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Food Production: Welcome

An introduction to the debate surrounding food production, and especially the choice between organic and conventional food-production models.


This guide is intended as a starting point for research on the differences and controversies between organic and conventional methods of food production.

Organic or conventional?


In the past two decades, organic food production (and consumption of organic products) has risen noticeably. Proponents argue that this method produces safer, healthier food, and that it is more environmentally friendly. On the other hand, conventionally produced food still dominates the market, and genetically modified crops are themselves on the rise. Critics of the organic movement note its cost, which can be prohibitive, and question whether it can ever be efficient enough to feed the world's ever-increasing population.

The resources within this guide deal with a diverse range of issues, all connected to this debate in some way. They should help to illuminate the issues, and provide some guidance toward solutions.

Photo: Section of Tractor by flickr user alfonso benayas

Does It Matter How Our Food Is Produced?

While high-tech agriculture is one of the hallmarks of Western society, a growing number of Americans and Europeans believe that our farming methods are harmful on a number of levels. This program looks at the evolving debate over industrialized food production versus organic farming. Showing how and why farming techniques and policies have changed in the U.K. and similar countries over the last 50 years, the film then examines modern pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, polytunnels, and biodomes—and discusses how intensive farming stacks up against organic and free-range farming. Perspectives from growers, food retailers, consumers, and agriculture experts are featured. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A part of the series Because Food Matters. (24 minutes)

MLA Citation (replace red text with today's date, in same format)
"Does It Matter How Our Food Is Produced?" Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2008. Web. 17 June 2014. <>.

APA Citation (replace red text with today's date, in same format)
Does it matter how our food is produced? (2008). Retrieved June 17, 2014, from

(for a more navigable interface, go directly to Films on Demand)
  1. Why Have Farming Methods Changed? (04:40)
  2. Farming of Crops (05:20)
  3. Farming of Animals (04:10)
  1. Organic and Conventional Farming (03:54)
  2. Does It Matter How Our Food is Produced? (03:32)
  3. Credits: Does It Matter How Our Food Is Produced? (01:21)

Should you feel better buying organic?

A brief introduction to the complex question of what "organic" really means, as well as some of the psychology around why people choose to buy and use organic products.

MLA Citation (replace red text with today's date, in same format)
Discovery News [DNews]. "Should You Feel Better Buying Organic?" YouTube. YouTube, 22 Sep. 2013. Web. 12 June 2014. <>.

APA Citation (replace red text with today's date, in same format)
Discovery News [DNews]. Should you feel better buying organic? (2013, September 22). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from