorganic and organic produce and asking if there is a trend among consumer preferences in Ithaca. To further that, we want to know if local supermarkets are selling more organic or inorganic produce. As a general theme we seek to look at organic and inorganic produce from the angle of safe farming practices, pest control, nutritional value and what these things mean for consumers.
Our documentary will focus on Ithaca farms and a few others nearby. We plan to look at the farming practices and how these farmers say they ensure food safety. We highlight controversies in the organic and conventional debate like the recently published Stanford University study stating that organic foods are not safer or any more nutritious than conventional foods. Also, there are plant-based chemicals that are allowed to be used on organic products. While this is a broader issue, our film focuses on the farm practices in Ithaca, New York.